Improve your Leg Position

In a recent lesson, I was focused on bringing attention to my students leg postion or lack thereof. I video taped the ride so that we could discuss what was going on and this was her response; “You really do keep a good humor, no matter how painful the picture! I read a few parts of the book and looked at parts of my video. I definitely can see the gripping in the trot – it looks like my knees become a sort of pivot point – the knees don’t move, but everything else does! I understand about not gripping, but when the horse takes that first stride, my legs get a life of their own and grab on! The book had an interesting bit about becoming aware of the trot as a side-to-side movement, not just an up-and-down movement – that is, each side of your pelvis has to rise and drop independently as the horse’s body tips slightly side to side, and if you just think of it as up-and-down, you end up bracing against it and bouncing. I’ll pay attention to that next time I ride, and see if it makes sense. Her discussion of using the stomach muscles to pull the pelvis up was interesting, too, because she points out that the other thing those same muscles can do is pull the chest down and upper body forward, which you have to deliberately counter by lifting the chin and chest (sitting tall, as she says). Makes sense”.

I recommend a wonderful book called Anatomy of Dressage
by Heinrich and Volker Schusdziarra. This book will help you feel your body and determine where the tension is. Riding is a lifelong adventure, exciting and frustrating at times. Keep on learning and experimenting and you will find the moment of harmony that is the utmost reward.