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So confused - Grip with your knees?

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  • Riding dont grip with your knees explained
  • Where legs grip when horse riding

 
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    04-10-2011, 12:22 PM
  #11
Showing
Yep, even in western, gripping with your knees is a no-no. I don't really know how to explain it in a clear way, but the way that I ride, I don't really grip with anything. Most my weight is on my pelvic bones with my balance coming from my inner thighs and my calves. I just keep just enough tension in my legs to keep them close to the horse's sides. Don't brace against the stirrups because that will make it harder to keep your butt in the saddle and it will make your feet and legs hurt during long rides. I guess I think of it in a way of giving a light hug to the horse's barrel with your legs LOL.
     
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    04-10-2011, 12:45 PM
  #12
Yearling
Quote:
Yep, even in western, gripping with your knees is a no-no. I don't really know how to explain it in a clear way, but the way that I ride, I don't really grip with anything. Most my weight is on my pelvic bones with my balance coming from my inner thighs and my calves. I just keep just enough tension in my legs to keep them close to the horse's sides. Don't brace against the stirrups because that will make it harder to keep your butt in the saddle and it will make your feet and legs hurt during long rides. I guess I think of it in a way of giving a light hug to the horse's barrel with your legs LOL.
Well said!
     
    04-10-2011, 01:11 PM
  #13
Trained
Great posts Kaydeebug! You need to move over here!

Just to add to Kayty's awesome posts, coming from an Eventer, here's my added information....

What I've learnt over the years, this is from riding Dressage, Jumping and XC, that your heels must be your anchor - they are one of the most important ingredients in the whole recipie. If they cannot anchor you in your tack, you're in trouble.

You must allow your bodies weight to flow naturally from your head, all the way down into your heels - but if you pinch or grip with your knees, you are now blocking that natural weight flow from occuring - which is bad, which means, that weight flow goes from your head, into your seat, downwards, but gets blocked off by your knees....so that weight flow has nowhere else to go, but remain in your upper area of your body.

So, as Kayty stated, that makes you very vulnerable in your tack, instead of solidified. That leaves you with you trying to find your balance in your feet by lifting your heels instead of sinking into them....your lower body can no longer do its job. Which means, your heels cannot be your anchors.

When you open your knees, and allow your heels to do their job - that weight flow can now dispurse past your knees, and into your lower leg, and into your heels.

When you allow your heels to be your anchor, that means that your seat can do its job as well because of that natural weight flow. That weight must beable to go from your top, all the way through to your bottom.
     
    04-11-2011, 05:23 AM
  #14
Weanling
In the old days (when I was a kid) we were taught to grip with knees and put your weight on your big toe. It's pretty old school now.

Definitely, the concensus now is to have contact through your whole leg but your lower leg (below the knee) is your 'safety belt' - that is what you hold on with and stabilises your position.
     
    04-11-2011, 06:16 AM
  #15
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Yep, even in western, gripping with your knees is a no-no. I don't really know how to explain it in a clear way, but the way that I ride, I don't really grip with anything. Most my weight is on my pelvic bones with my balance coming from my inner thighs and my calves. I just keep just enough tension in my legs to keep them close to the horse's sides. Don't brace against the stirrups because that will make it harder to keep your butt in the saddle and it will make your feet and legs hurt during long rides. I guess I think of it in a way of giving a light hug to the horse's barrel with your legs LOL.
Yes...really gripping with anything will give you, at best, a very rough ride. Most folks that I know wind up gripping with their legs to try and maintain balance, but good balance comes from your seat and core/abdominal muscle strength. If you develop those, you'll have a nice, comfortable ride at any gait.
     

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