Keeping heels down - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 12-22-2008, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 109
• Horses: 1
Keeping heels down

I've been in lessons for over half a year, I consistently have trouble keeping my heels down. My riding instructor tied my stirrup irons to my girth so i couldnt move my feet, and of course it was very uncomfortable, and we did jumping that lesson and i nearly fell as it knocked off my balance. Id like to try to improve as much as I can so i dont have to go through that again, We are working on my jumping form, and i am doing better, but my last lesson I also had trouble balancing and came close to falling more than once, even though my stirrups were not tied. any advice?
Aliboo is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 10 Old 12-22-2008, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: California, US
Posts: 246
• Horses: 4
Do lots of two-point (or jumping position...) Put all your weight in your heals and really stretch that muscle. My trainer always says to pretend your toes are lazer beams shooting at the horses ears... Try it, It works and its easy to think about. :P

"Can't teach something to love, but you can show them how."
ArabianAmor is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 12-22-2008, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 1,206
• Horses: 4
Have you tried working on strengthening and becoming more flexible at the ankle out of the saddle? Some good exercises out of the saddle... stand on the edge of a step, just your toes on and your heel hanging off, slowly rise up and down letting your heel go as low as you can comfortably hold it for a few seconds and then up on your tippy toes. Over time gradually increase the time you hold it and how many times you go up and down. Lunges are good for stretching your calves out and good for your balance and ankle strength the longer you hold it. I know there are more, maybe google it :)
Pinto Pony is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 12-22-2008, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 13,178
• Horses: 1
I would try some non-stirrup work. :) It really helps- stretch your leg down while opening your calf, & pretend you are reaching for the ground (that's what my trainer always tells me). It really works!

Ride more, worry less.
PoptartShop is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 12-23-2008, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 987
• Horses: 2
do lots of work standing tall in your stirrups and no stirrup work.... even if its just at a walk, stand tall in your stirrups for as long as you can then go no stirrups, try a nice slow sitting trot at first. you will get it and any exercises as suggested will help a ton
lovemyponies is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 12-23-2008, 11:23 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,465
• Horses: 1
I totally agree with all of the above suggestions. Like lovemyponies said, stand up in your stirrups and stretch your heels down as far as they can go. Then sit back down slowly, without moving your heel. That is exactly where your leg position needs to be.

Oh, and remember to keep your toes pointing forward too.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Jubilee Rose is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 403
• Horses: 0
Stand on the bottom step of any set of stairs, and as if your feet were in the stirrups, stretch your heels downward towards the floor. Hold it there for about five seconds, then stand on your toes - Heels facing upward - for about two seconds and repeat this process. This breaks in tall boots excellently and will also give you a stronger, more secure heel that will almost always stay down.

Hope I helped.
Picture Perfect is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 386
• Horses: 1
No stirrup work will help a lot if you as long as you don't slack off and let your leg slide into an incorrect position.

On a side note - tieing your stirrups to your girth is dangerous as you can't move your leg if you need it (rear, buck, etc).
BeauReba is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 11:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 374
• Horses: 0
Try d'angles stirrup pads.

Jump For Joy

It worked well for me. And improved my balance over jumps 100 fold the first time I used them. You'll feel the stretch to. It hurts a little at first but you get used to it real quick.

They sorta work like training wheels (or training heels, lol). After riding with them for a while you can go back to flat pads and still ride just as well.

You can even use them at shows. Or at least I can. I've only gone to schooling and C rated shows. You might want to consult the rule book for A and B shows.
blossom856 is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 01-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 426
• Horses: 0
Try doing some work without stirrups. You might also want to go into your 2 point position for a while to get the feel of your heels down. My instructor would always tell me after I got out of my 2 point position to keep the same stretch in my heel that I felt while I was in my 2 point position. This worked well for me.
horsegirl123 is offline  

Quick Reply

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


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

Email Address:


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.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Keeping my heels down, but not too far down. How do I fix it? Supermane English Riding 17 11-16-2008 01:08 PM
Heels down VanillaBean English Riding 10 10-24-2008 06:36 PM
HIGH Heels MirrorStage2009 General Off Topic Discussion 10 10-18-2008 05:50 PM
Heels Molly Horse Riding 4 07-06-2008 08:03 PM
Heels MCowgirl Horse Riding Critique 4 05-21-2007 12:12 AM

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