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View Full Version : How to Keep My Foot From Jiggling



blackcat95
May. 16, 2010, 07:18 PM
Now that I've finally got myself back in shape enough to be able to actually ride for real, some problems are starting to come out. My right foot and lower leg kinda wiggles back and forth. I think I've ruled out several things:

1) Not enough weight in the heel. I can do a posting trot with no stirrups just fine and balanced, and I did the stupid drop one stirrup trick as well. Nothing was any different- I didn't fall dramatically to the right when I dropped the stirrup (that is, not any more than I fell to the left!)

2) Lack of balance- see above.

I do have a problem with rounding the right shoulder, so that could be part of it, but I'm kinda flummoxed! I'm inclined to think it's weakness in the leg, but that's odd because my left leg is generally weaker from an old injury.

So... any suggestions? Here is a vid of a course from a show last week for a visual - as I come around the turn off the diagonal line you can see my right foot "waving" at you! :eek::yes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sni7yID30rI

skyy
May. 16, 2010, 07:37 PM
Do you think that maybe you're pinching with your knee which is allowing your lower leg to swing a little? I watched the video and I know the leg thing happens when I get pinchy.

indygirl2560
May. 16, 2010, 07:38 PM
I don't have time to watch the video right now, but are you knee pinching? When I first starting riding, I had a bad knee pinching problem and my lower leg would swing...

blackcat95
May. 16, 2010, 07:52 PM
Could be, but I don't think so... Is it possible to only pinch with one knee? And from the still photos of the show it doesn't look like I'm pinching.

FineAlready
May. 16, 2010, 08:02 PM
I think you may just need to build up your overall riding strength. I watched the video, and while there may be a tiny bit of knee pinching here and there, I think the main issue is that you don't necessarily have a completely independent seat and hand. You're a lovely rider - you just look a little rusty and/or not 100% riding fit. I'm not sure how much riding you do, but my guess is that you don't ride more than a couple times a week. I bet if you rode more, you would be way tighter all around. As it is, I can tell that you've got the goods and have a good deal of natural ability; it seems like you just need more saddle time. And I know how hard that can be to fit in to an already busy schedule!

My right leg does the same thing if I have not been riding for a while. I recently watched a video of myself riding my young horse that we've been slowly rehabbing from an injury. Due to his injury and the slow rehab, I haven't had as much time in the saddle as usual. We're finally up to some good canter work now, so I decided to video. Wowza. I was shocked at my right leg, though everyone else seems to think it looks fine. I immediately stepped up my riding time by adding in one more lesson a week and riding a few extra horses on weekends. It's already getting better. I think it was a matter of strength, as well as a matter of focusing on the problem (which I previously did not realize existed). I noticed that as my seat, overall fitness, and balance improved, so did my leg. I also really try to focus on keeping my calf snug on my horse's side and at the girth (i.e., focus on not letting it slip back). Work in a half seat over trot poles and the like will help too. Focus on steering with your legs instead of your hands, and focus on keeping your legs snug on your horse's sides. No stirrup work is also very good for any kind of leg issue.

Oddly, I also had an injury to my left leg but my loose leg is the right one. The left one is just fine. No idea why...perhaps we pay more attention to the injured one.

Anyway...you look great and I'm sure you will get this (very minor) issue sorted out.

blackcat95
May. 16, 2010, 08:21 PM
I think you may just need to build up your overall riding strength. I watched the video, and while there may be a tiny bit of knee pinching here and there, I think the main issue is that you don't necessarily have a completely independent seat and hand. You're a lovely rider - you just look a little rusty and/or not 100% riding fit. I'm not sure how much riding you do, but my guess is that you don't ride more than a couple times a week. I bet if you rode more, you would be way tighter all around. As it is, I can tell that you've got the goods and have a good deal of natural ability; it seems like you just need more saddle time. And I know how hard that can be to fit in to an already busy schedule!

Are you psychic? :D You nailed exactly what my situation is. I'm finally really starting to get back in shape as I was off with a back injury and a bad fall for about 3 months. I've only been back really riding for... 3 months maybe? And I lost a year of competitive riding time with a green horse. I take lessons twice a week (3 times before a show) and hack maybe once or twice more a week if I have time. So thank you for clarifying what I thought! It's nice to know I'm not crazy. :)

Thank you for the compliments as well! :yes:

FineAlready
May. 16, 2010, 08:34 PM
Are you psychic? :D You nailed exactly what my situation is. I'm finally really starting to get back in shape as I was off with a back injury and a bad fall for about 3 months. I've only been back really riding for... 3 months maybe? And I lost a year of competitive riding time with a green horse. I take lessons twice a week (3 times before a show) and hack maybe once or twice more a week if I have time. So thank you for clarifying what I thought! It's nice to know I'm not crazy. :)

Thank you for the compliments as well! :yes:

Ha ha, not psychic...just recently watched a video of myself with pretty much the same leg issue as you and have been working to fix it with relative success. As I sit here now, I am SO sore from riding my own horse plus extras this weekend, and from taking an extra lesson this week. OMG. But so worth it. I had two awesome rides on my gelding this weekend, and I know it is because my leg is getting better. It's funny how the horses go better when you ride them better, ya know?

Anyway, good luck! Injuries (horse or human) are such a bummer, but you'll get back to 100% in no time.

Mimi La Rue
May. 16, 2010, 10:17 PM
Is the horse you are riding pretty lazy and you need a strong leg to get him going forward? If so, you might be pumping with your feet. A bad habit that can sometimes be picked up on the lazy ones that like to slug along. I have the same habit when my horse is being pokey but once I get him forward and using himself, my legs will quiet down. I wasn't even aware of it until my trainer pointed it out.

blackcat95
May. 17, 2010, 08:57 AM
Is the horse you are riding pretty lazy and you need a strong leg to get him going forward? If so, you might be pumping with your feet. A bad habit that can sometimes be picked up on the lazy ones that like to slug along. I have the same habit when my horse is being pokey but once I get him forward and using himself, my legs will quiet down. I wasn't even aware of it until my trainer pointed it out.

He is at home but not at shows... I was trying to put on as little leg as possible in the video!

Keep1Belle
May. 17, 2010, 02:14 PM
i havent watched the video i'm at work.

But here could be one reason regardless og how in shape you are but, definitely more noticeable if you are out of shape. - have you ever injured your ankle or kneww on your weak side.

I fractured my left ankle pretty bad as teen and as a result that ankle doesnt flex/hold as much weight as the right.

When I am out of shape you can see it more because my leg muscles are also loose so my leg kinda swings like a pendulaum. When i am in top riding shape you can just see that the lower leg position is " a little off" comparedvto the right leg. My left leg will be still, but the positioning is off.

i had a friend I grew up with that fractured both ankles separately and because of that she could no longer ride, at any competitive level, jump, for this very reason.

H/J Anonymous
May. 17, 2010, 02:38 PM
One of the above posters nailed it... you are pinching with your knee. Notice when he gets slightly heavy -- through the turn -- that is when is at its worst. It is on the right side because you are leaning to the right and turning to the right. Theoretically, it would have been more ideal to push him out with the outside rein and a firm feel from the inside whole leg to get him to that outside rein. Hopefully that makes sense....

blackcat95
May. 17, 2010, 04:47 PM
One of the above posters nailed it... you are pinching with your knee. Notice when he gets slightly heavy -- through the turn -- that is when is at its worst. It is on the right side because you are leaning to the right and turning to the right. Theoretically, it would have been more ideal to push him out with the outside rein and a firm feel from the inside whole leg to get him to that outside rein. Hopefully that makes sense....

It does, thanks!