Lower Leg Secrets From Parlanti's Team Riders

Lower Leg Secrets From Parlanti's Team Riders

We’ve all heard of No Stirrup November, and most of us have likely suffered through it in the never-ending quest to have that ever elusive, super still lower leg. Short of torturing themselves every November, we wanted to find out what some of the top riders do to keep their position strong year round. One thing all the riders we spoke to had in common? They all ride in Parlanti boots. And while having the right boot may not magically make you an equitation superstar, when 8 out of the top 10 riders in the world are wearing the same boot, there must be something to it.

Mavis Spencer

"Here's a grid exercise that I like to do - it is great for both horses and riders: start with a canter in rail, 9ft to a small vertical - 18ft to another vertical with a rail on the ground in the middle (9ft from the small vertical and 9ft from the next one) - then 36ft to an oxer. Focus on your position and how it affects the horse's jump. I like to focus on my leg, body, and hands. Your leg should be the anchor for the rest of your body, heels down, stirrup on the ball of your foot, and remember to keep your lower leg around your horse. Your body should remain very controlled and still so make sure to really engage your core to keep your back supported. Most importantly, have fun!"

Photo by Sportfot.

Jessica Springsteen

"I love my Parlanti boots because they always mold to fit my leg perfectly. I feel so secure in them and they are so elegant!"


Photo by Sportfot.

Nayel Nassar

"I love Parlanti simply because of the leather quality. My boots have lasted forever and are very easy to break in. Nobody likes a stiff boot that takes a month to get soft."


Rachel Kennedy

"Personally I work on my leg strength twice a week at the gym with my trainer Matt Otero, but riding horses every day and doing lots of flat work keeps me strong and tight. As for my students, I ask that they are physically fit as well. My go to is, working over ground poles and making stride and pace adjustments. Leg is the key."

Photo by Shawn McMillen.

Gia Rinaldi

"I work with no stirrups several times a week. I like to change up which horses I do it with, so I can feel equal strength on all of them. Lengthening and shortening without stirrups is what I practice mostly. Working out has made a big impact in my riding as well, making it easier to ride different types of horses."

Photo by Sportfot.

Lorenzo de Luca

"I really like to do some bounce exercises. In this exercise, it's very important to keep the posture straight and the hands soft and following the mouth of the horse. It's a great exercise to use to focus on the legs and pelvis staying in good balance and to work on form. I also like to do a few simple straight lines and broken lines and focus on staying straight and maintaining the proper canter. For example, I'll set a line and play around with adding and subtracting strides. Simple exercises like these help us improve our position, body control, and balance to give our horses the best chance to perform well."

Photo by Erin Gilmore.

Ready to get your hands on a pair of Parlanti boots?

Feature photo by Sportfot.

Written by Emilie Gaffney

Emilie is an amateur rider and freelance writer who just recently made the move from California to the Midwest with her husband (and more importantly her Pug and Mini Dachshund). You can catch her and her big dapple grey hunter competing in the Adult Amateurs. Her long-term goals are to ride in a National Hunter Derby and for love of all things holy to stop taking the long spot.