Keeping your lower leg still, it’s a common issue within the equine world but a huge factor for instability within the saddle, falls, and bad performance from horse and rider. After all how can you ask for your best aids if your body is unstable and how can your horse hear and feel clear aids when they are coming from an unbalanced driver.
The first secret to keeping that lower leg still is looking where the weight is in your leg. If your weight in not in your foot, specially the ball of your foot then how are you standing? Yup take that horse away from you and you would need to be standing on your feet so its no different on the horse. Don’t over complicate this, standing is standing.
The reason we say ball of foot is because if its in your heel, your pushing from behind like pushing a child on a swing. You push from behind and the object you are moving goes forward and the top part of the object counterbalance and swings back. You go smush. If you push from the front the opposite happens and you go smush just forward this time. Its imperative we put the weight straight down into that stirrup to not encounter any other forces moving forwards and backwards. Can you feel your lower leg getting stiller already?
Think about how you move from standing, whether this be light seat, jump position, rising trot or just having a good fidget because your bum has gone numb.
If you don’t bend your knee to allow your body to come down smoothly your leg has to shoot forward to allow that movement to happen. Try it right now. Try and sit down on that chair without letting your legs go forward.
It does not work right? Your lower leg had to move. BINGO!!
So this is our 2 quick steps on improving that lower leg stability, improving your riding, balance and hopefully fun.