HQ answers your questions

Q: Where does swing in the rider’s lower leg come from?

Asked by Maree Lamorne

A: Swing in the lower leg comes from a leg that grips, so the first thing you need to do is to stop gripping with your knee. Your lower leg needs to hug your horse, but your knee must not grip. A correct lower leg is extremely important because it gives your whole position a foundation. If your lower leg swings, you regularly lose your stirrup; have trouble keeping weight in your heels; let your leg slip behind the girth; and often tip forwards, especially over a jump. This will all happen no matter how hard you try to ‘sit still’. It is much easier to keep the lower leg still if your stirrups are a bit shorter, so consider shortening your stirrups so that you are more in control of your leg position. Plenty of work without stirrups is also very necessary to improve leg positioning and strength in the long run. The more work you do without stirrups, the better your leg position and strength will be.