New to English riding, trouble with two-point - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-03-2011, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Findlay, Ohio
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Exclamation New to English riding, trouble with two-point

I have always wanted to learn English, but never found the time nor the place to take lessons for the longest time. Finally, about a month ago, I started taking lessons and I've been having so much fun. It's definitely a lot harder than Western and a lot more challenging, but I'm really enjoying the experience.
The only issue I'm having is staying up in two-point. My instructor tells me this is because I don't have the leg strength so I've been trying to work on that. Does any one have any tips that I could do out of the saddle (or even in it) that would help me improve?
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-04-2011, 07:39 PM
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Probably not the answer you were looking for, but: Time and practice. :) Seriously, once you've been in the saddle for another month or two, 2-point becomes like second nature.

In the meantime, make sure you're putting your weight into your heels. Think about it as your legs/ankles being like shocks on a car that absorb the motion. Try not to stiffen up your joints -- hips, knees or ankles. If you stiffen up, you'll lose the 'shocks' effect.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-04-2011, 09:19 PM
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While it will take awhile to build up your muscles, you can learn the proper lower leg position by standing straight up in the stirrups. When you can stand straight up and keep your balance without having to hold onto the horse, that is where your lower leg should stay when in 2 point. At the walk practice finding that balance sweet spot and then coming down into 2 point to where your butt is hovering just over the saddle. Remember to not let the lower legs move when switching positions.

The other thing you can do, if you're far enough along in your riding is, hike your stirrups up as short as they will go and riding posting trot and 2 point like that for about 10 minutes at the end of each ride. Your legs will burn like heck, but they will get strong very quickly.

Good luck!

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-04-2011, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Thanks for the tips. I'll try some of them out next time I ride.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-05-2011, 02:02 AM
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The most important factor to achieving a two point position is finding your balance over your feet. If you cannot find your balance over your feet, you will constantly tip forward or behind.

To obtain a functional two point position, you have to start with your feet properly placed in your irons. You want the base of the iron at the balls of your toes. The outter bar of the iron, placed at your pinky toe, and the inner bar placed at the ball of your big toe. That way, your ankles can relax and act as shock absorbers.

Then your heels. You have to allow them to be your anchors, you must allow your bodies weight to naturally flow into them - from your head, into your seat and from there, into your lower leg and then your heels. If your heels cannot do their job, then you wont be solidified in your tack.

You cannot grip or pinch with your knees, once you block that natural weight flow from occuring, you prevent your heels from anchoring you in your tack because that flow cannot naturally dispurse into the body parts you need that weight to be.

Allow that weight to flow, feel it entering into your heels. Don't push your heels down, just allow them to absorb. Secondly, as George Morris says, you are not ontop of your horse, instead, you are wrapped around your horse.

You need to have a correct toe angle, you should have at least a 45 degree toe angle. You don't want your toes pointing strait forward, nor do you want your toes out more than 45 degrees. You want to use the correct spot of your calf, or the "Sweet spot" that makes contact with your horses side. Open up your knees *not a lot, just enough where they are lightly on your saddle* and allow your lower leg to wrap around your horses girth.

Balance over your feet, heels absorbing bodies weight, correct placement of calf, lower leg wrapped around your horses girth.

Now, you can work on achieving your functional two point. Then comes your core - your core must be activated. Without your core, you cannot do the job at hand. Straiten your lower back, bring your core inwards, and tuck your seat bone slightly under you.

Open up your chest, as though you are lifting your heart, look up - and smile :)

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