I was just wondering if anyone knows any good leg strengthening exercises both in and out of the saddle. I know most people say do lots of no stirrup work, but I tried trotting without stirrups my last few lessons and nearly fell off a few times So is there anything I can do to make my legs stronger so I can get to the point where I can trot with no stirrups? My left leg needs help in particular.
Stairs. Climb lots of them. You don"t have to go fast, that's cardio. When you feel comfortable climbing lots of them, go to every other stair when climbing. The more stairs you can skip, the stronger they will get.
I have a series of exercises that I do at home/the gym for riding:
The Clam (pilates move)
Sideways leg lift
Knee Fallout (good for stretching your inner thigh)
Straight Leg lifts
Using a balance board, practicing sitting position / two-point
Sitting on a Bosu Ball, lifting one leg and practicing balance
Double Knee Flexion (pulling knees into your chest - pilates move)
Spinal Twists laying down,
Figure 4 stretch (legs)
Ball Squeeze (put a ball between your thighs and squeeze and hold - then alternate lifting legs)
Those are a number of things that I do...I have more (if you want).
In the tack, nothing beats non-stirrup work. As for out of the saddle there is also a big list of things you can do but at the moment I'm to tired to get into that list. I might try to post one later :)
I used to be deathly afraid of trotting without stirrups cause I did not want to fall but I tried it one day and it is not hard at all. If you aren't wanting to go no stirrups then do squats and stuff. I hope I helped!