'Go on, then!' roared Hagrid, slapping the Hippogriff's hindquarters.
Without warning, twelve-foot wings flapped open on either side of Harry; he just had time to seize the Hippogriff around the neck before he was soaring upwards. It was nothing like a broomstick, and Harry knew which one he preferred; the Hippogriff's wings were beating uncomfortably on either side of him, catching him under his legs and making him feel he was about to be thrown off; the glossy feathers slipped under his fingers and he didn't dare get a stronger grip; instead of the smooth action of his Nimbus Two Thousand, he now felt himself rocking backwards and forwards as the hindquarters of the Hippogriff rose and fell with his wings.
It seems to me that "catching him under his legs" means "hitting him under his legs". I can picture that the Hippogriff's wings hit him under his legs and made him off the balance(feels about to be thrown off). But I'm not sure if my understanding is correct? Can the word 'catch' mean 'hit'? What does it mean exactly in this context?
-- From Harry Potter.