How to correctly stand up in the stirrups?
 
 

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How to correctly stand up in the stirrups?

This is a discussion on How to correctly stand up in the stirrups? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Standing in stirrups

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    07-05-2014, 01:59 PM
  #1
Foal
How to correctly stand up in the stirrups?

One of the first things I was asked to work upon where I ride was to stand up in the stirrups, I still focus on it in each lesson even today... I'm told to grip with my knees as I rise up but I find that really hard to do while trying to find my balance! How should I correctly stand up in the stirrups? I can do it fairly well when my horse is standing still but I can't do it for long when he is walking and trotting is well... Lets not even go there!! I can post to the trot pretty well and I can walk fine too, the thing is I can't stay up in the stirrups for long before tipping forward or falling back into the saddle. I was also asked to do this in the trot yesterday and I was just being forced back into the saddle the entire time! How should I rise up and where should I stand? Should my crotch be slightly over the pommel like when you do the rising trot? Should my knees be bent or should they be straight with my legs? Should I squeeze lightly with my thighs and calves or should I have all my weight in the stirrups?

Please help guys this is really bugging me loads and I really want to get this down, I just finished my 12th lesson in which I continued to work on my trot which is getting better every day so everything else isn't an issue right now except the standing in the stirrups and the two-point (different thread posted regarding that)

I will be beginning my third week of riding this coming Monday so I haven't been riding for long at all!
     
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    07-05-2014, 03:03 PM
  #2
Foal
I think the problem is coming from the directions you're getting. If you grip with your knees while trying to stand in the stirrups it often makes it harder to keep your lower leg on the horse. Your lower leg and heel is where your balance should be coming from when you're standing.

I think there are probably other things that are impacting your ability to stay up as well (such as muscle tone, muscle memory, balance and placement of the stirrup bars on the saddle) but the thing with the knees is what stood out to me the most as it is an issue I faced as well when I changed trainers. My stability greatly improved once I learned to keep the lower leg firm and to stop gripping only with the knee.

Also, Here's a vid Evention TV did on galloping position (standing). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROzIv-GuyZs
     
    07-05-2014, 04:41 PM
  #3
Trained
If you're falling back into the saddle, either your legs are too far forward or your upper body is too far back. Standing up in the stirrups is just that. No gripping, pinching, etc. Just stand straight up. Yes you will be over the pommel a bit. You will most likely feel like a little kid playing airplane with your upper body a little ahead of your lower. What standing does is help you find your perfect balance point over your feet. Just grab mane until you think you've found the sweet spot and try letting go.
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    07-06-2014, 02:21 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebird    
I think the problem is coming from the directions you're getting. If you grip with your knees while trying to stand in the stirrups it often makes it harder to keep your lower leg on the horse. Your lower leg and heel is where your balance should be coming from when you're standing.

I think there are probably other things that are impacting your ability to stay up as well (such as muscle tone, muscle memory, balance and placement of the stirrup bars on the saddle) but the thing with the knees is what stood out to me the most as it is an issue I faced as well when I changed trainers. My stability greatly improved once I learned to keep the lower leg firm and to stop gripping only with the knee.

Also, Here's a vid Evention TV did on galloping position (standing). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROzIv-GuyZs
Thank you so much for the reply!! Yeah I will definitely give squeezing lightly with my calves a try while keeping my heels down! The gripping with knees part makes me feel like I'm going to be thrown over the horse if he is to suddenly stop! I guess this is one of those things that just get better as you ride more?
     
    07-06-2014, 02:23 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
If you're falling back into the saddle, either your legs are too far forward or your upper body is too far back. Standing up in the stirrups is just that. No gripping, pinching, etc. Just stand straight up. Yes you will be over the pommel a bit. You will most likely feel like a little kid playing airplane with your upper body a little ahead of your lower. What standing does is help you find your perfect balance point over your feet. Just grab mane until you think you've found the sweet spot and try letting go.
I'll do that! Thank you!! Wait so if I am to grab mane then should I be leaning forward slightly? I'll try to go up completely then! Also my knees should remain slightly bent to absorb all shocks right? Thank you for your reply!
     
    07-06-2014, 03:30 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
This is one reason I do dressage instead; no standing in the stirrups. Sorry, that isn't helpful.

Hang in there. In the beginning it can be very challenging but you get it. Riding is much harder than people assume it will be.
     
    07-06-2014, 06:06 AM
  #7
Yearling
When a horse is moving, your body should be allowed to move with the horse in order to stay in balance. This is one of the big advantages of using horses for physical therapy. The person sitting on the horse's back must be constantly adjusting to stay in balance. In watching therapeutic riding, one can often observe the rider's muscles become softer after the first few minutes because of this constant movement of the muscles. It is almost like getting a free massage in addition to the riding.

Tense muscles may be a result of mental tension, holding one's breath, bracing against impact, or trying to hold on to the sides of the horse. Tense muscles slow one's reaction time. They also cause the muscles to exert more effort than necessary to effect movement. This excess effort may, also, cause over-reaction.

When standing in the stirrups, it is important to keep one's weight centered over the stirrups or they will swing. Slight pressure of the leg against the horse may help stabilize a rider, but it is best to let the natural shape of the horse's body create this pressure.

A rider may lower his center of gravity by inclining his upper body forward. When doing this, however, he must flex his legs and move his rear backward to remain in balance.
     
    07-12-2014, 01:00 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXhorseman    
When a horse is moving, your body should be allowed to move with the horse in order to stay in balance. This is one of the big advantages of using horses for physical therapy. The person sitting on the horse's back must be constantly adjusting to stay in balance. In watching therapeutic riding, one can often observe the rider's muscles become softer after the first few minutes because of this constant movement of the muscles. It is almost like getting a free massage in addition to the riding.

Tense muscles may be a result of mental tension, holding one's breath, bracing against impact, or trying to hold on to the sides of the horse. Tense muscles slow one's reaction time. They also cause the muscles to exert more effort than necessary to effect movement. This excess effort may, also, cause over-reaction.

When standing in the stirrups, it is important to keep one's weight centered over the stirrups or they will swing. Slight pressure of the leg against the horse may help stabilize a rider, but it is best to let the natural shape of the horse's body create this pressure.

A rider may lower his center of gravity by inclining his upper body forward. When doing this, however, he must flex his legs and move his rear backward to remain in balance.
Thank you so much!! Yup you're absolutely right! I don't know before I couldn't stand in the stirrups that well but now suddenly I seem to be able to do it pretty good!! I guess time just makes you better in riding! Can't wait for my fourth week of riding to start this coming Monday!
     
    07-12-2014, 09:19 AM
  #9
Yearling
I'm glad things are improving. Practice improves most activities as long as its good practice. Keep up the good work.
     
    07-12-2014, 09:27 AM
  #10
Trained
It also takes a while - as in a few weeks of dedicated training - for many people to be able to develop the strength and balance to stay up in your stirrups without tipping.
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Tags
balance, standing, stirrups

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