Grr! Flopping legs! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 08-16-2010, 07:21 PM
Green Broke
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissPhoebe View Post
I have the same exact problem and it's been driving me crazy!!! I, like you, have been riding for quite some time, and, lo and behold there it is, and I know it is not a beginner issue like you said. Also, no flop at the sitting trot and barely any at the canter. Grrr! Then I started watching a ton of horse videos on youtube just to see what others look like and I got even more confused because there are some top dressage riders who look like they have the worst heels and floppiest legs in the world and yet their horses are doing AMAZING things. I've come to the conclusion that mine started, in part, when i got my new mare. My old horse had so much energy that I just had to wiggle my pinky toe and he was off so I got used to just wrapping my legs around and going along for the ride, but my new mare requires A TON of leg so I find that I am kicking, and nudging, ans trying to constantly drive her forward which seems to translate into the floppy legs. Any chance that this is the same for you? If you find any answers or suggestions I'd love to hear them also! Good luck!
I would like to address this before I address the original post. Which I have answers to both :)

Dressage riders are sitting at all three gaits right? Their SEAT is doing a lot of the work. And in proper dressage, Your leg should be relaxed until you want to ask the horse for something, because those horses are trained to come off the littlest movement of the leg. And then they're heels aren't down because they need to be able to use the spur at a moments notice. So it's not that they aren't "correct" it's just that they're a heck of a lot better riders than us that know how to properly work and cue a horse from their seat into legs into their hands.

As for the OP. Running builds the wrong muscles for horseback riding. It will actually do exactly what you're talking about. For riding, you want a long stretched out calf muscle that is stretchy and long. Running builds up bulk, which isn't a good thing. The most simple way to put it is in riding you want your muscles in the legs to develop like this ^V rather than like this - <-
->
going back to the dressage thing. You want elastic muscles, and running will actually hinder the ability for the muscles to be elastic in the long run (no pun intended).

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Why live on the edge when you can jump off?- Greenwood Horse Trials Tee-Shirt
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post #12 of 22 Old 08-16-2010, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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I never noticed if I was posting too high, i'll try to evaluate my posting. as for the developing of the wrong muscles, how do I fix that without quitting running? D: it's my last year of high school and though I'd pick riding over running I'd prefer to have both because I have a REALLY high chance to make the varsity team. What can I do?
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post #13 of 22 Old 08-16-2010, 07:44 PM
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I'm not sure. It's the polar opposites of muscle development.

Jumping a horse = Getting wings!
Why live on the edge when you can jump off?- Greenwood Horse Trials Tee-Shirt
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post #14 of 22 Old 08-16-2010, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe, I'll become used it it and my leg won't swing so much.
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post #15 of 22 Old 08-16-2010, 08:05 PM
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Thanks for the explanation StormyHorse! I know nothing about dressage past the basics (I compete HUS, Eq, and Jumping) except that I am enthralled with watching their talent :) What some of the advanced riders can do with their horses is like watching them dance together.

I also didn't know that running effected your muscle development that way in riding. I get on an elliptical an hour a day, maybe that's my prob.

Do you think my leg issue is from all the kicking and nudging my mare requires and since she's a big girl she's hard to wrap your legs around? I never had this problem before?!?!
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post #16 of 22 Old 08-16-2010, 08:06 PM
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Oops... there I go trying to use my memory again...Thanks Stormy Blues I mean
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post #17 of 22 Old 08-17-2010, 12:18 PM
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Haha, no probs about my name. Call me Stormy or Alex, whichever you can remember. ;)

As for kicking your horse. Try not to. You want a solid leg beneath you. If your horse doesn't move off a slight nudge or squeeze, BUMP BUMP with your leg, and if that doesn't get them off your leg immediately, crop behind the leg. But don't just bump and let go. Bump bump and then hold the pressure to keep the forward movement, then ease off. Then repeat when necessary. You have to think about hanging your leg loose from your hip, and letting your thigh be loose and moving so you aren't blocking the horse's back, but you must use your calf to move the horse forward, sideways, or laterally when you want it.

As for your leg getting used to it. I'm not sure it will because of the different muscles being formed. I've only talked about it with one of my friends (who's a workout junkie and one of the best riders/trainers at our barn). Hope this helps some!

Jumping a horse = Getting wings!
Why live on the edge when you can jump off?- Greenwood Horse Trials Tee-Shirt
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post #18 of 22 Old 08-18-2010, 10:47 AM
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Mickey...if you can, just try to do a lot of muscles stretches in your legs before and after you run. Stretching can help keep the muscles from tightening up.
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post #19 of 22 Old 08-19-2010, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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I do a lot of stretching both pre and post run. Maybe I'm not stretching the right areas?
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post #20 of 22 Old 08-20-2010, 09:53 AM
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I agree with all above post--however I do want to make sure, you've been doing bareback lately? If you aren't doing it correctly you could be squeezing with your knee and upper thigh without realising it.

I would suggest riding, actually--riding slims your muscles. So does swimming, I believe.
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