A featured entry in the "Deep Seat" series

Problem

Tension in the leg muscles causes the knees and heels to creep up. You will notice this most often when you are learning something new (Illus. 21).

Illus. 21
Problem: Knees and heels creeping up

Solution

Remind yourself to stretch the leg long and soft. Then reposition the leg so it is flatter against the saddle.
Reposition and roll thighs — Lift thighs, and move the leg back farther than needed, then bring the leg forward a bit while pulling the muscle and flab of the inner thigh behind the leg (Illus. 22). This will cause the leg to lie more closely on the horse’s side with the flat inner leg of the rider on the horse.

Illus. 22
Solution: Lift legs away from horse.
Bring thigh back, knee down, heel and calf back, toes up, heels down.

Imagine your heels are rocks — They are slowly sinking.
Stretch heel down — Imagine that there is a weight attached to the heel that is pulling the heel down, without the rider’s having to force it down (Illus. 23).

Illus. 23
Solution: Weighted heel
Lift legs away from horse. Bring thigh back, knee down, heel and calf back, toes up, heels down.

Debbie Kay Sams

Debbie Kay Sams has written for Practical Horseman, Equine Journal, and Instructor magazines. For many years she has organized and led drill-team riding for all… See Bio

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