Floppy Legs = Good Seat
So as I am venturing into the Dressage and Jumping world, I am noticing that more and more of the "good" riders, ride with very floppy lower legs. I have been told it is because they are not using their leg at all, but riding from their seat.
I have always been thought you should have a quite leg, but only be active with it when you need it. Your seat should be your primary aide.
Can someone please explain?
I have linked to a video of a for sale horse I was looking at to show what I am talking about. I can't help but watch her and think she is influencing her horse somehow with her leg (including that she is using spurs)
However, I have seen Grand Prix Dressage riders with the same lower leg.
Kind of floppy, yes... I was always praised for having such "supple" ankles.. so "supple" is good... "floppy" and "unsteady" is bad. You want your ankles and knees to just kind of hang there, and absorb the shock of the horse's movement
So...is that what woman in the video is doing?
Getting lessons, I have been told I have a solid lower leg and seat...and have never been told that I need to be more supple...but the video posted (and what I have been seeing) is very different from what it looks like when I ride. I'm wondering if that's what Im supposed to be training towards.
I let my weight kind of fall into my heel, and they do absorb the shock (I think) however they don't move.
Exactly. Your ankles are supposed to be shock absorbers and bend and flex with every moment your horse makes, and so are your knee's.
Yes, you absolutely must ride from your seat. Spanish Riding School students in Vienna, are put on a lunge line for the 1st whole year they are there, with no reins - because they must learn to ride with their seats
A better example of correct dressage riding, would be to search the SPS in Vienna for vids on youtube and see how they ride. They are the riders to saught after for how they use their seats first, legs second and lastly hands.
YouTube - Spanish Riding School Vienna Philharmonic Beliebte Annen Polka Johann Strauss Elisen Polka Op 151
*to note, the reason why they have such long leathers is because they are exceptionally well balanced. The longer the leather, the more balanced you are - and remember, these riders ride for a whole year with no reins to obtain that amazing balance*
MIE, those certainly look more like what I have always thought the goal was. Soft, supple, balanced, etc. Their legs aren't locked in one place, but my eyes aren't immediately drawn to their lower leg because of the extreme movement.
Yeah the chick that you posted is whack.
The leg should be on, it shouldn't draw your heel up but you should have a good contact with the horse's sides. This is so when the horse does something like trot for instance, your leg doesn't give them an aid every stride.
Another video of a rider I adore:
Basically, you want nothing to move relative to the horse. Which means a lot of the time, relative to being still you are moving a lot.
As everyone else has sad, you want a supple, flexible lower leg, so that your ankle and knee absorbs the movement of the horse, but doesn't wobble everywhere. There ARE alot of riders that are great, but have a lower leg that wobbles. yes they are soft and flexible, but they are flapping everywhere and thus not really influencing the horse in a positive way. A good example is seeing rider's in extended trot. That's where lower leg issues seem to be very obvious, and you see many a flapping leg!!
I call that first video the dying fish imitation!! That looks horrible. That woman apparently took some informaton out of context regarding correct use of the seat.
Unfortunatly, I see riding similar to that quite often and it's apparently desirable. I never thought so, and so I'm glad I wasn't missing out on someone.
I never thought flapping anything could be good lol Thanks! :)
A general rule I follow is: If it's floppy it is sloppy.
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