My main question is could my boots being a tad too big be the main cause of my trouble in keeping my heals down - but here's some history...
I'm an adult rider (37) and I just started riding at 35 taking lessons a couple of times a month or so due to no time, kids/work schedules, etc. so of course had next to no progress for the first year. Then, I gradually got up to riding regularly, 1-2 times a week (hour long lesson and 1 lease ride on my own), but my coach is a hunter/jumper and I've been riding around with kids in a group so I've spent many hours just trotting around (posting trot) without much more than heals down, sit up tall, check your diagonal, occasional canter, etc., so I decided to try somewhere else as well for more specific instruction. Now I'm also riding somewhere else 1 x a week for a half hour lesson but it's a dressage barn, though I keep hearing that I'm just learning 'basic English' right now, not dressage, and I'm having so much trouble there. My new instructor is very nice but quite young, but teaches lots of adults (though I think far more advanced adults than me), and I'm told I 'perch' too much and post from my toes - though I do keep my heels fairly well down despite that - and I'm not sure if it's because I've been taught that on purpose or just wasn't paid much attention to in regards to my position before. I'm not sure if my other coach has just been trying to be too nice to her only adult and let me just enjoy my new hobby. So anyway I'm already feeling rather silly for almost 3 years of lessons and still riding like this and don't know if I'm just not cut out for riding or I've just got bad habits that were never corrected or it's the jumper/dressage barn difference or what, but now I feel like I can't do anything right.
This new coach does give positive feedback on the rare occasion I get it right, so I know part of it is just me being frustrated with myself, especially since I ignorantly thought I was better than I am, but seriously if I can't ever get posting trot right I'm going to lose my mind! And I do want to stay at this barn I think as I know if I ever get past this phase, my riding will be so much better for it and I want to be an effective rider, and one who can ride all sorts of horses, not just one perfectly schooled one.
I should also note, however, that I'm not on a very well schooled horse at this new barn. He's super smart, only been at their facility a few months, and totally plays on my weakness/insecurities, is tough to keep going, resists turns, etc, etc, so he is not making it easy on me one bit either, so I'm constantly losing my position as I'm just not strong enough yet to deal with both at the same time. He's also got really big movement though with a super bouncy trot (coach says this, not just me), even though he's only 14.3. It drives me crazy though that after almot 3 years of lessons I'm not doing better with him though.
So anyway, that brings me to my question finally (sorry!). My new coach and I almost had an argument (!! And I'm really quiet so you know I was frustrated!!) the other day as she was insisting my feet were too far in the stirrups but I kept telling her they were on the balls of my feet and when she put them where she wanted them I felt like I was hanging on by my toes. She said my position is perfect (at halt LOL) with them positioned how she wants, but seriously that would be posting off my big toe - so then she said maybe my boots are too big (I use paddock boots with half chaps)?? I bought them after maybe one lesson and they are super comfy, but yes, my toes are swimming at the end (very wide round toe)... From what I remember, the size below my toes were touching the end so I thought that would be uncomfortable. I'm probably right in between sizes. Could that be affecting my position more than I realize? My thoughts are regardless of my boot size, my stirrup is still on the ball of my foot (even though she doesn't believe it) so my position would be the same anyway even with a smaller boot....no? What do you think? I'm reluctant to shell out money for another pair of boots but if that will help I'll go to the tack shop now! LOL
Thanks for your thoughts. Sorry for the novel. I can get wordy!