Your lower leg stance is critical to having excellent horsemanship. Ideally, you want your leg to be as straight as possible and pushed back under your hip. It is not simply a matter of kicking off your shoes and sitting nice. See which three to make your lower leg stronger for riding.
How do I make my lower leg stronger for riding?
Stand in your stirrups
How: While seated in appropriate horsemanship posture, place all of your weight on your heels and rise around 2 inches from your seat. Maintain this stance by contracting your core and thighs rather of gripping your knees, which will ultimately force your legs to bend and inch up. Although it is preferable to begin this exercise with your horse stopped and standing, you may gradually increase the effort by practicing it at a walk, jog, or lope.
Why: This will assist in strengthening and lengthening the muscles required to maintain the ideal horsemanship posture of your leg. Additionally, it will assist you in locating the proper position for your leg in the saddle. If you stand and tumble forward, your leg is too far front, and the saddle will tip forward. If you have your leg too far back, you will fall back into the saddle. If you rise up and maintain a balanced and stable upper body stance, your legs are in the proper position.
Take off your stirrups
How: Once you feel balanced in the saddle and secure in your lower leg posture, remove your stirrups while maintaining the same leg position. Assume that you can still put your weight into the stirrups and press your heels down. Additionally, it is safer to begin this exercise with your horse standing and gradually progress to the walk, jog, and lope.
Why: If you are continually depending on your stirrups to maintain the proper position of your leg, you are not actually pushing yourself to the point where you and your leg muscles are doing all of the effort. The idea is for your leg posture to acquire muscle memory, so that your leg remains firm regardless of how rough or fast the horse moves. Consider removing the training wheels. Stirrups are an excellent assistance to have, but you should be able to maintain the same leg posture without them.
Increase the difficulty: Once you’ve mastered these two drills, combine them for a greater challenge! Take off your stirrups and stand. Determine how long you can maintain this position and perhaps even attempt it while walking or jogging.
Sit in the W position
How: While this exercise is not as popular as the previous two, it is quite beneficial. Bring both feet up to the rear of the saddle while seated on your horse, bringing your heels as close to each other as feasible. You will feel muscles stretch those you were unaware you possessed, but that is a sign that it is working! Maintain this position for as long as comfortable and gradually increase the duration of time each time you perform this exercise.
Why: This exercise is designed to expand your hips and extend your muscles, allowing you to keep your leg beneath your hip. Your hip muscles may become tense, making it difficult to return your leg to its proper position when seated on the saddle. Before you realize it, this stretch will feel pleasant rather than painful as your muscles get further stretched. You could even begin doing it on a regular basis while riding!
Before attempting any of these postures, ensure that your horse is comfortable with you changing positions and sliding your legs over their back.
How to improve your lower leg strength?
Control and strength of your lower leg are critical to riding well. The following workouts will assist riders of all abilities since they will help you improve your leg strength’s symmetry. If one leg is weaker than the other, that leg will often feel tighter on the horse due to the lack of stability.
Hip extension on the ball is the first exercise. This helps you develop strength in your glutes and lower back, as well as your hamstrings. This will enhance your capacity to extend your leg from the hip while maintaining stability in the lower spine.
Squats against the wall are the second exercise. These workouts will strengthen your quadriceps and glutes, which are necessary for leaping and riding cross-country at high speeds.
Third exercise: banded clam This exercise focuses on your outer hip flexibility in order to strengthen and stabilize your pelvis. This can help you maintain better control of your leg, especially while riding shapes and performing lateral exercises in school.