Leg on Girth or Behind Girth? Who is right?
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Trainers

Leg on Girth or Behind Girth? Who is right?

This is a discussion on Leg on Girth or Behind Girth? Who is right? within the Horse Trainers forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Shoulder hip heel alignment horse
  • Leg at the girth of behind the girth

Like Tree20Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    08-26-2013, 08:34 PM
  #1
Started
Leg on Girth or Behind Girth? Who is right?

I have two english riding instructors. One says that "home position" of your leg is always at the girth, because that's where saddle manufacturers put the stirrups. My second riding instructor, a seasoned dressage pro says that "home position" is always behind he girth. Who is right?

It's more difficult to keep my leg behind the girth because I have to push the stirrup backwards; however when I look at many dressage riders, their lower leg is always way behind the girth.

Who is right? Any thoughts?
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    08-26-2013, 08:52 PM
  #2
Showing
Now keep in mind that I am not an english rider but:

I always kind of thought that the "home" position was when your leg was directly under your hip, keeping the shoulder/hip/heel alignment.
     
    08-26-2013, 08:56 PM
  #3
Foal
I ride English and I was taught the same as what smrobs posted above. My legs do go back for certain cues but the "ideal" I think is being properly aligned.
     
    08-26-2013, 08:59 PM
  #4
Weanling
My leg goes behind the girth. See these images:





If my leg were at the girth I would have a very thick layer of leather between the horse and me and that's not very effective at all.
tinyliny likes this.
     
    08-26-2013, 10:03 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
If my leg were at the girth, I would be in a chair seat. My heel and ankle are behind it, at least I try to have them there.
     
    08-26-2013, 10:18 PM
  #6
Yearling
Ball of the foot near the girth, but heel and ankle behind so that you have access to the horse's side for effective cues.
     
    08-26-2013, 11:13 PM
  #7
Trained
I think the US Cavalry was right. Stirrup strap should hang straight down. With my saddles (including English), ball of foot in the stirrup, that puts the heel in a vertical line with my belt buckle - like the dressage rider shown above, or this one:



I will sometimes ride with my heels further forward, for my own reasons:



However, in my experience, it makes cueing your horse a challenge. My calf is either on or barely behind the girth, and it just means more pressure is needed for her to feel me. I normally will bring my heels back a few inches to cue when I'm riding that way.

I'm not an instructor, but a saddle is designed to have your rump in the deepest part and the stirrup straps or fender handing straight down. That results in gravity being your friend instead of your foe. In most saddles, that should put your calf & heel just behind the girth. With my Aussie-style saddle, it normally puts my leg here:



I ride with both, but if I could only choose one, it would be calf/heel a little behind the girth, with the stirrup strap hanging vertical.
     
    08-27-2013, 01:48 PM
  #8
Started
Thanks y'all. I guess the old "shoulder, hip, heel" alignment principle still holds true but depending on a person's body type, the horse's built, the type of saddle, and stirrup length, the rider's leg position may not always be in the ideal position.
smrobs likes this.
     
    08-27-2013, 01:53 PM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
I think the US Cavalry was right. Stirrup strap should hang straight down. With my saddles (including English), ball of foot in the stirrup, that puts the heel in a vertical line with my belt buckle - like the dressage rider shown above, or this one:

I will sometimes ride with my heels further forward, for my own reasons:

However, in my experience, it makes cueing your horse a challenge. My calf is either on or barely behind the girth, and it just means more pressure is needed for her to feel me. I normally will bring my heels back a few inches to cue when I'm riding that way.

I'm not an instructor, but a saddle is designed to have your rump in the deepest part and the stirrup straps or fender handing straight down. That results in gravity being your friend instead of your foe. In most saddles, that should put your calf & heel just behind the girth. With my Aussie-style saddle, it normally puts my leg here:


I ride with both, but if I could only choose one, it would be calf/heel a little behind the girth, with the stirrup strap hanging vertical.
Thanks BSMS...so that's where the differing opinions come from...it's the classical European dressage seat versus the US Cavalry dressage seat.
     
    08-27-2013, 02:20 PM
  #10
Trained
It's not that simple bc different saddles girth in different places. Typically, English saddles girth up about 4 fingers width behind the elbow.
You find your home position when you drop your stirrups and hang your leg. At this point it is lined up shoulder, hip, heel. You are supposed to have your leg lined up like this WITH your stirrups, but I can't tell that unless I see a picture of you mounted.
Where you lined up leg touches is where you cue for:
-forward,
-backing,
-walk to trot
-push forward into bit for the halt and the half halt
When you cue for the canter you use your outside leg beHIND the girth.
When you cue for a sidepass you hold the haunches with your leg behind the girth.
When you hold the shoulders from popping out your use the leg in FRONT of the girth.
If you horse has a long back you need to use your leg further back than just behind the girth.
NOTE: These cues are meaningless on a green horse. They only function on a finished horse.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

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:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Keeping heel behind girth & leg squeezed QH Lover English Riding 5 04-27-2013 05:03 PM
WTS or Trade! Large English Girth (Also-WTB Size 48 Girth..) Icyred Tack and Equipment Classifieds 3 08-16-2010 07:07 PM
INO: Western girth, buy or trade for english girth ExquisiteEquines Tack and Equipment Classifieds 1 05-02-2010 10:00 PM
What's in a girth? BackInTheSaddleAgain Horse Tack and Equipment 2 09-25-2009 01:00 AM
what is the best girth? peanut Horse Tack and Equipment 4 01-08-2009 06:08 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0