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Leg and Posture Issues

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  • Leg and Posture Issues

    Ever since I got my greenie, my equitation has been...horrendous, basically. The main issues have been that my leg is really odd (it's fine without stirrups, but when I take my stirrups back it's almost as if they throw me off), and I'm having trouble using my lower back properly. I've been doing a lot of no stirrups and two-point for a while now, but there hasn't been much progress; even with someone spotting me almost every time.

    So, while I know this is a really beginner-ish question, how on earth do I get my pretty, effective eq. back?

  • #2
    Maybe you could explain more what you mean by 'odd' and using your lower back properly? That'll help folks give you some tips.

    Since this issue has developed with a new horse, I'm wondering if your saddle fits this horse differently and has changed your balance. With some horses, I feel like I am in the back seat. Also, I often have to adjust my stirrup length for each horse, depending on their shape. Fixing your leg issue might be as simple as adjusting your stirrups?
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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    • #3
      I agree that more details might make it easier to understand what the issue is.

      Anyway, are you in pain anywhere while you ride? There are lot of things that can cause discomfort, like boots that hurt, an uncomfortable saddle, chafing, having sore stiff muscles, back pain, arthritis, etc..... Some riders may be very good at tolerating pain or discomfort to the point that they can ride while remaining oblivious to it. But the subconscious mind will still be aware of it, and a rider can subconsciously guard their bodies by compensating in any number of way. This can be a source of "hard to figure out the reason for" issues for some riders. So when ever you have an issue you can't figure out, ask yourself if anything hurts.

      For example if your saddle is uncomfortable, when you pick up your stirrups you may subconsciously try to lighten your seat continuously, and that may prevent you from relaxing you lower leg.

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      • #4
        Sometimes working without your sturrips will teach you to pinch with your knee and thigh. That stops your weight from dropping into your heel and your lower leg from wrapping around your horse.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you everyone!

          Sorry, I should have been more clear. By odd, I meant that it's fine without stirrups, heels are down, I have a good amount of grip/pressure in my calf, and the only real problem I can spot in the videos is that sometimes I'll have a hollowed back and my hands are low (both part of the bad posture issue I'm having). However, when I pick up my stirrups, it's like my leg's not... working right, I guess? I don't really know how to explain it, it's basically just not being as effective or strong as it is without stirrups.

          My lower back is sort of an issue of my pelvis be positioned incorrectly in the saddle (every saddle, every horse, ever since I began riding hunt seat). The way it's currently positioned, I'm not on my "seat bones" enough, so my back is too hollowed out to function properly.

          To answer the other questions:

          -I don't believe I feel any pain when I'm riding, aside from sore muscles after no stirrups, of course. I'll try to pay more attention next ride and see if there's anything that I might not have noticed.

          -My stirrups are right at my ankle bone, so I don't think that's it.

          -I actually am already trying to save up for a new saddle; my current one (A B.T. Crump Tomboy) has really big knee blocks and a super deep seat as far as close contact saddles go, which was great when I was learning how to jump and needed the security, but now it feels as if it's doing more harm than good.
          Last edited by JukeboxHero; Mar. 26, 2012, 09:24 AM. Reason: Left some things out.

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          • #6
            First guess is your saddle isn't balanced properly for your new horse. Might be as simple as a riser pad, or may need a new one altogether. Pics/vid would help...

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            • #7
              I had a similar issue with my new horse and the saddle we were using. While on the hunt for a saddle that fit both of us perfectly, I rode in a saddle that fit him alright but didn't fit me at all. The flaps were too long, the seat was too big, and this, coupled with learning to ride a big horse, left me basically relearning how to trot correctly as my legs swung back, I fell forward, heels went up- basically had a bunch of issues that had never come up before. There was little to be done. The saddle just made it very, very difficult to ride effectively and be pretty at the same time. Two rides with a new saddle and my coach was practically suggesting I start doing some local medals- it was crazy the difference it made. I would definitely check how YOU fit the saddle, as well as the horse.

              Edited to add: a back riser bad and stirrups shortened a hole proved to be helpful as it forced me to be more conscious of my legs and heels. Also guilty of using lots and lots of Stick 'Em- which went with the saddle to its new home.

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