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Stop Your Leg From Swinging on Your Horse

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Submitted by member: Ahmed

I have a problem with my lower leg as it swings a lot. I am confused with how I should be squeezing the horse. When I think of squeezing the horse with my thighs and knees I find that I lose the weight in my feet on the stirrups and also my lower leg swings. When I think of squeezing the horse from knee to mid calf, I find that after a few minutes my knee opens and in this position it becomes so tiring to post the trot. Can you please advise me? Thank you in advance!

Answer by Bernie

When I think back on my first mounted riding lesson these words ring loud and clear: “Put your heel down!”

Proper position begins in the foot with a rather deep heel. This elongates the calf, making it more functional and anchors the leg.

The thigh, knee, and calf all play a part with contact in the saddle. What you have been experiencing is the result of too much grip in the areas you describe and not enough weight in your heels. Try keeping an even contact with the saddle in the areas I described, but let some percentage of weight sink down into your heels rather than over gripping with one or two body parts.

This is all described in detail in series, Building Blocks To A Great Position Part 1-5 on

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Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 60 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

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