Am I doing this all wrong?
   

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Am I doing this all wrong?

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  • How to keep heels down in hunter pleasure

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    10-01-2011, 05:57 PM
  #1
Foal
Am I doing this all wrong?

When I first started English (Hunter Pleasure, flat) I rode with my heels down and my weight on my stirrups and posted almost forward but pretty secure. (Up and forward, with the trot.) Then I started reading up on it and watching other people.

I read that you shouldn't rely on your stirrups to post, but rather it all comes from the thigh & you should post barely forward but more up. I immediately changed my riding style.

Now I have trouble keeping balance, I don't feel like I have the same good posture/positioning, and I lose the stirrup. (I never lost the stirrup before.)

Was what I read/heard all wrong, and I was right the first time? Or am I just that low-skilled of a rider still?

Thanks!
     
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    10-01-2011, 07:59 PM
  #2
Trained
I think you had it more right to start with, but that proper posting is a mix between your two styles.

To post, I let the horse's natural bump in the trot push me forward, like my hips are going to go toward my hands (hands don't come towards the hips though). I use my thighs to slow my posting so that I don't thump back onto my horse's back but instead just sit lightly back down.
     
    10-01-2011, 08:03 PM
  #3
Green Broke
I think you should think of it more like a back in forth than up and down. Don't rely on your stirrupts and think toes up. Try riding with out them, do sitting and posting.
     
    10-01-2011, 08:20 PM
  #4
Foal
No one has EVER explained that to me before... Those 2 answers have probably been the best advice / explanation I have ever gotten in all the years I've been riding. ( Sad, right? )

I will have to try thinking like that.

Should the heels be pointing extremely down, or just mildly down?
     
    10-01-2011, 08:26 PM
  #5
Weanling
Pointing down how ever much they go without tension. Something that helped me was to trot and canter in 2-point with your weight in your heels and your ankles acting as shock absorbers.... so your body doesn't really move, but your ankles do.
     
    10-01-2011, 08:38 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
My experience is that if you post entirely off your knee, then you will not be secure in the stirrup and you will have trouble keeping up with the rythm of the horse, tending to fall behind it more often than not.
I think you should have weight down into the stirrup, and this is especially noticeable when you lower yourself down. Probably already said by one of the above posters.
     
    10-01-2011, 11:49 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
My experience is that if you post entirely off your knee, then you will not be secure in the stirrup and you will have trouble keeping up with the rythm of the horse, tending to fall behind it more often than not.
I think you should have weight down into the stirrup, and this is especially noticeable when you lower yourself down. Probably already said by one of the above posters.
That is exactly what I have been experiencing. I'll switch back to putting pressure on the stirrups and putting some weight on my heels.

I'll also need to try thinking of posting as a "forward" motion rather than an "up" motion. See if that helps me.

I notice that I am stiff and try too hard to keep a really straight & proper position. More people are suggesting to me to relax and let it come naturally than forcing it. I'm hoping this will help me out, too.

You're all just too wonderful... I am open to any suggestions
     
    10-02-2011, 06:20 PM
  #8
Foal
Trying to relax is really hard - ask me how I know! But it comes in time as in being able to realize you are tense and where and to let go. I have had many a lesson where my trainer says "relax your back" - ok, - um how do I do that? It gets easier with practice - as in riding in two point if you can't go without stirrups, a lot.
     
    10-05-2011, 05:48 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Try as down as they will go, but generally the rule is that your heel should be straight with your toes. But the trick is... You have to consider the heel on your boot.


Think like this...


Not like this...
     
    10-05-2011, 06:11 PM
  #10
Foal
You should not push your heels down lift your toes - your weight should rest in your heels - without putting all your weight in your stirrups. Sounds easy, right. Not - least for me. Somehow, somewhere, without taking lessons, I learned to post off my feet. Boy is that a hard habit to break! And I have one of those "evil" trainers that seems to think that I should be able to ride without stirrups the same as with! I am just now figuring out the whole weight in your heels without standing in your stirrup thing. Keeping your knees open and your calf on - not grip necessarily, but on, and just kind of relax into it. You will be surprised at what happens - your balance will be better, your post will get smaller and softer and you won't get so tired so quickly.
     

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