Equine First Aid Kits - Basic Winter Essentials
Equestrian Advice & Guides Horse Health
Do you have a problem with your lower leg swinging back when you jump? Then there are many things to consider, but the main areas to start looking at are the length of your stirrups, your jumping position, your weight distribution and your lower leg strength.
If your stirrups are too long you will find you are stretching to reach for them, which leads to your leg being less secure in the saddle and slipping back. You’ll want to tighten them up to ensure you have a bend in your knee, hip and ankle, so that they can act as shock absorbers throughout the whole jump sequence.
You might also find that when you go into jumping position you are putting all your weight forward and throwing your upper body forward, instead of allowing your hips to move and fold with the movement of the horse. This will automatically have the natural affect of pushing your lower leg back, but allowing your hips to move and follow the lead of the horse will give you the correct amount of fold for the size of the jump. The motion of the horse will demand greater hip movement over bigger fences, which creates more of a fold in your body.
A Simple Exercise To Help
While you’re schooling, try and incorporate your jumping position into some of your exercises as this will help build and strengthen your position and increase flexibility in your hips. Also, while doing flat work or even warming up for jumping, do more work in your light seat. Focus on this in both trot and canter as it will help build up the muscle memory for when you jump. You can switch this up, doing light seat for 10 strides and then jumping position for 10 strides. This will also help improve mobility of knees and hips, as well as increasing the speed of your reactions, dexterity and joint suppleness.
You can also move on and build this up to pole work around the school, working up to a rising canter to help with movement and balance.