Your legs, when positioned correctly in contact with the horse, are the most influential tools you have to effectively communicate your aids.
Yoga can assist you in developing a correct and effective riding position by improving the muscular strength and flexibility of your legs.
“Yoga for Equestrians” by Linda Benedik & Veronica Wirth
Hero Pose – Virasana
vira = man, hero, chief
asana = pose
When I took dressage lessons I wasn’t able to hold the proper leg position until over time had stretched out the stiffness in my ankles and leg muscles. Leg flexibility is important for riding.
Due to an injury this summer I have a weak right knee and am stiff down my right shin over my ankle (anterior tibialis).
Hero pose stretches the hips, thighs, knees, ankles and feet. It can be a good posture to practice neutral spine and staying centered over the hip bones.
As with all exercises, it is important to build up slowly. Use a block under the hips to ease the stretch.
The following video gives good examples of using props as you increase flexibility. With practice the buttocks will be on the floor centered over the hips between the ankles and feet.
Also see “Child’s Pose” in a prior post, which is similar.
If the shin muscle (anterior tibialis) is tight, then you can do a myofascial release using a soft roller.