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JumpTheFence
Mar. 9, 2012, 10:05 AM
Anybody have any good exercises or tricks that they know of that will help your leg stay underneath your hip? I have tried everything on my own and I just CANNOT figure out how to get them in the right place and stay there!

Willing to try anything!

Thank you :)

silanac
Mar. 9, 2012, 10:15 AM
well, i am sure most people would not recommend this tactic, but my trainer in highschool and coaches in college would tie our stirrups with twine to the girth. maybe have 4 inches or so of give between the stirrup and girth. ride like that for a week and eventually your muscles will build and youll gain the muscle memory for your lower leg to stay in place. it worked, but is risky.

JumpTheFence
Mar. 9, 2012, 10:17 AM
well, i am sure most people would not recommend this tactic, but my trainer in highschool and coaches in college would tie our stirrups with twine to the girth. maybe have 4 inches or so of give between the stirrup and girth. ride like that for a week and eventually your muscles will build and youll gain the muscle memory for your lower leg to stay in place. it worked, but is risky.

I saw another trainer do that to his student once! I was actually thinking about trying it, but I figured I'd ask on here first :). I can ride on the flat with my legs in place just fine, but when I jump, I feel like I get ahead and my leg slips back about 2 inches. It's so aggravating :no:

Crazy4aOTTB
Mar. 9, 2012, 10:18 AM
No stirrup Work!!! and an exercise that really helps for me although I despise it is put your stirrup up really high "jockey style and post & 2-point. it is really tough on your legs, more so that no stirrup work. Also I always warm up by just standing and balancing in my stirrups w/t/c

JumpTheFence
Mar. 9, 2012, 10:22 AM
No stirrup Work!!! and an exercise that really helps for me although I despise it is put your stirrup up really high "jockey style and post & 2-point. it is really tough on your legs, more so that no stirrup work. Also I always warm up by just standing and balancing in my stirrups w/t/c

No way! I actually shortened my stirrups (not that short, haha!) about a month ago, thinking it would make me use my legs more. It helped strengthen them, but it didn't keep them up by the girth around the course... Typical me :l I feel like no stirrups is a mandatory work out, but I feel like I need exercises to work the correct muscles? I hope I'm making sense :l

hollyhorse2000
Mar. 9, 2012, 10:32 AM
If you're legs are fine on the flat but not over jumps, then it's your jumping position that is the problem. I'd guess you're jumping ahead. All this means is that you need to address your jumping position overall, not just your legs.

one other thought is saddle -- if the saddle is not balanced for you then you might be able to compensate OK on the flat, but not over jumps. You might try a few things:

really working at letting the horse throw you up rather than jumping for the horse. Do this over small gymnastics. tape it if that helps

start jumping poles or Xs without stirrups and watch what your body does (much harder to jump ahead) vs what it does with stirrups

try jumping in different saddles

JohnGalt
Mar. 9, 2012, 10:49 AM
Are you having problems on the flat, OF or both? Do your legs swing or are they in the wrong place but steady? I've seen people tie their irons and it obviously works as long as they are tied but they often revert to their old habit as soon as you untie them so I generally don't do that however, I have seen cases where riders have re-trained their legs that way. It's also worth noting that most of the time, improper leg position is the result of improper seat/upper body position since the leg position is related to seat and upper body position so the first thing to do is to make sure the rest of your body is positioned correctly. For example, if you're too far back in the saddle or if your upper body is behind vertical, your leg will probably be somewhere in front of the girth. Likewise, if you're too far ahead of vertical, your legs are probably somewhere behind you. Your body is somewhat see-saw like in that regard.

If the rest of you is in the proper place, make sure your leg is positioned correctly; that is, knee not pinching, toe slightly (emphasis on slightly) out, leg on side of horse at the girth. Now remove your feet from the irons and sit the trot. Once you have that under control, post your trot (remembering to close your hip angle slightly) and see how that works. Proceed with other gates. Be sure you stop before you fatigue too much because you'll fall apart when you get tired.

To reiterate, most of the time, it has to do with what the rest of your body is doing.

Hope this helps.

