Improve Your Lower Leg-Starting With Your Feet

The first step in learning how to work your lower leg!

I think the lower leg is a problem area for many riders. I know many people think their lower leg has a mind of its own. You think your riding in good alignment with your heels down and your instructor is asking why it’s pushed forward with your toes pointing down!


Or you are trying your best to keep it in line and it just keeps shooting out from under you.

The first step in fixing your lower leg is increasing your awareness of it. I know you are thinking-“I’m aware I have a lower leg Nicola!” I don’t mean awareness of its existence, I mean awareness of all of its movements and being in complete control of it.

This needs to be done before we even begin any form of corrective exercise work that may be required and you will be pleased to know this process is relatively simple and painless.

We are going to start with the feet. Just rolling the bottom of your feet on a ball whether that be just a tennis ball or a spiky physio ball stimulates the nerve endings and brings more awareness to the area. It also has the added benefit of releasing tension and relaxing the surrounding muscles.

On horse I want you to try out this simple exercise.

As you are riding around just at a walk, with your feet in the stirrups as normal take your awareness to your feet.

Can you feel each of your toes if you try to move them?

Can you move the weight from your big toe to your little toe, then maybe the middle toes and finally try to take the weight evenly across all of your toes?

How do your feet feel in the stirrups now?

Does moving your toes around change the angle of your foot and/or leg?

I’m not going to tell you what should or shouldn’t happen as we are all different and you may experience this different to your friend. I just want you to bring your awareness to your feet and practice moving the weight around in your toes as this is a really helpful step in improving your lower leg.

Do let me know how you get on with this exercise and if you find it useful I genuinely loving gaining your feedback (good or bad!)


There are two spaces available in my Tuesday evening Class at 7.30pm and 1 space available in my Thursday evening class at 7.30pm. Both are held at my studio at WN8 9QP. Let me know if you would like to join us, everyone that has joined us so far is already feeling the difference in their riding.

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