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Pushing legs forward over fences

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  • Pushing legs forward over fences

    I’ve picked up on a habit of mine in videos and photos of me—apparently I push my lower leg forward (brace on the stirrup?) when jumping fences that are bigger than small verticals—it starts going forward right about when the back hooves leave the ground. Stirrups are proper length, lower leg looks good when flatting, nothing else wrong with my eq over fences. It’s just the opposite of pinching with my knee and my lower leg going too far back.

    Anyone else have this problem? How did you fix it?

  • #2
    I just posted this on the swinging lower leg thread. Practice landing in your heel.

    Comment


    • #3
      Your upper body is likely getting left behind so your legs go forward. It’s a core strength issue and not using that strength to control your hip angle. Without it, you can’t get your weight properly in your heels, a flexed heel does not mean proper weight distribution, often means pushing off the toes which does not stabilize the lower leg despite the low heel position.

      Without video impossible to say for sure but my trainers would pull the stirrups off the saddle and lunge me on the flat at the canter to start, then over tiny jumps, then off the line down a simple gymnastic...over time of course, not a single lesson. If you do your homework it should go pretty fast. Homework means lose the irons. Force yourself. Walk if you have to, takes awhile to build the strength to just let your body follow the motion of the horse and not fight it.

      You might also try closing your eyes a stride out, Probably trying to force your body over instead of just letting the jump fold your hip angle and not moving anything else.It helps most people who overthknk everything.

      Pilates and yoga seem to help isolate the core muscles and don’t require any coaches, equipment or speshul shoes. Do it anywhere, just work it in when you can,
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd say the defensive position is better than losing the leg backwards. Some saddles encourage these odd leg positions.
        I was horrified when I saw my swinging leg movements when I galloped Prelim - simple saddle change fixed it - sort of.
        Shorter stirrups helped.
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          https://imgur.com/a/iicwiG2

          Here's a short video.

          I’m wondering if it’s the saddle. I’ve been reading some Schleese materials about stirrup bar placement, and my upper leg is longer than my lower leg, which it says can lead to riding in a chair seat.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by findeight View Post
            Your upper body is likely getting left behind so your legs go forward. It’s a core strength issue and not using that strength to control your hip angle. Without it, you can’t get your weight properly in your heels, a flexed heel does not mean proper weight distribution, often means pushing off the toes which does not stabilize the lower leg despite the low heel position.

            Without video impossible to say for sure but my trainers would pull the stirrups off the saddle and lunge me on the flat at the canter to start, then over tiny jumps, then off the line down a simple gymnastic...over time of course, not a single lesson. If you do your homework it should go pretty fast. Homework means lose the irons. Force yourself. Walk if you have to, takes awhile to build the strength to just let your body follow the motion of the horse and not fight it.

            You might also try closing your eyes a stride out, Probably trying to force your body over instead of just letting the jump fold your hip angle and not moving anything else.It helps most people who overthknk everything.

            Pilates and yoga seem to help isolate the core muscles and don’t require any coaches, equipment or speshul shoes. Do it anywhere, just work it in when you can,
            Posted video above!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by wannabedvm View Post

              Posted video above!
              Looks like you’re bracing against the horse as it gets a little strong to the fence and carrying that over the jump. I don’t see you getting left behind in the traditional sense, instead looks like you’re sitting up a bit early over the fence. I see your back flex/hollow over the fence as well.

              Building your core strength, working without stirrups, and working on staying with the horse through the backside of the jump will help.

              Comment


              • #8
                He’s taking you water skiing. Your seat isn’t strong enough to sit into him, that’s a core strength issue.

                Im not enchanted with your stirrup length and your position is sort of dressage like...and I believe everybody.s longer in the thigh bone then the shin bone. What brand of saddle is this?

                Oh, you are visibly throwing your leg out as you take off, shouldnt be seeing that effort...but, then again, he’s dragging you out of the saddle so it’s possibly a reaction to his action..

                Thafs fixable. Not hopeless. Starts with sitting down and staying there, whatever that involves. Saddle may not be helping you. Lack of core strength definitely isnt helping and is the easiest to fix.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by findeight View Post
                  He’s taking you water skiing. Your seat isn’t strong enough to sit into him, that’s a core strength issue.

                  Im not enchanted with your stirrup length and your position is sort of dressage like...and I believe everybody.s longer in the thigh bone then the shin bone. What brand of saddle is this?

                  Oh, you are visibly throwing your leg out as you take off, shouldnt be seeing that effort...but, then again, he’s dragging you out of the saddle so it’s possibly a reaction to his action..

                  Thafs fixable. Not hopeless. Starts with sitting down and staying there, whatever that involves. Saddle may not be helping you. Lack of core strength definitely isnt helping and is the easiest to fix.
                  I've been riding dressage the last several years and just getting back into jumping since the summer haha. This is the leg measurement information I'm talking about--the difference in mine is greater than 3 cm. The saddle is an Antares--not mine.