JumpTheFence
Mar. 9, 2012, 11:05 AM
Are you having problems on the flat, OF or both? Do your legs swing or are they in the wrong place but steady? I've seen people tie their irons and it obviously works as long as they are tied but they often revert to their old habit as soon as you untie them so I generally don't do that however, I have seen cases where riders have re-trained their legs that way. It's also worth noting that most of the time, improper leg position is the result of improper seat/upper body position since the leg position is related to seat and upper body position so the first thing to do is to make sure the rest of your body is positioned correctly. For example, if you're too far back in the saddle or if your upper body is behind vertical, your leg will probably be somewhere in front of the girth. Likewise, if you're too far ahead of vertical, your legs are probably somewhere behind you. Your body is somewhat see-saw like in that regard.

If the rest of you is in the proper place, make sure your leg is positioned correctly; that is, knee not pinching, toe slightly (emphasis on slightly) out, leg on side of horse at the girth. Now remove your feet from the irons and sit the trot. Once you have that under control, post your trot (remembering to close your hip angle slightly) and see how that works. Proceed with other gates. Be sure you stop before you fatigue too much because you'll fall apart when you get tired.

To reiterate, most of the time, it has to do with what the rest of your body is doing.

Hope this helps.

This completely makes sense! But I'm having problems OF. I actually think my upper body might be.. In front of the vertical? Watching my videos, it looks like my lower leg slips back and it causes my upper body to slant forward. My leg slips back, but it is steady. I'm always watching youtube videos of successful riders in the big eq classes like at the Maclays and medal finals, since I'm a super visual person. I'll actually try the tying thing to see if it works for me, if not, I'll totally try your exercise!

Thank you all for the great tips :)

PS: I'll also try riding in some different saddles to see if that could be part of the problem :)

KateKat
Mar. 9, 2012, 11:29 AM
It might be that instead of bending at the hip to release, you're just standing in the stirrup.

Saddle could also definitely be an issue.

It would be brave of you, but are you willing to post your videos? ;)

JumpTheFence
Mar. 9, 2012, 02:15 PM
It might be that instead of bending at the hip to release, you're just standing in the stirrup.

Saddle could also definitely be an issue.

It would be brave of you, but are you willing to post your videos? ;)

I'll see if i can find some! :D

BeanCounterPony
Mar. 9, 2012, 04:00 PM
2-point, 2 point, 2 point. On the flat, over poles, over small X rails. At the walk/trot/canter.

Dont tie your legs to the girth. I mean you can. I just wouldnt. I think 2-point is a much better use of your time. 2-point on the flat and over fences will help you fix a lot of the problems you describe.

Also, no stirrup work.

Did you read the previous post where we talked about the forward far or whatever its called? Where you stand in your irons, stick your hips out and ride around like that for awhile. It looks stupid but its a good tool for your toolbox. Its very hard to ride like that without your leg in the correct position. I took a few months off and my legs are jello. I do this position to stretch out my hips and get my leg in the correct position; I let my horse walk around the ring for a minute or two like this then I slowly lower my body into 2-point without moving my leg an inch. Then I ride around the ring at whatever gait doing whatever even over fencse. I re-check my position every now and then by resuming this position and then going back to 2-point.

ParadoxFarm
Mar. 9, 2012, 04:22 PM
BeanCounterPony, I cannot picture this. Stand up and "stick your hips out". Can you give a little more detail? Sounds like two-point, but I'm sure you mean something else. Thanks!

JumpTheFence
Mar. 9, 2012, 05:44 PM
Beancounter, I agree with Paradox, can you go a little more in detail? It sounds like a great exercise, but I don't fully understand :)

Also, I rode with my stirrups tied to the girth today and I could feel myself using muscles that I've never used before.. It felt so much better! I'll try that for a while, along with some of the suggested exercises to see if I get a better result :)

Bogie
Mar. 9, 2012, 06:11 PM
Try riding in different saddles and see if you have the same problem. A saddle that isn't balanced properly for you will do that. A saddle that doesn't fit the horse properly will also throw you off balance.

A saddle that fits you and the horse properly will put you in the right position without so much effort.

veebug22
Mar. 14, 2012, 11:00 PM
While I don't think riding with stirrups to the girth is the best way to build muscle -- you will actually feel way loose when you undo the ties, because essentially they are providing you with support -- it is a good way to teach you what it feels like to keep your legs in place. It helps you to figure out how to balance your upper body when your legs are in the right position too. Keep in mind that when you make a change to your legs, all of the skills you've developed above have to make modifications in order to deal with the balance change, and vice versa. Agree with checking your upper body and doing lots of 2 point and without stirrups work. Focus on getting that heel down. Frankly, you may just need someone to tell you throughout several rides when your heel and hip aren't aligned and when they are.