Lesson Wrap Up: Right Leg

Continuing our biomechanics theme...


In our first lesson back after my trainer's baby hiatus, I mentioned very briefly that the left shoulder was showing up in CrossFit too.  My trainer mused that that must mean the whole right side of my body is far stronger than the left.  And to summarize what we then focused on:

- My right leg is always forward of the left
- When he gets quick, my leg gets tight and my toes go out on the right
- My right hip is often in front of the left, even on the right rein
- My right heel likes to be jammed forward and down

August 2015. Clearly nothing straight about my body here.

She had me think about Sally Swift's "stubby legs" and to think less about my calves.  She had me actively draw my right leg back from the hip, and to even think about drawing my heel up as an overexaggeration.  I had to be careful, though, not to let the right hip creep forward when I drew my leg back.

What that felt like, although I know it didn't look like it, was that my heel was up by Connor's hip, my foot was pressing the stirrup back, and my right foot was miles behind my left one.


When I looked down while trotting to see where my feet were in relation to each other, she laughed. "I know it must feel weird, but I promise you they're where they should be."

It had a big effect on Connor.  To continue with easily digestible bullet points:
- He was bending easier to the right
- He was less inclined to swing in on the right shoulder to the right, and out on the right shoulder to the left
- He was swingier through the trot, with incredibly elastic contact.  Probably the best the contact has felt on him.
- He was more in tune with my seat
- He was easier to get straight to the left
- His hindquarters were less prone to wander

These aren't the best examples since in one we're on the right rein and in the other we're on the left, but you can see a difference in leg position and especially tension from one to the other.


After a truly great lesson, I let her know that I was scheduling a lesson with Nancy K, the trainer that came to our barn semi-regularly the first couple of years I had Connor.  "Great," she said, "But try and schedule it after you've internalized this leg position.  You'll get more out of it."  Noted!

4 comments:

  1. It is so strange how changing little things feels so huge! I always think of riding like I have stump legs and it helps a lot!

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  2. It's so weird how the discrepancy between what we feel like we look like and what we actually look like is. I get this a lot for leaning back. I get told to lean back until I think I'm nearly reclining and it turns out I'm actually just sitting up straight instead of leaning forward.

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  3. I have a lot of the same issues actually. I just really realized how uneven I was a week or so ago but now that I'm aware I'm realizing how much it's messing with my riding. My right hip is also always forward (I think partially from the way I drive the car) and my right leg does weird things while my left is pretty good. I also carry more weight on my right seatbone. Poor pony haha

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  4. Hey your super blog is Haynets Blog of the Day! Come and take a look: http://www.hay-net.co.uk/haynet-news/9522/equestrian-blog-of-the-day-cob-jockey

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