I'm at a loss...

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I'm at a loss...

This is a discussion on I'm at a loss... within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
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    05-01-2010, 05:32 PM
Green Broke
I'm at a loss...

I can not get my toes to point forward, they just won't do it. As soon as I try, my heel comes up and I get into a chair seat. When I am riding around comfortably my toes are either at 45 degree angle to the side of the horse or sometimes even as bad as a 90 degree angle to the horse. I'm not clinging with my calves.

My trainer has me doing lots of stirrup-less work, and when I don't have my stirrups, presto! My toes are facing forward, its as soon as I take my stirrups back that they start to point out. I have been working really hard on my leg position from the hip down instead of trying to correct the position from the knee down like I was doing.

It's just very frustrating, and right now I only have two lessons a month (all I can afford). Anybody have any pointers or exercises I can do on and off a horse to try and correct this problem? Or am I just doomed?

I do kind of walk duck footed, so I know my conformation doesn't help me either.
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    05-01-2010, 10:55 PM
I posted this in another thread, but I think you, too, will find it helpful.

Wendy Murdoch - Murdoch Minutes
    05-02-2010, 08:20 PM
Green Broke
Thanks for sharing that, I am going to try the washcloth thing tomorrow when I ride! And explaining the ankles makes so much more sense.
    05-09-2010, 10:12 PM
I had the same problem the first few lessons I had four years ago when I started riding dressage. But after a few times with my little trick I ride with toes forward out of habit and can't ride any other way.

I dropped my stirrups two holes to make them longer and it forced me to sit deep and stretch my legs longer to reach which in turn caused me to rock mu toes forward and push the sides of my calves against the saddle to give me extra reach.

As soon as I was riding with toes straight automatically I brought my stirrups back up and when I did that I could now sit deeper and have my heels down without thinking too much about it
    05-09-2010, 10:27 PM
If the "toes in" thing doesn't work. Try heels out or knees in
    05-11-2010, 05:02 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Arksly    
If the "toes in" thing doesn't work. Try heels out or knees in

I tried the heels out...and it helped! A lot! Now I just have to not take my calves off at the same time.

Whoever said riding is easy was soooo wrong.
    05-11-2010, 06:33 PM
I wonder if it is your saddle that is not aiding you. You say you can ride perfectly fine with your toes forward when you are stirrupless, but the moment you are back in your irons, you go back to toes pointing outwards.

Sounds to me that your saddle isn't aiding you.
    05-12-2010, 03:48 AM
Green Broke
This has been a problem in every single saddle I have ridden in, it's a me problem not a saddle problem. I will admit it was the worst in my first saddle which was a collegiate senior event, but I also partially blame a very dull sided horse that I had to keep my heels on constantly and got into the bad toes out habit. It has been the least "bad" in the saddle I am currently borrowing which is a Kieffer Lech II

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