Posting Without Stirrups? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-21-2011, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question Posting Without Stirrups?

I haven't been riding long at all, and today we did work without stirrups. The sitting trot was great, but how on earth do you post without them? I know it's possible, but I couldn't do it. Today was the first day I cantered successfully and we even did that without stirrups which went great, but I couldn't figure out how to do the posting trot without them. What parts of your leg do you use, what muscles, and how? Lol. My legs are so sore from trying, but I didn't have anything to show for it
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-21-2011, 10:34 PM
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Even with stirrups, you always want to ride off the inside of your calf(lower leg), no matter what gait. All in all, posting without stirrups uses most of the muscles in your body, your inside calf, upper leg, butt, and torso most prodominatingly. Grip with your inside calf, and use the horses impulsion to push you forward above/out of the saddle, just how you post with stirrups. This is why you don't want to just push yourself off the stirrup when using stirrups, because obviously without stirrups, you have nothing to push off of. Good luck! :)
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-22-2011, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Lol makes sense. I will have to really focus on gripping with my calf all the time. :) There's so many things to pay attention to! I have another lesson Tuesday, so I will try it then. Thanks!
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-22-2011, 05:27 AM
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What I find helps with posting stirrupless is feeling the stride and letting the horse push you up, not forcing yourself up.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-22-2011, 06:40 AM
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Just remember - grip with your calf not knees.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-22-2011, 12:17 PM
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Calf not knees indeed, but you say you haven't had many lessons. I would advise you have a neck strap or martingale so you don't try and balance yourself with your hands.

Also, I know its great every now and again, however its not too great for the female anatomy, hip wise. Someone once told me what it was, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was.

It will take time to build up the calf muscles for rising without stirrups, and lots of practise. Just try and sit tall and use those legs ;)
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-23-2011, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the advise everyone! Calves not knees, got it. I always feel like if I grip with my calves the horse will go faster, but I know when I did grip with my calves cantering everything went much smoother than when I didn't, and the horse really didn't speed up any. I just need to remember to do that in every gait :) . Yeah I've only had like 7 lessons now and they have been really spread out, so it's just within the last 3 or 4 that I've really been able to consistently try to learn. My first couple attempts at cantering were just horrendous :( lol. We will see how Tuesday goes!
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-24-2011, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripR3 View Post
Thanks so much for the advise everyone! Calves not knees, got it. I always feel like if I grip with my calves the horse will go faster, but I know when I did grip with my calves cantering everything went much smoother than when I didn't, and the horse really didn't speed up any. I just need to remember to do that in every gait :) . Yeah I've only had like 7 lessons now and they have been really spread out, so it's just within the last 3 or 4 that I've really been able to consistently try to learn. My first couple attempts at cantering were just horrendous :( lol. We will see how Tuesday goes!

I'd say that your first attempts at cantering must have been pretty good if your instructor already has you cantering without stirrups! Well done!
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-24-2011, 06:11 AM
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Trip,

I think I like your instructor.

Asking students to post without stirrups fairly early in the lessons (assuming an able student and a reliable school horse) is a very effective way to teach the correct body mechanics for posting. Allowing a beginner to post pushing off from their stirrups just creates a bad habit and muscle memory to unlearn later. So having them attempt posting trot stirrupless early, even if they only manage it for a stride or two, gives the student focused on the correct body mechanics - using your hip joint and allowing the horse's motion to push you out of the saddle. Try to imagine an elastic band attached to your belt buckle that pulls your belly forward toward the horse's ears and then allows you to sink back.

Same thing with canter - it's much, much easier to learn to follow the horse's motion at the canter stirrupless. With stirrups, novices tend to brace in the stirrup and lock the ankle, knee and hip, pushing themselves out of the tack. Once you've felt it correctly without stirrups, it's easier to find the motion with stirrups.

So good for you, and keep up the good work!
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-24-2011, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by catsandhorses View Post
I'd say that your first attempts at cantering must have been pretty good if your instructor already has you cantering without stirrups! Well done!
I wish that were true! Unfortunately cantering without stirrups wasn't on purpose lol. I got excited that I was actually in sinc with the horse cantering and then of course lost the motion, bounced for a couple strides and lost my stirrups :( I found the motion again so my instructor just had me continue without stirrups. It went much MUCH better than all my attempts with stirrups lol.

Maura - Thanks for the advise! I will use that tomorrow :) And yeah my instructor is amazing, I like her a lot. She trains almost solely for showing, so she is very good about helping you learn correctly fast. Not that I'm planning on showing, but I like learning from someone who is serious about making you do it right.
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