What is my knee doing!? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-03-2018, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Arrow What is my knee doing!?

I have been having lessons with my coach and are currently working on my position.
My knees don't keep contact with the saddle, so we put pieces of cardboard between my knees and the saddle flap and was told "Keep the cardboard there"... Low and behold 10 seconds later the cardboard is on the ground

Are there any tips or exercises you find help with this particular problem?

Has anyone tried the leg exercises 'hot potato' and 'clams'? if so have they helped in any way?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-03-2018, 02:27 AM
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Stop worrying about knees, think about hips...so often that is where the issue is. Sit in the saddle then reach kind of behind and under your leg and pull the muscle round and flat....so hard to explain and so simple to demonstrate....but fixing that helps the rest of the leg fall into the correct place.

Check also stirrup length, but I'm sure your coach has that covered.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-03-2018, 07:15 AM
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I agree with the above. Place your hand under your thigh from behind and pull pull the muscle back. This will turn your knee and toe forward.
You might well have to do this many times during a lesson unti, it becomes second nature.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-03-2018, 08:15 AM
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In addition to the above advice, I would add: relax.

Try to release any unnecessary tension in the muscles of your crotch, legs, ankles, feet. Imagine that, if they were not attached, your legs would fall to the ground. Let gravity draw you seat deeply into the saddle. Let gravity wrap your legs naturally around the sides of your horse, adhering effortlessly to the rounded shape beneath them. Let gravity draw your feet against the stirrups like it does against the ground when you are standing. Let gravity draw your unsupported heels a little lower than the front of your feet.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-03-2018, 11:58 AM
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Also agree. It's not the knee. It's your hips.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-05-2018, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your replies, unfortunately by pulling the muscle back it did not work (I tried it many times but did not see a difference), and I am quite the relaxed rider.

I have another lesson in a few days and will ask my trainer for more help/exercises to reduce my knees facing out.

(I should note that i have "flat feet" which could play a role with how my legs have developed)

Anyway thank you for the responses! But if you have anything else please comment
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-05-2018, 07:46 AM
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Does it happen on every saddle you’ve ridden in? Different horses?
I’ve had the same problem but only on one saddle. It just wasn’t working for me.

Also, depending on how old you are and when you first started riding, your body may not be able to reconfigure itself. I know that I physically cannot straighten my shoulders any further. 20 years of sitting in front of a computer does that.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-05-2018, 10:54 AM
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It could be the saddle too. Too wide of a Twist forces the hips wider and to rotate outwards.

Try dropping your stirrups and swinging the leg back and forwards, keeping the seat still. You'll feel it stretching the tight muscles along your hips. When you bring your leg forward the final time , think about rotating the hip in onto the flat inner thigh.

What style of riding? Some saddles/stirrup lengths/positions are not conductive to a flat leg.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-06-2018, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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I've never really noticed in many other saddles, but my pony is quite thin (young) compared to the round barrels I used to ride
I am 15 at the moment and started riding at the age of 10, so I could have just had my legs in that position the whole time and never noticed but eventually got used to it

Thanks ApuetsoT I'll give that exercise a go!

I ride english in my all-purpose saddle and at the moment have longer stirrups for dressage training.

Thanks
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