View Full Version : HELP........bad leg habit.
28th Feb 2002, 03:51 PM
I have always had a bad habit of gripping up with my legs. When I do that I cannot stretch my legs long like I should and that makes giving legs aids very hard. Not only are my legs pulled up to high but they are too tense to be of much use. Has anyone had this problem? Or does anyone have any advice for on horseback or on the ground? I tend to always have my legs pulled up towards my body more(ie sitting on my feet, curling my legs up) when I am sitting down watching tv and all so I'm going to try to stop doing that but I don't know if that will help. I would like to be able to ride horses that need more encouragement as well as ones that need to be held in a bit.
28th Feb 2002, 04:59 PM
working without stirrups should help, in that if you keep gripping up you'll fall off! plenty of walk, and short trots - if you trot or too long, you won't be able to keep your leg long. also try riding standing up in your stirrups - this helps to develop your balance so you don't need to grip with your legs. when you don't have your stirrups, try (i know it's hard) to keep your legs relaxed, and to go with the horse using your seat rather than by hanging on with your legs. as you ride round, think about which muscles are moving in your lower stomach and hips as the horse moves, and then actively move these muscles when you trot without stirrups.
1st Mar 2002, 11:40 PM
Thanks for your advice. There seems like there are so many things that I want to work on with my riding but I figured I'll work hard on one thing at a time so as not to confuse myself and the horse.
2nd Mar 2002, 08:50 AM
there are always a hundred things that you feel you need to work on! i know the feeling well. however, it's often the case that all position faults stem from one basic problem, and gripping up is quite a common basic problem, because it weakens your seat. once the basic problem is sorted out, you'll find a lot of other things fall into place.
someone who wants to be the best rider they can will always feel that they're still learning, they'll just get pickier as they get better! it's a good sign that you're aware of your faults, because until you know what they are, you can't correct them.
9th Mar 2002, 12:25 AM
Lots of work without stirrups, concentrate on keeping your legs long and flexible. Also, walk/trot/canter around in two-point, and make sure all your weight is in your heels, this will stretch them out and develop muscle. Also, I just want to make it clear that it's ok to grip with your calves (this makes for leg contact) but it is an absolute no-no to grip with your knees. Try and make sure that you can see a sliver of daylight between your knees and the saddle flap. Good luck! :D
9th Mar 2002, 09:38 AM
where was the pic taken?
10th Mar 2002, 08:56 PM
the problem with gripping with your calves is that a lot of horses will take it as a signal to go faster - mine certainly would! it also tends to make people raise their heels. an analogy that my instructor at college used was to think of youe lower legs as wet towels resting on your horse - not gripping, but solidly there. i think the analogy is clearer than my explanation!
13th Mar 2002, 06:58 PM
try riding on the lunge without stirrups to lenghten your legs and help develop a more classical seat.Try concentrating relaxing your leg muscles when riding and when you feel you legs gripping up remove your stirrups and start again.Bareback riding would also probably help!
be postive is the most important though!!!!!;)
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