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Hrtspwns 05-17-2012 07:05 PM

Help with Heel and Lower leg!!
So, I've been riding for nine years and I've pretty much always had this problem. No matter what I do I cannot get my weight in my legs and drop my heels! Especially when I jump, my lower leg will swing back (slightly, but bad enough) and my heels are never down. I can feel my weight is more in my thighs and knees. I've done so many stretches and exercises (mental and physical) to get my weight in my heels. My biggest problem is my ankles and calf muscles are so stiff that it's hard to drop my heel at all. Anyways, Do you know of any exercises (on horseback or at home) I can do to fix this?? Thank you! :)

Picture of what happens to my legs when I jump (this is usually THE worst it gets), my upper body is generally fine

(well...the picture was there..I'll keep trying :S)

MyBoyPuck 05-17-2012 07:16 PM

I can't see the pic, but I can tell you to check further up your legs. How supple are your hips and lower back? I also suffer from "can't get heel down syndrome" I corrected it to some extent by taking equi-yoga lessons to loosen up my hips and back. I had what in leg speak would be a kinked hose. The locked hips were blocking the rest of my legs for relaxing. I fixed the hips and unkinked the hose. Lower legs fell down naturally with no forcing or jamming.

Hrtspwns 05-17-2012 07:16 PM

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Hope this works

Hrtspwns 05-17-2012 07:17 PM

Interesting! What kind of things did you do to help loosen it up?

Prinella 05-17-2012 07:31 PM

I had a similar issue! I rectfied it by going back to work and doing nothing but leg work, really stretching down through my legs past the point of pain! Took me 2 months to fix the issue about 2 weeks intensive walk/trot
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Live2Ride15 05-17-2012 07:42 PM

One thing you can do at home is stand on a step just you balls of your feet like you would a stirrup and put you weight down. It helped me alot!!!
You can also do it with a mounting block! :D:D:D:D:D:D

MyBoyPuck 05-17-2012 08:00 PM

Yoga on or off horseback for starters.

Mounted exercises, without stirrups at the walk, raise on leg at a time and draw a circle on the saddle with your knee in time with your horse's walk.

Kind of like the above exercise, but without circles, raise your knees one at a time so you're only balancing on your seat bone on that side...keep alternating.

Alternating toe touches. With left hand, tough right toe, etc. (tie reins in knot for this one)

Alternating (again) bring one whole leg back behind the girth, then the other. By whole leg I mean, think opening hip socket. From the hip down, you want to open that whole thing up and bring it back.

That's all I can think of for now. If there are any equi-yoga instructors in your area, it is money well spent.

heymckate 05-18-2012 04:06 PM

I've had problems with my leg sliding back too. What has helped me is lots of schooling over trot poles with someone yelling at me to keep my heels down and squeeze with my legs.

Hrtspwns 05-21-2012 06:43 PM

Thanks for all the tips! I'll try them next time I have a lesson :)

gypsygirl 05-22-2012 07:56 AM

i would do lots of 2 point at w/t/c ans over ground poles. have someone watch you at first to make sure your heels are down and your leg is in the right spot. you can definitely hold mane at first ! when i practice 2 point i will hold it for a few minutes, and then grab a piece of mane just to make sure my position hasnt changed at all. getting a solid jumping position is all about muscle memory, so you have to do it a lot for your body to be able to hold it.

i do 10-15 minutes of 2 point at the beginning of every ride, even if im not planning to jump that day.

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