Mary Poppins!
   

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Mary Poppins!

This is a discussion on Mary Poppins! within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Mary poppins horse rider
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    07-22-2009, 06:19 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Unhappy Mary Poppins!

Ok, so I just started riding 2 1/2 years ago, and I've had a trainer the entire time (the same one too)...he started out teaching me to stick my toes out to the sides, to encourage my heels to stay down and calves on my horse's sides. The result: I have a strong seat and very secure legs now, BUUUUUTTT....

...now, 2 1/2 years later, I come to find out that your toes are supposed to be pointing FORWARD, not out to the sides! He just teaches that way at first to get newbies to make contact with the correct part of their legs on the horse's sides, then apparently expects me to UNLEARN it!!

Anyway, one of my friends told me I look like Mary Poppins the other day before my dressage test when I was warming up, because my toes were sticking out! I need some pointers on how to break this habit...it's VERY difficult for me to break since it's the only riding I've ever known!! Here are some pics to show you what I mean:



This one looks worse than it is because I was on the "up" post so my legs were disconnected for a second, but it really gives you a good view of where my toes are:


     
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    07-22-2009, 06:22 PM
  #2
Trained
If you're eventing, in the whole grand scheme of things, does it even matter? There aren't any style points, are there? I've always been told that function trumps form where eventing is concerned. Just take a spoonful of sugar and your toes will magically point in. (hee hee, couldn't resist)
     
    07-22-2009, 06:23 PM
  #3
Trained
They aren't that bad, honestly.

But think of riding on the inside of your calves, not the back. Your toes are not supposed to be strait forward, that is incorrectly - you should have an angle between your horses side and your toes.

Honestly, you aren't that bad.
     
    07-22-2009, 06:46 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
If you're eventing, in the whole grand scheme of things, does it even matter? There aren't any style points, are there? I've always been told that function trumps form where eventing is concerned. Just take a spoonful of sugar and your toes will magically point in. (hee hee, couldn't resist)
You are correct for the jumping portions, but form does matter in dressage, which is what I'm mainly concerned about (since as long as you jump clear dressage score is what it all comes down to anyway!!)

LOVE the last bit there by the way
     
    07-22-2009, 06:48 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIEventer    
They aren't that bad, honestly.

But think of riding on the inside of your calves, not the back. Your toes are not supposed to be strait forward, that is incorrectly - you should have an angle between your horses side and your toes.

Honestly, you aren't that bad.
Thanks MIEventer!! Maybe I'll think of it that way tomorrow when I'm schooling dressage in my lesson...I keep just thinking of pointing them in, which then lifts my heels up where they shouldn't be and gets me all messed up! :-p
     
    07-22-2009, 06:59 PM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
I've always been told that function trumps form where eventing is concerned
Yes and no. If you are riding on the back of your calves, how functional are you really? Functionallity is very important in eventing, yes, but if you are riding incorrectly form wise - you will get into trouble.

I woud far rather see a functional rider over a pretty rider by far - but form and function do tie in together.

If HITS was riding extremely on the back of her calves *which she is not*, she may get away with it at the low levels she is riding at *just like those we see who ride in a forward seat out on the CC course* but when she gets to bigger and more difficult fences, her legs much be correct to be functional for both her and her horse.

Again, she isn't that bad at all. You definitely are not Marry Poppins or Charlie Chaplin.
     
    07-22-2009, 07:31 PM
  #7
Trained
Duh, I forgot about dressage. The only thing I can suggest is, when you make the adjustment, overdo it. You're basically dealing with muscle memory. The only way to untrain your position is to overcompensate the other way until you get the middle ground you're looking for.
     
    07-22-2009, 07:44 PM
  #8
Trained
Query - if Jumping IS Dressage with speed bumps - and if it is important to have your toes in the correct angle while doing Dressage, then why not for jumping?

Functionallity is functionallity regardless if you are doing dressage or jumping.
     
    07-22-2009, 07:45 PM
  #9
Weanling
Pretend you have spurs, that's what I do. That way I just think that if my legs are turned out too much I will be poking his sides!

Also I have noticed that riders who point their toes out often loose contact with their horses sides when posting (when viewed from the back it looks like they are doing jumping jacks as they ride), keeping your toes forward really helps to keep that from happening.
     
    07-22-2009, 09:12 PM
  #10
Started
Hoofprints I feel your pain!!! When I first learned to ride, my instructor told me to ride with my heels down... which I did, most obediently... but she never told me the importance of keeping your toes in WHILE your heels are down! Now here I am having to unlearn my toe position, just like you!

It definitely is hard work... but lately I've been noticing an improvement in my toes. What was the secret? Practice. Sounds ominous, but its true. Every second ride or so, I would take some time to practice riding with my toes in. I would forget about everything else except my toes and work on that only. Also, whenever someone watches me ride or is in the arena, I always ask them to keep an eye on my toes for me and tell me whenever they start turning out.

Oh, and ... just take it as a compliment being called Mary Poppins! She's AMAZING! She doesn't even need to ride because she flies!
     

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