How To Create Stable And Quiet Legs For Dressage
In this article I share how you can create stable quiet legs for dressage and why it is important to try and achieve.
The ability to create stable and quiet legs for dressage will vary between riders depending on their current strength and mobility. What muscles are required to work and relax will change from person to person. The key is to analyze yourself and work on your body so that you are becoming much more stable and efficient as a rider. In order to create stable and quiet legs it important to first know where your body parts are supposed to be and what they need to do.
Upper Leg Position
First, take a look at your knees and check that they don’t come on and off the saddle during a walk, trot (rising or sitting) and canter. This doesn’t mean that you are gripping to keep your knees into the saddle. It means that you have the mobility through your hips to allow the upper and lower leg to maintain consistent contact with the saddle. As soon as you take a seat in the saddle our legs want to naturally externally rotate, we need to then internally rotate the upper thigh to allow the leg to drop underneath us correctly.
Where do your toes point?
If your toes are pointing outwards it means you are losing that consistent contact with your upper leg and you are externally rotating. This then means you are losing connection with your horse and will then cause your lower leg to creep up and you begin to grip with the calves and nag the horses side.
Are your stirrups too long causing you to tippy toe in your stirrups? Often when this happens it can be due to ankle range of motion or lack of strength and stability through the legs and hips not allowing the rider to lengthen their upper leg. Again compromising that quiet leg position and causing the rider to nag the horses side.
One of the best ways to see what is going on in your body is to ride with a mirror or better yet pop your smartphone on a tripod and collect a few minutes of yourself riding. One of the best instructors you can get is a video camera, so take a look at what is going on in your body and if you aren’t sure this is where getting someone on the ground to help is the key.
Then you want to work on those areas that are a problem for you on the horse off the horse. Take care of your mobility through your hips and ankles, work on that neutral spine and strengthen up your weak muscles to rebalance any imbalances.
Check out my post I have done here on 6 exercises you can do to improve hip mobility
Then check out our dressage rider training program inside the online gym. Workouts for all fitness levels, yoga and mobility to help you rebalance and improve your leg position and nutrition and mindset advice to help you become the best rider you can be.
Learn more about this dressage rider training program here