Leg Positions - The Horse Forum
  • 4 Post By maura
  • 2 Post By Allison Finch
  • 1 Post By maura
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 03-31-2013, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 29
• Horses: 0
Leg Positions

What are the three leg positions when riding: at the girth, in front of the girth, and behind the girth, or at the girth, behind the girth, and even farther behind the girth? Thanks!
Cant Biya Love is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 10 Old 03-31-2013, 02:00 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 39,275
• Horses: 2
good question. I didn't know there were "three". i just put my leg whereever it gets the best result from the horse. only rarely in front of the girth, and only when he is not listening to me asking him to move his shoulder over, or to back up and he's getting snitty, I might put my leg more toward his shoulder, for just a sec.
tinyliny is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 03-31-2013, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 9,206
• Horses: 4
This guy votes for including in front of the girth...err...cinch...

Pink Murray, famous wagon boss of the OR ranch in southern Arizona, mounted on his favorite horse. 1909.

You can argue with him, but he may shoot you for it!

Seriously, it depends on how the horse is trained. My mare probably assumes I'll put my leg anywhere I want...I know I assume that!

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
bsms is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 03-31-2013, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
• Horses: 0
This is probably different depending on discipline, so there are probably a dozen different versions, none universally correct but all with correct applications.

That disclaimer out of the way, the theory I subscribe to is leg at the girth influences the shoulders, leg slightly behind the girth influences the barrel, and leg farther behind the girth influences the haunches.
smrobs, Kayty, gypsygirl and 1 others like this.
maura is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 03-31-2013, 11:16 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 16,320
• Horses: 0
I never teach in front of the girth. I teach at the girth, a bit behind the girth and more behind the girth. All dependent on what you are trying to achieve, just as Maura said.
jinxremoving and waresbear like this.

Last edited by Allison Finch; 03-31-2013 at 11:19 AM.
Allison Finch is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 04-01-2013, 01:27 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 373
• Horses: 2
I was taught to ride and teach to never have 'chair legs' not sitting on a horse the way you would a chair and toes should always be behind the girth/cinch but not more than 6 inches from the girth. but I suppose there are a bunch of different way to ride. I think the majority rule is to keep a straight line from your ear lobe to shoulder to hip to heel. Or at least in my experience.

Show me a horseman who hasn't fallen and I'll show you a man who has never truly ridden.

BlooBabe is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 04-01-2013, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 810
• Horses: 0
Assuming we're talking about English then you want your feet at the girth or a smidgen behind but never in front. In the ideal position, you should be able to draw a straight line from your shoulders, hip and heel.


The hardest part isn't finding what we need to be, it's being content with who we are.
jinxremoving is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 04-01-2013, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 29
• Horses: 0
Thank you all so much! You've helped a lot.
Cant Biya Love is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 04-02-2013, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
• Horses: 0
I used to do this great exercise with students after they had begun riding on contact and needed to understand how to ask for a bend. I would hold one of the inexpensive very flexible school crops and ask the students how to bend it into a shallow C shape. We'd experiment with applying pressure at one or both ends and pressure in the middle and come to the conclusion that it worked best if you put pressure on the ends in one direction, and pressure in the middle in the opposite direction.

Then I'd explain to them that the stick represented the spine of the horse, that their inside hand was the pressure on the head of the stick, the outside leg well behind the girth was the pressure on the tail of the stick, and an active inside leg was the pressure on the middle, pushing the barrel of the horse outward.

Then I'd have a little fun, simulating a rider riding a circle on reins alone, with the haunches and body trailing outside the arc, or how forgetting the active inside leg would cause the horse to straighten its body and then fall in on the turn.

Visual aids - I gots mad skills!
nvr2many likes this.
maura is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 29
• Horses: 0
Maura, that is a great exercise. I will definitely remember that!
Cant Biya Love is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Point-positions MarieAndDancerxx Jumping 6 12-17-2012 04:17 PM
compare my positions!! sullylvr Horse Riding Critique 4 10-06-2010 09:23 PM
Your Positions on SmartPak? SavvyHill Horse Health 19 07-26-2010 01:10 PM
Penning Positions SorrelHorse Cutting and Team Penning 2 04-23-2010 04:42 PM
Positions!! Pro Western Riding 5 04-22-2010 09:45 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome