What does "pump" mean this sentence? can anyone help me to describe how it looks like when the jockey's legs pumping? is there a synonym of "pump" in this context?

I watched him flatten out around the white rail, the horse’s head extended, the jockey’s legs pumping, arms flailing backwards and forwards up the horse’s neck.

1 Answer 1


The verb "pump" refers to fast, vigorous and repeated up and down movements. As in the olden days, one would "pump" one's bicycle tyres by repeatedly moving a tool (pump, as in noun) up and down to push air into the tube. In your sentence, the jockey's legs were moving up and down between saddle and spurs, fast and furious, keeping up with the rhythm of the horse/ urging the horse on to run faster.

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