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Indestructible

Keeping A Steady Leg

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So, I discovered today after paying attention to my leg more that it will not stay still when I post the trot, but it stays solid on my horse in the canter and mostly solid at the sitting trot. I have tried to grip his barrel with my calf and put my weight in my heels, it helps but it still moves. Any tips on what I can do to keep it in one place? I can probably try and get video to show you guys what it does if needed.

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Well you can always try and hold a dollar bill between your calf and the saddle lol.

When you are holding your half seat does it move? I find that posting 1 time and sitting 2 really helps with my balance, core and legs. Also switch it up and post two time and sit 1 times. Really hard to do!

Its most likly because you are gripping with your knee. Try sinking down into the saddle and use your inner thigh and let your knee hang loose but your calf stay tight. I don't know quite how to explain that lol.

video would be awesome!

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I find that posting 1 time and sitting 2 really helps with my balance, core and legs. Also switch it up and post two time and sit 1 times. Really hard to do!

This is a super good one for increasing leg stability. Totally agree, it's a tough one though!

I try and think of keeping my leg wrapped around my horse. Instead of pushing all of my weight into my heel, I think of putting more weight on the outside of my foot which essentially engages your lower leg muscles and thus pushes your lower leg against your horse.

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Remember to open your hip flexors too.

And, as a rider with a wiggly foot/leg problem on ONE horse, I just blame it on Riley, lol! My legs are too long and his barrel is too narrow that I really have nothing to grip. When a rider from the Spanish Riding School rode him, and his legs moved just like mine (well, a it less, but still) I was able to tell my trainer "See!? Rest my case. He's just bouncy for long legged riders."

So now I just work on keeping my bouncy legs OFF his sides when I don't need them.

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To help me keep a steady leg, I sometimes think about pushing my ankle closer in to the horse. It's kind of hard for me to explain. But if I just think about keeping my ankle still, the rest of my leg usually follows suit.

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If you're going to do no stirrup work, it has to be correct. When riding without stirrups, some people begin to pinch with their knee which drives their lower leg back. This will cause MORE problems in your future in keeping a steady leg. Sitting the trot without stirrups sometimes really helps though, because it doesn't have the excessive motion of posting.

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I lengthened my stirrups a hole for my lesson today, that helped some but it was still moving. I think I get what your saying about the ankle, I'll try it tomorrow and see. About no stirrup work, with Indy and his trot its not easy for me to do it the right way, so I'd rather go about other methods of it if I can help it, I do need to get a hold of a bare back pad cause that made it soo much better and I could do it much more efficiently.

I'll get a video up in a sec and see if that helps you guys see whats going on.

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I'd shorten my stirrups two or three holes, not lengthen them. That way you can really drop your weight into your heel. You're more prone to move your leg the longer your stirrup gets.

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I'd shorten my stirrups two or three holes, not lengthen them. That way you can really drop your weight into your heel. You're more prone to move your leg the longer your stirrup gets.

hmm true, though i had them almost at jumper length, and just put them at the hole in between jumper length and dressage/flat length. infact, im riding tomorrow, i'll take a picture of my stirrup lengths lol, like i have anything better to accomplish :P

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I'd almost say you want them a little longer just until you get the feel for what having your leg really "wrapped around" your horse is like, then you can take them up a hole and experience the same thing. BUT I'm very backwards in the way I do things!

You may be having trouble with them shorter because you CAN'T stretch your heel, IDK how "flexible" you are in that aspect haha

I know that when I first started riding with my now trainer, I lacked a lot of flexibility in my ankle and so when my stirrups were up for jumping, my heel "couldn't" go down and the result was not only a weaker leg, but one that was funny looking too, hehe

So I started schooling with my stirrups a little longer on the flat, not dressage length by any means, but just....longer (not TOO long so that I was reaching). Because for ME, I HAD to stretch my heel down in order to use my leg effectively at that point. I still ride with my stirrups a little long on the flat, for comfort purposes....but my leg does not move at all now.

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You may be having trouble with them shorter because you CAN'T stretch your heel, IDK how "flexible" you are in that aspect haha

I'm gonna have to agree with this. I find a lot of times if people are already struggling a bit with that lower leg, a shorter stirrup can just cause them to "brace" against it unintentionally causing other issues.

I think it's just a matter of figuring out a way that works for you to keep that leg on and quiet and building up muscle strength to maintain it.

I used to have a HORRIBLY swinging leg at the canter and I got so frustrated because there just didn't seem to be anything that I could possibly do to make it stop. I tried all kinds of stuff and then I finally rode in a friend's saddle and voila, much better! Moral of the story, it's not always "our" fault necessarily, equipment can cause issues if it's not quite right for us.

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