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SoCo
Apr. 9, 2009, 11:42 AM
I'm sorry if there has been a previous thread about this, I did a search and couldn't find anything.

To start off …

My riding has been rather inconsistent over the last few years so I can’t say I’m in the same shape I was when I was a junior and showing every weekend :(

For a solid year or so I didn't sit on a horse at all. Currently I’m riding 2-3x’s a week at best b/c it’s an hour from work and an hour home which means I don’t get home until 9pm. When I ride during the week I’m on one 1 horse but if I ride one day during the weekend I ride at least 2 or 3. I also don’t jump a whole lot either….

My biggest problem right now is my leg. It’s really sitting too much underneath of me and I really need to get it more adjusted “behind” me. I’ve ridden in several different saddles … antares, devoucoux, school saddles from the barn, and a quite older saddle (don’t know the name of it but it’s pretty well made)

Leg seems to be the same in all of the saddles so I don’t think I can really chalk it up to that.

My question is … what are some good exercises I can incorporate (even on greenies) to help get my leg stronger and in a better position?

2pt ? no stirrups ? leg excerises at home ? do it all??????? :lol:

Any help, advice, comments would be greatly appreciated … thank you!!!!!:yes:

-ashlee

Donkey
Apr. 9, 2009, 01:54 PM
Sounds like you could have a combinationof a weak core and leg.

Sit-ups and core excercises at home.

While riding
- posting stay up for two beats instead of one.
- Two point with lots of transitions (upper body stays the same)
- post your canter
- practice 2 point, gallop position (this is a killer)
- really short stirrups
- get a friend to give you a lunge lesson/session

If the horses are quite green I wouldn't drop your stirrups. Depending on your exact problem no stirrups can sometimes work against you.

Lots of other threads out there with excercises and suggestions that can be found via the search tool.

chawley
Apr. 9, 2009, 02:08 PM
Just my two cents......While no stirrup work definitely strengthens your legs, it's important that you're able to keep your leg in the right position for it to be most effective. That being said, I believe the best way to work on leg positon and improve your core and balance is to trot in a two-point. Be sure to have someone there to watch you to make sure you're not letting your leg slip forward. I would work up to the point where you can hold the position for 5+ minutes without a break. Once you have mastered this exercise, then move onto no stirrup work.

Secretariat1194
Apr. 9, 2009, 02:12 PM
Hey. I have seen some riders with bad legs when I was at local shows. What I usually like to do to get warmed up is after I hop on, I release my feet from my stirrups and point toe up heel down, heel up toe down for a couple times around the arena. I never two point. You are not really jumping so it is a bit unnecessary for the flat. Posting will help very much. Also, every few laps, check your heels and make sure they are down. Hope these help. Good luck!

SoCo
Apr. 9, 2009, 02:22 PM
Just my two cents......While no stirrup work definitely strengthens your legs, it's important that you're able to keep your leg in the right position for it to be most effective.

Which is what I was thinking ... no stirrup work wouldn't really be putting my leg in the position it needs to be in. And like you said, if it's not in the right position, it's not going to do me a whole lot of good.

The trainer/owners are going to be out of town but the assistant trainer will be there. I'm going to ask her to do a lesson on the line, that should be interesting!!!!

:)

indygirl2560
Apr. 9, 2009, 03:15 PM
I used to have your same problem. Donkey mentioned a lot of beneficial exercises to work on your muscles. The up, up, down posting is definitely a killer and will make you use your muscles. Two point is also wonderful for building up muscle and strong position too. Once you've done a ton of both of those, move on to no-stirrup work. It worked wonders on my position. My trainer watched me to make sure my leg was in good position and then made me do laps and laps of sitting trot until I was strong enough to post. And now, every lesson, we do at least 30 minutes of no stirrup work. We start with posting(at least 5 min.) then sitting, then full seat canter, two point canter and low jumps(under 2'9).

I used to have a bad chair seat and my trainer would always yell at me to move my leg back but I just couldn't keep it there. After months and months of all of this, my legs and core are much much stronger and my position is solid. And remember to pace yourself but push yourself, if that makes sense! Good luck!

IsolaBella09
Apr. 9, 2009, 03:59 PM
Ditto what Donkey said. Those are all great excercise. Having a friend lunge you with your reins knotted is not only beneficial, it's fun.

