Finding Flow In Your Riding Image

A stable lower leg position is what all riders strive for.

We know that having a “good” lower leg will make us more effective and clear in our cues to the horse and help us to feel secure in the saddle.

“Keep your leg still” is certainly common advice in riding lessons, but how do you achieve a stable leg?

Most people attempt to stabilize their leg by holding it still, gripping against the horse or bracing into the stirrups. But this actually makes the problem worse, because a stable lower leg isn’t about having no movement, it’s about having the right movement…

I’ll explain and demonstrate in today’s video. Click here to learn how to improve your lower leg position.

Links to Videos Referenced:

How to Stop Gripping

Riding “On Your Thigh”

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Better riding in 7 days (FREE Mini Course)

Daily exercises for an immovable seat, steady hands, and a happier horse

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Comments

61 Responses

  1. This is my biggest problem, it almost looks like I’m kicking the horse constantly, but I’m not. And my right side is worse than my left.

    1. Keke, I replied to your other comment! The links are posted underneath the video.

      – Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  2. Thank you, this had helped to answer some of my questions about “where exactly” you post from!! I didn’t know if gripping from the knees or even if there was any serious foot pressure in the stirrup. I will see how I do tomorrow when I ride. Very informative.

  3. None of us can find the links to the exercises.
    Do you have a paid membership and are they only available to those people?

    1. Hi Keke, they are actually free videos from the blog here! We have shared the links to the exercise videos are now underneath the video!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  4. Great teaching video and so easily explained. Also having difficulty finding the links to further exercises.

    1. Hi Anne, links to the exercise videos are now underneath the video! Glad to hear you enjoy the videos 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  5. I am so confused! My riding instructor has me keeping my legs- lower legs- gripped on the horse in order to make him/her (school horse) keep going at a trot. She also continually tells me to lower my heels, keep my weight in my heels. It all feels very awkward and is very tiring. I can feel my legs start to swing out like you described and demonstrated, then the horse stops. I have been thinking that all of this is just because I am so new at riding.

  6. I tried this out this weekend and it was almost magical! My lower leg stayed still. It sort of fell apart when I rode a circle and asked for bend, but I know I will get it with more practice. I am just amazed at the difference it made immediately. Thank you so much!

  7. Hi Guys
    I have published the full schedule of events for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon starting next week.
    I have also included a few links where you can get all the TV times in the UK and USA, as well as a few websites that will be streaming most of the events.
    So it’s pretty much all you’ll need to keep up with the action. I hope that helps ease some of the FOMO
    Here is the link, it’s yours to use as you please
    http://clear-round.com/index.php/2018/08/25/weg-tryon-2018-schedule/
    Cheers
    Dave

  8. Great video. I used to try to push my heel down, memories of being taught this years ago, and I often had tension in my legs when I started back again. THE biggest factor in changing all that was Wendy Murdoch’s famous “knees forward and down” or the idea of kneeling in your saddle. This made one huge difference to my lower leg position and stability, my leg came more under my shoulders, ie further back and I haven’t lost my stirrup in a long time!!

    1. Yes! Wendy’s visual of knees forward and down in invaluable for finding that stable lower leg position 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  9. I am very new to riding and just only started to learn to lope (western rider here!) I have found that my feet start to bounce right out of the stir up so I wonder if it has to do with how tight I am gripping. Will test that out on my next ride.

    I saw the comment about needing to keep legs gripped to keep the horse moving. Will be checking out the video on how to ride a lazy horse. Thanks so much CRK!

  10. One trainer suggested a mental picture of putting weight on the great toe … (imagine the weight / balance benefits that you can notice when standing on your own legs OR when trying in yoga / pilates poses) … this seems to correct a fair amount of posture concerns … maybe try this thought

  11. Your videos are extraordinarily helpful and you are a succinct and eloquent instructor. You are methodical and precise…and have a kindhearted way. I can’t wait to “experiment” with some of the tips you’ve shared. In particular, the gripping/stirrup pushing/leg swinging/toes out which I’ve tried to fix forever. Thanks to you I now have an understanding of the causes of the problems AND clear solutions. I would be grateful if you could also suggest “on the ground” exercises to create muscle memory and/or develop better rising trot biomechanics for a quieter, stable leg.

  12. Hi Callie,
    First off, its good to be back checking in with crktaining again. I really missed your videos! You might remember me from that email I sent you last year about working with horses on a year long trip. Well that ended in Jan 2020 and a couple of injuries I had last summer have really made themselves obvious since I’m back to riding English rather than the more Western style in South America. I had a L5/S1 disc herniation with a right nerve root compression, a fractured foot, and a few torn ligaments from the same foot, and went back to riding after some rehab (not enough in hindsight). Now I’m dealing with issues that I had to deal with as a novice rider years ago – the swinging right lower leg being one of them – because my right leg is weaker than my left, my right ankle stiffer, anterior tibias weaker. I can’t even initiate the canter consistently with is incredibly frustrating and demoralising as I feel I’m starting from the very basics again.

    I have to work constantly to remind myself to rise from my thighs and my lower leg stops swinging but now my stirrup iron moves back farther down my foot and affects my balance in a different way. It feels so good to not be doing the duck-butt (mortifying) anymore but I need help with my stirrups moving back which is now happening on my left foot too. Any suggestions?

    Thank you as always,
    Simran

  13. Thanks for the video. Really helpful. Do you have any tips on keeping the lower leg in position when applying leg aids? My leg tends to creep up out of the stirrup when i apply pressure with my lower leg. I’m guessing I’m gripping somewhere in my leg?

    1. Hi Jules, it sounds as if you are probably squeezing and tightening too much in your leg as you apply the aids. Think of keeping your leg long, and the pressure in the stirrup consistent as you use your leg. You can also use a stick or whip to help reinforce your leg aids as you are practice using your leg without tensing it.

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