Toes Up Toes Down

[G7] a quick exercise to loosen your ankles

A nice, quick exercise that can be used while walking in to help relax your ankles and loosen your lower leg.

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How does it help the horse?

Fixed, tense ankles will cause the rest of your body to also be tense. Tension in the ankle will pass up through your knees to your hips and lower back. If your lower back is still, you'll not be able to absorb your horse's movement properly.

How do I ride it?

Simply take your feet out of your stirrups (you can cross them over the horse's neck, but you don't need to) and point your toes down to the ground. Hold for 3 seconds. Then lift your toes up and really push your heels down. Hold this heel-down position for 3 seconds. Repeat this several times.

What does this exercise target?

This should loosen off your ankle and relax the whole of your leg, up to your hips.

What should I be careful of?

Don't do this exercise too quickly to start with. Hold the toe-down and heel-down positions for at least 3 seconds at first. As your ankles warm up, you can swap between the positions quicker.

Before starting any new exercise or training regime, we advise you to consult a physician, doctor, physiotherapist or other expert. The plans and exercises presented here and on the BLACKDOG Equestrian App are for guidance only and they do not offer advice on which you should rely. The App and the Services have not been developed to meet your individual requirements.