Lower leg position
I am having trouble keeping the position of my lower left leg. My right leg is fairly secure and in the correct position, but my left leg wants to keep sliding forward. I feel like my left leg is useless and it's just there. For many years I rode with my heals jammed down and my leg too far forward. I have a new trainer that I have been working with for several months, and he's really been working on correcting my position. Previous trainers just had me go around in two-point, and tell me what fences to jump without any real critique or instruction. My equitation has improved a lot, but I don't know what to do to correct my left leg. Any exercises or suggestions?
Yup. Drop your left stirrup and ride around like that. You left leg will have to stay in place or off you go.
I have the same problem. Posting with one stirrup (the right in) helps, as well as without stirrups. Though without stirrups my lower leg position is great, but when I take back the stirrups the problem seems to return. Esp. on sit trot!
My instructor used to take twine and tie my stirrup to the girth for me to get a better feel of the lower leg position. That too is somewhat helpful.
It will take some time, but you have to retrain your muscles from how you used to hold your leg to how it should be. If it continues to be a problem, I would suggest going tot he chiropractor. A friend of mine had a similar problem and it turns out her pelvis was crooked, it fixed all kinds of problems in her riding.
Lots of no stirrup work. If you're not strong enough yet to post without stirrups, start at the sitting trot and build up to posting. Your muscles will improve tremendously.
Ugh! Same problem right here and on the same side! My trainer is constantly reminding me to step down more to the left because I am so secure on the right but I carry much less weight in my left heel and it tends to swing a bit. I've spoken to him and I'm not quite to where he wants me to do no stirrup work just yet but doing a lot of two-point with the conscious thought in mind to make sure I was putting more weight in that left heel. It's gotten a bit better in the several weeks I've been focusing on it, along with doing exercises off the horse to make sure my muscle tone is even on both sides. I started doing exercises at home and was surprised to find that it was even waaaay harder to do them with my left leg as the right. I have some mild scoliosis in my back so I guess over the years I've always compensated by using my right side more (ironic, as I am left-handed and left-side dominant in everything else).
My Navy husband is really helping me to workout and focusing on getting that left side up to snuff when compared to the right side. I've only been doing the workout for about a week but I already noticed a definite improvement over fences last lesson.
I do lunges while holding weights and squats. Seated I lay on my side and do leg lifts on either side. Also a standing exercise I hold onto the kitchen counter or a windowsill and do leg lifts forward from the hip with my knee bent. Thigh is parallel to the floor and my knee is bent. When I lower my leg I don't let my foot touch the ground. This has helped with strength and flexibility in my hips. You can probably google leg workout exercises or exercises for equestrians to find diagrams and descriptions that do a way better job than I can describe. I'm beginning to learn that my horse-related fitness doesn't end when I climb out of the saddle. I hope it helps! :D
This is rather unconventional, but it really forces you to balance your weight equally. Ride with your eyes closed. Obviously, do this in your arena with the gate shut. It's even more helpful if you have someone on the ground to tell you if your horse isn't staying on the rail. Just walk and trot and without your eyes to help you balance you're forced to get your body correct.
lower leg being off probably stems from being uneven in another part of your body, probably your hips. i would ride around with eyes closed and try to feel whats off. or have someone watch you sitting in the saddle and have them tell you whats off. even better would be both =]
This EXACTLY. 9 times out of 10 when you "scissor" your legs there is some unevenness, often in your hips. I would have someone watch you post, esp from the back. Make sure that you are centered over the saddle when you sit AND when you're in the air. Alot of people tend to sit square, but push off to the side. And a lot of people tend to be more centered on the straight away but get uneven around a corner. If this has been going on for a while I wouldn't necessarily trust your feel, simply because a positional flaw can feel correct if you ride that way long enough. 2 point, stirrupless, etc etc. Constant reminder to tell your body to be correct.
Also know that most of us have a weak side and a strong side. It just takes time to strengthen your weak side.
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