Heels down!!!

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Heels down!!!

This is a discussion on Heels down!!! within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • No stirrup heels down
  • "stand my heels"

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    11-11-2010, 11:46 AM
Heels down!!!

Hi everyone,
I'm new to the forum and really happy to get some good advise :) So my problem is that whenever I ride my heels don't go down as far as they should. I do calf stretches all the time and I stand on a step with only the balls of my feet and relax my weight into my heels. When I do this my heels go down just fine but as soon as a bend my knees, to mimic the way I would sit in the saddle, my heels come up and they look more flat footed.
A similar thing happens when I stand in my stirrups. When I stand, my heels go down but as soon as I sit, they come up. Is there anything else I can do?
So far this is the only thing that bugs my trainer about my form.
Side note: I do have pretty weak ankles so they get excruciatingly painful if I ride for a long time. Also I dislocated my left ankle two summers ago so that probably doesn't help either.
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    11-11-2010, 11:59 AM
I know for me that it's way harder for me to put my heals down when my leg is straight. But try stretching on the steps but instead of keeping your leg straight, just gradually start to bend your knees.
    11-11-2010, 12:45 PM
How long have you been riding/doing the exercises? It does take time to develop heel depth, some people get it right away, some it's natural and others have to really work hard for it.

How long are you "standing" in your stirrups for? My instructor used to make me do long sessions of just standing while trotting to help with my leg position and heel.

Hard to assume this, but perhaps you are "gripping" with your legs too much, not allowing your weight to sink down into your heels. Try doing some no stirrup work as well to help keep the weight down.

All in all, it will come, it just takes time, patience and practice. Good luck...and welcome to the forum!!
    11-11-2010, 02:23 PM
I have the same problems, I stretch, do lots of no stirrup work to strengthen my muscles, ride in two point for what seems like forever lol..my heels have gotton slightly better but I still have to work at it and always will.

My trainer says it just takes time in the saddle to get used to pushing them down and also that sometimes that is just something people have a problem with their whole life and have to be aware of when they ride and work extra hard to keep them down. At least my back is good

Trot around in two point and let the weight sink down in your heels..that helps me some also.

Good luck though!
    11-11-2010, 07:32 PM
Thanks for all the comments! I've been riding informally for 10 years but the college I'm at offers riding classes for college credit so I'm doing that. Today's class went really well and my trainer didn't mention anything about keeping my heals down so I'll take that as improvement :)
    11-12-2010, 11:30 AM
Wow I wish my college offerered riding classes for a credit!
    11-15-2010, 06:45 PM
It's pretty awesome. I can go all the way to "Advanced Jumping" not sure what exactly the means but that's my goal :)

ankles down, form, heels

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