Dressage helps me get stronger. I take a dressage lesson once a week to work on balance and position, for both me and my horse. It helps a lot! :D

SoCo
Apr. 9, 2009, 04:36 PM
Thank you everyone so much for your recommendations!!!! Now I have a great goal and good exercises for myself instead of just going out to "hack horses"

It used to be a racing farm so we have a nice grass track to ride on. I'll make that a goal too ...eventually trot multiple laps in 2pt LOL

again, thank you everyone :)

chawley
Apr. 9, 2009, 05:03 PM
Thank you everyone so much for your recommendations!!!! Now I have a great goal and good exercises for myself instead of just going out to "hack horses"

It used to be an racing farm so we have a nice grass track to ride on. I'll make that a goal too ...eventually trot multiple laps in 2pt LOL

again, thank you everyone :)

And if you have a safe horse that you can go hacking on, I agree that is a great way to develop a solid position. I galloped race horses for years (with a longer/normal stirrup - never brave enough to hike them up) and it did more for my position than any ring work I've ever done. The same can be accomplished long trotting and cantering for extended periods of time. Good luck!

Anyplace Farm
Apr. 10, 2009, 01:28 PM
You should be able to see the tip of the toe of your boot ahead of your knee when you look down. So, not sure if having it behind you should be a goal. I might have missed something in the translation, though....

jetsmom
Apr. 10, 2009, 02:29 PM
Stay in 2 pt without resting hands on neck or using reins to balance and do transitions...w/c/t/c/w/t/w/c, etc.

melody1
Apr. 10, 2009, 02:40 PM
I'm curious as to why you would want your leg "behind" you? Isn't having it underneath of you the goal?

Pirateer
Apr. 10, 2009, 03:47 PM
I never two point. You are not really jumping so it is a bit unnecessary for the flat.


WRONG.
Two Point is the GM-approved Miracle Cure to all leg problems.

melody1
Apr. 11, 2009, 04:35 PM
WRONG.
Two Point is the GM-approved Miracle Cure to all leg problems.

Agreed. I work on two point regularly with all of my students long before they are ready to start jumping. A correct two point forces their legs into the right position and helps create the muscle memory so that they can stay there, and it is probably one of the best strength builders that will work on the CORRECT muscles, even more so than riding without stirrups or bareback IMHO.

Hunter Mom
Apr. 11, 2009, 05:41 PM
I did what seemed like a large part of my lesson earlier this week alternating 2-point and posting with my hands behind my back. OMG! My legs told me about that, but I need it - good strength workout, great balance, had to keep my leg where it belonged so I didn't punish Mare's back. I will definitely incorporate this into my "homework". 2-point isn't just about a jumping position - it is a way to strengthen a riders' position and balance.

SoCo
Apr. 13, 2009, 11:57 AM
To the few people that mentioned why i would want my leg behind me ... i didn't mean i literally want it behind me but i know that it needs to move into the correct position. Sometimes I can see more of a portion of the tip of my boot than I should.

I will try to get some pictures or a short video. I'm going to ride on tuesday and hopefully do it on the line


------

So don’t everyone jump in line to kill me just yet .. y’all will probably roll your eyes and go DUUUHHHHHH

We went to the horse show this past weekend and typically I just groom, I don’t ride. We schooled the horses Friday and I was asked to get on one do a light hack and jump around a little bit. Well afterwards I thought about it and wondered just how long my stirrups are anyway. Typically I get on and sometimes they feel a little short depending on the horse but i never change the length

I took my feet out of the irons and they were hitting me just above the sole in the front of my boot (they are ariats that's i say the front)… lol …I used to ride with my irons hitting my ankle or slightly below but I was then “instructed” (by someone else) to ride in that length of a stirrup when flatting then shorten it jumping.

My knees are going to hate me when i shorten them

chawley
Apr. 13, 2009, 12:56 PM
I never two point. You are not really jumping so it is a bit unnecessary for the flat. !

I love Secretariat! Anyway, the two point isn't about jumping, rather balance and position. When done correctly, it is the position that puts you in the best balance and position with the horse - hence why we use it to jump. Practicing the two point promotes muscle memory for the correct position and strengthens not only our legs, but back and core muscles too. As Pirateer mentioned - it's GM approved.

MintHillFarm
Apr. 13, 2009, 01:03 PM
Just my two cents......While no stirrup work definitely strengthens your legs, it's important that you're able to keep your leg in the right position for it to be most effective. That being said, I believe the best way to work on leg positon and improve your core and balance is to trot in a two-point. Be sure to have someone there to watch you to make sure you're not letting your leg slip forward. I would work up to the point where you can hold the position for 5+ minutes without a break. Once you have mastered this exercise, then move onto no stirrup work.

Position to strive for:
1. Stirrup on the ball of your foot (a must for ankle flexibility)
2. Foot towards the inside branch of the stirrup, ankle flexed, calf against the horse
3. Stirrup leather perpendicular to the ground
4. Shoulder, hip and heel line up in a straight line as if a string were dropped from the shoulder to the bottom of your boot