Canter...

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Aston87

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Dec 18, 2001
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I've been riding 4 a while now, but i've gotton into the habbit (@ least i think) Of gripping w/ my legs when i canter but i mean when i don't ride with caps i tend 2 have a harder time w/ doing that? So i'm wondering when u canter are u sopossed 2 have a lose leg or a ''grip''? thx:)!
ps. Also when i grip i have a problem keeping my heels down but not when i have a lose leg???
 

Paul C

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Oct 17, 2001
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I thought you were always supposed to keep your leg light (just in contact with the horse, but not flapping around) unless you're asking for more - one or more brief squeezes with the lower leg - or asking for less - one large squeeze with the thighs/buttocks. All this in conjunction with seat & rein aids.) If you're gripping you're confusing the poor horse and compromising your balance.

If you can keep you heel down with a loose leg then you're doing pretty well!

Oh - that doesn't mean that's how I ride; just how I've read it and how I'd like to if I was good enough:rolleyes:

Paul
 

Dizzy

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Jan 11, 2001
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I find that chaps give you what I call stickability, especially the suede type. I would think that when you're not wearing them your lower leg has more movement and to counteract this you are gripping, which causes your heels to raise and you lose your balance.

Your whole body should be relaxed but supported when you're riding. Meaning that to keep certain musles relaxed and giving they must be supported by other muscles in your body ie to have a relaxed, responsive seat and lower back, your lower tummy muscles must be working to support your seat and back. You need your legs to be relaxed, but with your weight falling through them, so that when you give a leg aid the horse feels the aid, with tense gripping legs the horse can't read the aid.

Try this, poke your finger into your thigh, then poke harder, though you can distinguish the harder poke its not clear and uncomfortable. Now try resting your finger on your thigh, then nudging. This is clear and comfortable. Thats how your legs should feel to the horse.

I would lose the chaps for a while and work on your balance, so your legs feel secure and you no longer feel the need to grip. When you feel happy that your balanced and you've lost the tendancy to grip put your chaps back on.

Lesley
 

Anja

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Oct 7, 2001
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I wear chaps when I ride and if I canter I find I stick to him more when i dont wear chaps I find I just go everywhere
 

JumperGirl

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Apr 7, 2001
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hi, how long have you been riding?
im just thinking that if youre kinda a beginner (which it doesnt sound like you are!) you may not want to get chaps right away, because if you depend on them to keep you in the saddle, if you go to show you may bounce around even more.

The way i learned not to grip was practicing a whole lot, and just trying to reach my legs down, and tense up.

good luck, i hope i dont sound rude!!
 

Aston87

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Dec 18, 2001
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Thanks guys:) I went 2 the barn today & i fixed it (It has only been hapening resently) I had 2 take down my stirrups by one cause they were 2 short & it wasn't working, but now it is:)! I've been riding for about 5 or 6 years lol:) Yeah i go 2 shows & i use Jophers & i didn't have the problem & my legs didn't move @ all then, it's just resently? Weird huh:)? Well anyway thanks guys!
 
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