5 Exercises to Improve Lower Leg Position When Riding - Adamson Equestrian (2023)

health of horse and rider,Riding Lessons/Tips

2. August 2019

(Video) How to Get a Stable Lower Leg

I know that for every single rider out there, whether you're a pro or an amateur, there are things you want to improve and get better at. You might work on one thing, and then that one thing can change and become something else as you improve your driving. There have been a lot of “things” for me to work on over the past few years. Confidence has always been one of them and I feel like I'm always working on it. But there's one thing about me when I'm in the saddle that I absolutely hate... Can you guess what it is? ……

  • 5 Exercises to Improve Lower Leg Position When Riding - Adamson Equestrian (1)

My lower leg position has been bothering me a lot lately. I've always felt my muscles tighten in my legs, and in my head I've always used the excuse, "You had your hip replaced... nothing's ever going to be right down there..." Well, the one thing I do One thing I can tell you about blogging/vlogging is that I have to look after myself A LOT. And the only thing that catches my eye in every picture I post to Instagram or Facebook is my toes pointing far out. So much so that I can see my thigh coming off the saddle when I need it to do the opposite. Annoying to look at!! It's even more annoying trying to fix it. Every time I ride Tino I try to think of a thing or a few things to work on in my ride. I get really overwhelmed when I'm trying to fix a lot of things at once, so I've found that if I really focus on one or two things, I get further and feel better when my ride is over. This week I've been working on two things trying to keep my toes and Tino's head in the right position. Tara yelled and yelled at me about the last part of our class and I know she's right. One thing she told me was that I let him get away with whatever he wants to do and that I have to start showing him that he has to put his head into what I'm asking him to do. And that means I have to constantly talk to him about it when I'm driving, which makes it hard for me to focus on other things. Have any of you out there experienced the following scenario: You are riding your horse, having a great time and not thinking about much. Then your trainer says (or your mother in love :) ... or BOTH!), this looks good, but you have to close your hands. Ok, now you have to sit back. Take off your calves. Just sit and gallop. spread your hands lean back. Get your elbows back. Fix his head. Take off your calves. Get him on track. Lean back! And you end up feeling like you're doing a wobbly version of some weird tribal dance because you're trying to do all of those things at the same time! I bet every single rider out there has done this and knows exactly what I'm talking about! So I definitely try to find one thing that I hate about my position or whatever about my riding and I really try to focus on that one thing until I feel like I'm better at it . And right now it's my toe position. So without further ado, here are a few exercises I've done to help with my lower leg position.

5 Exercises to Improve Lower Leg Position When Riding - Adamson Equestrian (2)
(Video) Creating a Strong, Stable, & Effective Lower Leg
  1. Calf Stretches: Not just plain old calf stretches, though. Start with either a stair or a mounting block and stretch your heel down as far as you can. Hold this for 15 seconds. Come out of your stretch, and then align your toes together before bringing your heels back down for another 15 seconds. Repeat as many times as you like.
  2. Basketball Thigh Grip: Grab a small basketball or volleyball and place it between your thighs. Set a stopwatch and try to squeeze the ball between your legs for as long as possible. I up the ante with this one by pointing my toes together as I do it. This makes my muscles work much harder. Challenge yourself to see how long you can last, or set a goal to increase the time as you get stronger.
  3. Seated Pigeon Stretch: Sit with your knees bent (against a wall if you need extra support). Cross one leg over the other. You should feel a stretch going down the length of your leg and into your butt. After being in the stretch for a few seconds, I try to sit up and take a deep breath, and then try to stretch deeper if I can while releasing that breath. I also spoke of doing a similar pigeon route when speaking of having trouble getting on and off. This is similar, but it's a different type of stretch that stretches your lateral rotator muscles so your toes don't stick out when you're in the saddle.
  4. Hip Rotator Stretch: Sit upright in a chair with your feet on the floor. Cross your left leg over your right leg so your ankle sits on your thigh (or in your lap). Take a deep breath and slowly bend forward as you exhale. Again, I relieve some pressure, take another deep breath and try to get deeper into the stretch. You will feel it in your hips.
  5. Hip flexor stretch: Kneel on your right knee (as if you're proposing!). Extend your left leg straight behind you while still kneeling on your right knee. Inhale and slowly lean forward. You will feel the stretch in your hip and leg. Sounds weird, but squeeze your butt together to feel the stretch even more.

So there you have it! I've been doing these stretches for about a week and a half. I've definitely noticed a small difference, but my muscles are so tight that I know it's going to be a while before I feel a big change and the increase in flexibility. When I'm in the saddle I really try to focus on pointing my toes in because I know I'm holding on to Tino with the back of my leg and that's no Bueno! Try them yourself and if you do other stretches to help with this problem please share!

Have fun riding and have a great week!


Adamson Equestrian

Hi! I'm Misty Adamson and I'm the creative mind behind Adamson Equestrian. This blog follows my journey as I try to get back in the saddle after several years of riding and hip replacement. Follow me and my Arabian gelding Tino as we both learn the ins and outs of riding. Be sure to hit the subscribe button for weekly posts and vlog updates, as well as product reviews!

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