Posting in dressage has always been difficult for me. How exactly do you post without locking your hips & turning out your leg? I find if i try to use my thighs to post ( instead of using the stirrups to push myself up) i lock my hips, while if i leave my thighs out & use my stirrups, my toes turn out. In both situations i am unable to use my legs effectivly. What should i be doing to properly & effectivly post in dressage?
Are you in a dressage saddle or doing dressage tests in a jump saddle? The way they position your leg is totally different. I find posting in an English saddle, jump style, to be very difficult.
I don't really understand whay you mean by "locking your hip". But I like to think of posting in dressage as being 50% from the thigh and 50% from the stirrup. Since you are in a vertically aligned position, it should be akin to how it would feel if you were standing on YOUR feet, kept a good vertical alignment of your spine and then rythmically bobbed up and down by bendin your knees and straightening them, always in a position that you can stay balanced on your two feet. You do move your hips forward some but you shouldn't be "slinging" your self up and out of the saddle, back and forth. You should be posting on YOUR balance, as it you were still standing.
I am so uncomfortable in an AP or jump saddle, Cannot post well unless the horse is really giving me alot of action to post off of. I admire folks that can do it and appreciate their balance and leg strength.
In the upward part of the post think of the horse as bouncing you up, then you use your legs to gently sit down in the downward part of the post. Horse does the work in the up part - your work is not falling on horses back in the down part of the post.
Posting shouldn't hurt your knees. If it does, then you are pulling yourself up by your quads and the muscles around your knee .Thats' kind of like "hinging" yourself up off your knee, with your lower leg hanging straight down from the knee and the weight of your body not going down into the lower leg. This is NOT correct.
( If you ski, you will have a similar feeling when you lean too far back in your boots and you have to tightenn the muscles on the front of your legs to keep yourself upright and you will always be "behind the motion". It makes your legs really tired and hurts your knees. But if you stand correctly balanced over your skiis, your quads don't have to work half as hard.)
You want to be positioned such that you can have your weight go down thru your knee into your lower leg and ultimately to the stirrup. You post off of the whole leg and instead of heaving your body up and back off of your knee, you will be more as if you are standing on your own two feet and just gently lifting you pelvis up and forward. Your knee will flex a little as will your ankle, all parts doing a little bit of "accordioning" to lift you and put you gently down.
I like what another poster said about letting the horse lift you. And that's good, but just don't heave yourself off the knees. Stay upright and such that if you horse magically disappeared from under you, you would land in a standing positions (and say WTF?!!)
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