Lower leg slipping forward/chair seat help!
I started taking English lessons a few years ago. I picked it up pretty quickly but the one thing that my instructor always told me was to bring my lower leg back. I struggled for a long time with it because I just couldn’t do it. Finally, she saw improvement, and she said my lower leg looked much stronger. Ever since then it’s been fine. My sister took a video of me riding yesterday and I noticed that while my horse looked better, I looked worse…my leg had slipped forward again! I’m in a pretty bad chair seat in the video, especially when going to the right, which is my weaker side. I don’t really feel that I’m doing it though…sometimes I can feel it slip forward and I try to pull it back, but that usually unbalances me. I do notice that in this video I am posting straighter up and down, as opposed to leaning forward too much like I used to, but I think that has caused my leg to get too far forward. What do you think? How can I fix this? This really bothers me as I have regressed! Ugh!
I’ll get pictures and/or a video on here tomorrow.
Don't post from your feet... you post from your upper thighs and allowing the horse's momentum to bring you up. It's a lot of work when you're used to using your feet but you'll get it again :) Just think of pushing your belly button up and towards the horse's head. Kind of like at a diagonal path.
Jamming your heels down will also bring a chain seat. May also be your stirrups too.
Any chance of a photo/video?
I'm guilty of posting from my feet. The only way to retrain that muscle memory is to drop your stirrups and post without them. Start small and just do a few sets. Work your way up to where you can post a few laps at a time that way. It will retrain your muscle memory fairly quickly. You'll find your horse start moving better too as a result.
I'm definitely not an expert by any means, as I'm still learning this myself, but I'll relay what my riding instructor told me, just to see if it helps.
She always told me to use my hamstring muscles. Feel like you're a weeble-wobble toy, and that all of your weight is in your butt. You're completely balanced in the saddle then. Then, when you start posting, try to concentrate more on your hamstring muscles than your feet or ankles. To me, it feels as if your legs are just a simple-action gear. When you rise, the angle between your thigh and calf opens up. When you fall, the angle closes. Sometimes, when my legs slip forward, she tells me to imagine my heels extending over my horse's butt. Sounds pretty dramatic, right? But I swear that that always gets them back to where they need to be! And usually you're only an inch or so off!
One problem that I continually have is that I put all of my weight onto my big toe. Try to relax your feet and ankles, and distribute that way all the way through your pinky toes. Just remember that you're just using your feet passively.
I always hum a song while doing this, as it helps ("In the Hall of the Mountain King" is a pretty good song to post to, as long as you don't speed up the tempo too much!). Sometimes, when you completely ignore your rapid mind going, "Too much this! Too much that!" You'll find that you get it down really quick. :-) I'm guilty of a busy mind, so no worries!
I rode just the other night, and my leg slipped WAYYYY out during the rising trot. It was because I braced my leg, and didn't bend one of my knees (which I was guilty of doing a LOT before taking english lessons). It just went whoop! Right out in front of me. I had to laugh because it felt like my leg was a croquet bat, and I was swinging it! Completely and utterly wrong, I know! I definitely lost my balance on that one, lol!
Try warming up in 2 point at a walk. Feel how much calf and leg is on your horse and where the weight is going down the back of your leg. It should be the same for when you are posting. A nice sturdy leg with toes pointed up and using the momentum and thinking of reaching your belly button to your hands...should help!
Another thing you can try is 4 steps posting, 4 steps 2 point, 4 steps sitting, repeat.
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