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AskHQ: Lower leg swing

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

A: Swing in the lower leg comes from a knee that grips, so the first thing you need to do is to stop gripping with your knee (easier said than done, we know)!! Your lower leg needs to hug (not grip!) 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 constantly lose your stirrup iron, you have trouble keeping weight in your heels, your leg slips behind the girth and your body tips forward, especially over a jump, no matter how hard you work to stay steady. It is much easier to keep the lower leg still if your stirrups are a bit shorter, so consider shortening your stirrups, at least initially, so that you are more in control of your leg position. This is ultimately, however, a quick fix, and won’t create long lasting posture improvement. To achieve long lasting results you will need to do plenty of work without stirrups to improve leg positioning and strength. The more work you do without stirrups, the better your leg position and strength will be – it just takes time, and a tolerance for a certain degree of discomfort on your part 😉