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Heels down

This is a discussion on Heels down within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        10-19-2009, 11:23 PM
      #11
    Foal
    I don't have a problem with my heels at the walk or trot though, just canter and over jumps. How do I get better at it if I don't do it? My seat isn't THAT bad either i've w/t/c and jumped up to two foot without stirrups. It's just my lease pony isn't always the easiest horse to ride and I tend to tense up. It's just when he starts to act up and take off on me I need to be able to sit back and sink my heels down deep to brace myself and instead of panicking and leaning forward and squeezing with my knees. I'm hoping if I work harder on my heels and can do it without thinking then that will improve.
         
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        10-20-2009, 01:04 PM
      #12
    Started
    ^ lots of 2 point at the trot and canter ... like 2, 3, 4, 5 times around the whole arena
         
        10-20-2009, 01:23 PM
      #13
    Green Broke
    I havent read what was already mentioned, but have you tried working with no stirrups, or bareback? That will almost force you to keep your heels down, because otherwise you will be unbalanced.
         
        10-20-2009, 11:39 PM
      #14
    Foal
    Great ideas guys, I'll try and do both.
         
        10-21-2009, 02:56 AM
      #15
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
    As per another thread about "why heels down?", except for training and "form" the heels down doesn't actually *do* anything otherwise we'd never be able to ride without stirrups and we do. The heels down simply encourages and helps to enforce a proper seat in the first place which is what is important. When I bareback, I haven't the first clue where my heels are, but I'll bet they aren't down.

    For lesson purposes, you may be right, but in actual practice, I don't agree.
    I couldn't disagree more. The ability to put weight in your lower leg (which results in you heels being down) is your whole center of security when in the saddle. Try riding in two point and then pointing your toes down, raising your heels up. Your whole center of gravity tips forward, throwing you onto the horses neck. This destabilizes your whole position.

    Heels up is often because you are gripping with the back of your calves causing your legs to creep up the horse's sides. Trotting and then cantering a long time in two point will really help.

    Also, try riding with only ONE stirrup. It is much more difficult than riding with no stirrups. My dressage and jumping students do this often.
         
        10-21-2009, 02:10 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
    As per another thread about "why heels down?", except for training and "form" the heels down doesn't actually *do* anything otherwise we'd never be able to ride without stirrups and we do. The heels down simply encourages and helps to enforce a proper seat in the first place which is what is important. When I bareback, I haven't the first clue where my heels are, but I'll bet they aren't down.

    For lesson purposes, you may be right, but in actual practice, I don't agree.

    I disagree with this! Other then what was already said in the post above mine, keeping your heels down is also a safety issue. If you fall, and your heel is not down, and your foot is completely through the stirrup, you're foot is NOT coming out when your on the ground - thus getting dragged. So having your heels down, your foot sorta 'automatically' falls out when you fall off your horse.
         
        10-21-2009, 04:11 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    I show english and ride irons on the trail...i can't help but keep my heels down...maybe its b/c im to lazy to keep them up LOL

    Nate
         
        10-21-2009, 04:28 PM
      #18
    Banned
    Having an independent seat is very important and having your legs/heels in the right place is part of that.

    I am guessing you are actually loosing your leg position when cantering and jumping and that his why your heels are bouncing up. Think about keeping yourself balanced and your leg properly underneath you and your heels will be much easier to keep down.
         

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