                  What should my core be doing that it's not? It doesn't feel like he is dragging me out of the saddle or pulling me. Obviously he is strong, but he's not pulling on me in the sense that I'm hauling on him or he feels like he's unbalancing me. Once we get a stride or two out, I'm just maintaining contact and letting him take over--that's what makes him happiest.
                  Facebook Twitter Email Print I often find that many people are much more concerned about how their saddle fits their horse (which of course they should be) than how the saddle actually works for them. Beyond ‘feeling comfortable’ not much attention is usually paid to the other anatomical requirements of the rider when the saddle …

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It looks like you’re worried about your horse taking off after the jump. Even if you aren’t pulling on his mouth, you’re definitely taking the back seat and bracing against being pulled forward. It may not be a problem on this horse because he jumps with his head up, but if you’re ever on something with a rounder bascule you’re not going to be able to provide an adequate release without slipping your reins.

                    I think it’s going to be hard to fix your leg while your horse is taking you to the jump so strongly. I’d start with some trot fences and ground poles until he can handle those on a looser rein without running off.

                    I think you could also also use a shorter stirrup and perhaps a more forward flap on your saddle to accommodate that. Hope this helps some.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by jonem004 View Post
                      It looks like you’re worried about your horse taking off after the jump. Even if you aren’t pulling on his mouth, you’re definitely taking the back seat and bracing against being pulled forward. It may not be a problem on this horse because he jumps with his head up, but if you’re ever on something with a rounder bascule you’re not going to be able to provide an adequate release without slipping your reins.

                      I think it’s going to be hard to fix your leg while your horse is taking you to the jump so strongly. I’d start with some trot fences and ground poles until he can handle those on a looser rein without running off.

                      I think you could also also use a shorter stirrup and perhaps a more forward flap on your saddle to accommodate that. Hope this helps some.
                      I’m actually not worried about him taking off, and he doesn’t stop, so I’m not worried about that either. I know I’m taking a defensive seat, I just don’t know how I got into the habit or how to fix it. It’s not even just on him—I have photos from several years ago (when I last jumped) and did the same then on a variety of horses. It’s just something I do, and I don’t know why. I’ve never ridden horses that take off after the jump.

                      This is just how this horse goes—he’s 19, so we aren’t going to change how he rides. His owner is very adamant about that—he gets anxious easily and this is just him. Any suggestions for what I can do understanding that he’s just going to be strong to fences? I can definitely try the shorter stirrup.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wannabedvm View Post

                        I’m actually not worried about him taking off, and he doesn’t stop, so I’m not worried about that either. I know I’m taking a defensive seat, I just don’t know how I got into the habit or how to fix it. It’s not even just on him—I have photos from several years ago (when I last jumped) and did the same then on a variety of horses. It’s just something I do, and I don’t know why. I’ve never ridden horses that take off after the jump.

                        This is just how this horse goes—he’s 19, so we aren’t going to change how he rides. His owner is very adamant about that—he gets anxious easily and this is just him. Any suggestions for what I can do understanding that he’s just going to be strong to fences? I can definitely try the shorter stirrup.
                        Take your stirrups off of the saddle for a few rides. Jumping without them will certainly help you tighten up.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by jonem004 View Post

                          Take your stirrups off of the saddle for a few rides. Jumping without them will certainly help you tighten up.
                          Will do—thanks!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wannabedvm View Post

                            Will do—thanks!
                            Post a video of that if you have a chance. I think it’ll really help, but I’d love to see how it goes!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by jonem004 View Post

                              Post a video of that if you have a chance. I think it’ll really help, but I’d love to see how it goes!
                              I will! Right now I’m only riding once a week, so it might be a while before I can get it (going to try to lesson on a different horse to do it, too) but I’ll try to remember!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                All comments very interesting. From your video, I would just add the following. As you’re going over a fence squeeze (maybe too strong a word, maybe just “attach”) your calves while pushing your heels down and letting your butt go out the back door. You may need to grab some mane as you first start doing this, but once you get your balance, you’ll be able to just give a bit with your hands as needed. Hope this makes sense. Try also watching the greats on cross country, Mary King et al, to see this in action. These are my tricks. I feel most balanced and safe when my calves are connected and and my weight is truly in my heels. At my age, I’m not a fan of no stirrups work. However, it does work.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OP, when you put your heels down, do you think to push down into your heel or to pull your toes up? It looks like you're bracing hard on your foot, which I find people do when they've been taught to push push push those heels down. Try to think to let your weight sink into your heel, but to create that angle in your ankle by pulling your toes up toward your shin. It engages your calf muscles while giving you a softness in the ankle joint that better absorbs shock.
                                  https://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Just curious, what happens when you trot fences?


                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                                      OP, when you put your heels down, do you think to push down into your heel or to pull your toes up? It looks like you're bracing hard on your foot, which I find people do when they've been taught to push push push those heels down. Try to think to let your weight sink into your heel, but to create that angle in your ankle by pulling your toes up toward your shin. It engages your calf muscles while giving you a softness in the ankle joint that better absorbs shock.
                                      I guess I think about letting my weight sink down the back of my calf and out the very back of my heel—don’t really think much about pushing the heel down or pulling the toe up, I just let me weight exit through the heel. I do definitely have a tendency to brace hard on my feet.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by TheBrownHorse View Post
                                        Just curious, what happens when you trot fences?

                                        Very very short video or a tiny trot fence is all I have. I’ll post another longer vid I found in just a sec.

                                        https://imgur.com/a/wf3aI7T

                                        Comment

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