Discipline note -
In any of the jumping disciplines, your toe is supposed to be out anywhere from 15 to 45 degrees depending on your conformation, to facilitate your lower leg being correctly wrapped around the horse, and with enough grip to keep your position secure. You also want your weight deeply in your heel for security as well, though not so deep you lock your ankle (common fault, especially among novices who have recently worked very hard at heels down!)
In dressage (which kitten is asking about) and in some cases, western, where you're riding all gaits in full seat, first, you have to release some of the weight in the heel to free up that ankle joint, and you ride with the toe parellel to the horse's side because you don't want the same snug, active grip in your lower leg that you do in the jumping disciplines. To ride in a dressage full seat, all the joints of your leg have to have their full shock absorption potential, and your leg is draped, wet noodle like, around the horse's barrel, rather than wrapped snugly, like in forward seat.
All of this to say that there are differences in position in the disciplines, and what's correct for one might not be correct for another.
Last edited by maura; 06-15-2011 at 03:11 PM.