exercises to help student keep their heels down? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
 7Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 12 Old 08-14-2011, 05:37 AM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: in a field full of horses right up the top somewhere :)
Posts: 577
• Horses: 4
I'm not recommending this, but my grandma tyed weights to her clients heels to help them stay down!
LadyNeigh is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #12 of 12 Old 08-14-2011, 10:53 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 8,558
• Horses: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
It's not about "Keeping Heels Down", it's about "Allowing Bodies Weight To Flow Naturally Into Your Heels"...
This!

I'm not a trainer, but a trainee...but sometimes it helps to hear the student side:

I started riding at 50, and many of my problems have been from very tight legs and hips. It is nice to hear "Heels down", but not much use if your legs won't allow it to happen without conscious effort. And if I did the latter, then I was riding with heels down AND with tension in my leg - so I bounced and was unstable.

When a person starts riding, his legs & hips may not allow the 'proper' riding position. I would have the student sit on a calm horse, and preferably several horses - a wide horse will cause a different position than a slender horse. At a standstill, check to see what will allow the student to have the best position without tensing the leg.

For example, as you move your leg forward into a chair position (evil, I know), the toe can go forward and the heel can go down without tension. But by the time my heel is under my hip, it will be level at best - and that is after 3 years of riding several times a week.

On a wider horse, my toes drift out because that is the only way I can get my legs apart to be on the horse. And if that means my cues are not given optimally...so be it.

As you experiment with different leg positions, explain to the student the impact of moving the leg. Ideally, the stirrup leather should be straight down when the student's bum is in the deepest part of the saddle - so show the student what happens when you use too too big or too small a saddle for the student's body. Let them see how a wide horse vs thin horse affects their leg, and how moving their foot forward or back impacts their heel and calf.

Then you can explain both the goal to strive for, and also what the student must do NOW to have the most secure seat he is capable of having. In my short experience, a secure seat requires a loose leg. The more tension in my leg, the less secure my seat - so I accept, for now, an imperfect position to get a relaxed leg.

With time, my heels are drifting back and my toes are drifting forward, but that is a trend. There is a wide horse where I take lessons. He is probably twice the width of my Arabians. It is like sitting on a dining room table. When I ride him, my legs move forward and my toes move out because that is the only way I can relax into the saddle. OTOH, using an Australian saddle on my 825 lb gelding, my heels are under my hip now, and my toes mostly forward, while still having a relaxed leg.

Just making a plea to understand where the student is at. I've had several people tell me things based off of what THEY can do, or off of what the GOAL is, without any regard for the limits my body imposes NOW. Believe me, a 53 year old male doesn't have the flexibility of a 14 year old girl!
bsms is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
why keep heels down? serafina English Riding 16 05-22-2011 08:28 PM
Heels? RunningFree27 Horse Riding 7 05-31-2010 12:29 AM
Heels!!!!! Mountless20 English Riding 9 10-05-2009 07:31 PM
Low heels? cherriebark Horse Health 6 02-24-2009 11:22 AM
Heels Molly Horse Riding 4 07-06-2008 08:03 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome