Best leg exercise for dressage
There are specific muscles that will activate when you are doing lateral movements in dressage.
Horses can feel the tiniest insect on their body, a horse can feel core imbalances from the rider. Rider’s who can’t control their balance or stability in the saddle, have a tougher time performing the movements in dressage.
Position is first thing to check before any lateral movement. Can you physically get into the right position for the movement? Not just ‘can you get the horse into position’.
As the rider, you have to check your form! See where your legs are and how the toes look. You need to see if you are in the right position for your core to sit in the correct spot. Once you have the first step down, quickly, then the horse can laterally move underneath.
The second thing to check is to see that your activation muscles are able to operate on the horse. Often when riders go to get more bend or more energy, muscles get stuck. This then causes the leg positioning to change which disturbs your natural core stability. Anytime you feel that your activating muscles are going to get stuck, you have to work them in the right way to release tension before it effects your seat and core.
The ability to pin point a certain muscle group allows you to ask for more bend, more energy, more something from the horse without disrupting core balance.
A top priority for a dressage rider is to strengthen their leg position. Most strength development in a riders legs are from riding but there’s a problem with that… the lower leg needs to work on the floor for optimal physical success. The feet need to be grounded in order for proper leg alignment to develop.
Reverse Lung on BOSU
Exercise: Stationary Lunge
Lower into the lunge with the back knee going down towards the ground without touching it. Slowly raise up.
- Watch the front thigh turning inward as you come up.
- Watch the torso falling forward as you are raising upward.
- Watch the back heel pushing you forward too much as you’re lifting back to starting position.