Opinions On "Leg Flapping"? - Page 2

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Opinions On "Leg Flapping"?

This is a discussion on Opinions On "Leg Flapping"? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Difference between a free runner and push style barrel horse
  • Difference between free running barrel horses and push style

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    08-13-2013, 11:02 AM
Green Broke
I honestly kind of find it sad..Because half the time if their mount was just let go and had the rider sit in a balanced, forward seat, a lot of them would have faster times and be placing..Yet they flap and bounce around on their horses and slow them down..And of course they get upset when they don't place.

I'm hoping I can change the fad to "look like you're doing nothing to make the horse go" and then winning when I get Alahna all finished up :p
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    08-13-2013, 10:10 PM
Green Broke
Depends what the OP was referring to.

Any unstable lower leg (whether English or Western) would be undesirable; especially if it can "flap" front to back or side-to-side if the rider is unbalanced.

But if the OP meant barrel racing "leg flapping", well that's extremely ineffective as well.

    08-13-2013, 11:51 PM
^^ Kind of like flying in formation, only with a horse...
    08-14-2013, 01:04 AM
It makes me mad. But then, the poor horsemanship on part of many amateur barrel racers makes me mad. Took one of the 4H girls at my barn to a gymkhana last weekend and the amount of shank-yanking, leg-flapping, spur-stabbing and arm-waving made me so mad. Doesn't anyone understand the value of quiet, supportive hands and seat?!
Let it slide likes this.
    08-17-2013, 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by boots    
I agree. If "leg flapping" helped a horse go faster, the jockeys in the Derby each May would all be doing it.
It's impossible...their legs are too short.
    08-17-2013, 07:35 PM
Alright, here we go again...

Some horses respond like a rocket to it. Some don't.

There's a difference between bouncing and kicking and flapping your legs.

No, it doesn't exist in any other sport.

If you're going to do it, you have to do it right. And yes, there is a "right" way to do it. It's just that most people don't know how.

When I kick Selena out of a barrel, she gets one strong "Get going, NOW." kick. It's with my calves, not my spurs. If my spurs were to be used, she'd toss me right off. The only time my spurs are engaged is when I roll them on her side on the backside of a barrel. That's a difference between a kick and a roll. The roll says "finish the turn" and the kick says "Fire".

The "flapping" as we are referring to it should be done in time with stride. It really doesn't make a difference whether you do little flaps or massive flaps (Which I just find exhausting, LOL) If you do it properly with stride, you'll push them forward in stride.

Some horses hate that though. And I mean hate it. Some will actually extend and respond to it. That's one of those touchy things about barrel horses that people don't seem to understand. They aren't cookie cutters.

Same with riders. I may or may not hold onto my horn running home. Its not that I have to, it's just that I'm already holding my horn for the third turn..What benefit is it to me to let go? People can sit and say, "Oh, she must have a bad seat" all they want but I can still run that pattern bareback if I wanted. It's no problem of mine if someone wants to judge.

There have been times when Selena has fired so hard out of the third that I have felt my back pop...If I can use that horn to spare my spine, I sure as hell will. It's too easy to make a mistake going 40mph. I may not need the horn, but I'm not consciously thinking "Oh, better let go, my seat is good enough to stay on." I'm thinking more about how fast my pony can get back across the timer. Everything else, as long as I'm not hindering or hurting my horse or myself, is irrelevant to me.

Watch the NFR. Some kick more going home. Some sit quieter. Is anyone going to say either one of those girls has a bad seat and doesn't know what they're doing?
barrelbeginner and GamingGrrl like this.
    08-17-2013, 08:47 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Alright, here we go again...

Some horses respond like a rocket to it. Some don't.

There's a difference between bouncing and kicking and flapping your legs.

No, it doesn't exist in any other sport.

If you're going to do it, you have to do it right. And yes, there is a "right" way to do it. It's just that most people don't know how.


Watch the NFR. Some kick more going home. Some sit quieter. Is anyone going to say either one of those girls has a bad seat and doesn't know what they're doing?

So, you think some would not respond to being taught to run? That they need the encouragement of the "flapping" even in time with stride, or they would not run as fast? They would not give their best effort without it?
    08-17-2013, 09:10 PM
Some horses will naturally shut down. These are push style horses. Free running horses won't need it. Some people choose the flap, some people choose gentle nudges, some people choose a whip. It's all about the girl finding what works.

A horse can be taught to run and schooled to perfection at home, but they know where that line is at a show and a lot of them will hunt it.

Key word: Some. Some do respond well to the flapping. It's also important to remember the "flap" shouldn't unseat you, and it shouldn't be a jabbing with spurs. Leg motion, without aggression, is essentially all it should ever be used for. Calves only.

I'll emphasize it, yet again: This is the difference between a pushy style horse and a free running horse.
boots and barrelbeginner like this.
    08-18-2013, 11:00 PM
I guess it depends on the definition of "leg flapping".

If leg flapping is a reminder to the horse that says to him that he ignored my cues and he better pay attention or he is going to get an even bigger reminder, then I have no issue. I use it when backing or helping the stop or just ignoring my leg. But not like the picture posted by beau...yikes.
For example, if my horse is being lazy in backing and isn't picking his shoulders up and giving an effort I will lightly flap my legs or slap him with the side of my stirrup. If he ignores that a spur is coming. That is my version of the leg flap.

But if it is the barrel racer-full on- going to kick your boots and spurs off- flap, no. (and yes, I have seen girls actually flap so hard their boots and spurs came off)
There is nothing wrong with a kick but the full on flapping so hard that their butts can't even stay in the saddle, kick the wind out of your horse leg flapping is unacceptable.
I well timed smack with a stick or over-under will create better results in that situation(to stretch out on the way home or in between barrels) than a harpooning spur to the ribs. A spur like that causes a horse to compact not stretch.
    08-22-2013, 11:29 AM
You "can" teach some horses to run faster...but, if it was the best way to get a horse to always run faster, then wouldn't ALL jockeys(since everyone always likes to say...look at jockeys, they NEVER kick/flap/whatever...) NEVER carry a whip to get their highly trained racehorse to run faster? It seems, that in most cases, horses usually respond better with some "motivation" to run...like a whip, leg kicking/flapping/the rope when roping, over-under, etc.

Everyone likes to claim a jockey's seat is the best "running" seat, well, how many jockeys can ride out a bucking/balking horse, or one that suddenly stops, or even one that takes a quick jump to the side, or one that stops turns around a barrel and then bursts into a full gallop...not many, if any can stay on...ever see a jockey stop a horse quickly? It's because with the positon they ride in they can't, or they would flip over the horses neck...it happens all the time when a running horse slows quickly.

To compare a jockey seat to any rodeo even seat it very wrong indeed...I don't flap when roping/riding, but I do give a good "kick" with my calf and lower leg on occasion.

That said, some of the "flapping" and bouncing around is way overboard.

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