The stirrups... a foot rest or something to dig into? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 294
• Horses: 0
The stirrups... a foot rest or something to dig into?

I was reading the Fugly blog a bit and found this comment about stirrups

"The way I say it is the stirrup is a foot rest. If you are putting any kind of pressure on it other than a light contact, you’re going to lock your ankles and knees and bounce and feel insecure."

I thought it was interesting because I never thought of it this way. I'm always being told by my trainer to sink my weight into my heels.

So I'm wondering, exactly how much weight should you put into your stirrups? I know there are people who can easily ride without them which shows that stirrups aren't exactly a necessity in riding.
But I'm a little confused as to how much I should be using them and how much weight goes into them.
At this point, they are totally more than a "foot rest" to me. As I'm posting, I'm using the stirrup to lift myself up. Is that wrong?
Heelsdown is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 03:10 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,536
• Horses: 12
I have not done much English riding and none of it well, my last attempt was a learning experience along the line of your question though.

My daughter was watching me, she was remarking on my hands moving too much at the trot. Said she thought I was posting from my feet and that might be the cause. Told me to post using the muscles on the top of my upper leg instead. Instant improvement on the hand bobbing.

Am interested in hearing the remarks and suggestions you get from those here who do ride english well.


anndankev is offline  
post #3 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11,869
• Horses: 0
I ride both western & english, predominantly western. I agree with foot rest. As a kid to test us my mom would make us ride with marshmallows or raw eggs under our boots in our stirrups. It really taught me to rely on my seat.
Posted via Mobile Device
tinyliny and Gidget like this.
MHFoundation Quarters is offline  
post #4 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 03:36 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
Posts: 3,440
• Horses: 8
I ride western and I've heard to have 30% in the stirrups and 70% in your seat. You don't lock your ankles or knees. If you use more with your feet and the horse stops, you'll get thrown forward.
Posted via Mobile Device
usandpets is offline  
post #5 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 03:38 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alabama,USA
Posts: 3,909
• Horses: 1
Interesting topic.

Can't wait to hear more opinions.
Posted via Mobile Device
Sunny is offline  
post #6 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 03:47 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 4,761
• Horses: 6
Originally Posted by Heelsdown View Post
At this point, they are totally more than a "foot rest" to me. As I'm posting, I'm using the stirrup to lift myself up. Is that wrong?
That is part of the reason work without stirrups is so important to English riding, not only for balance but so you don't use your stirrups as a crutch. You are supposed to use your inner thigh muscles to lift and support you when you post, not your feet.

Ideally you should be able to take the stirrups off your saddle and ride in the exact same way you would with them. (This is rarely the case, if the stirrups are there, most people do in fact use them as a crutch and use their muscles less than they should.)

Also consider what kind of shape you'd be in if you were to lose a stirrup, or have one break. If the horse decided to play up and you did not have the leg strength to hold your position, you wouldn't stay on very long.

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
apachiedragon is offline  
post #7 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Medazzaland
Posts: 407
• Horses: 2
I use my stirrups as a rest predominately. I try to keep my heels down and but not put force on the stirrups bc otherwise I end up bracing and I bounce out of the saddle. (I ride western btw) However, the other day when Dancer did a quarter horse turn and tossed me, I was told I should pushed my feet forward and braced. Not that I had time to react this way, but I've always thought that putting weight in my heels would keep my seat better than pushing into the stirrup.
tinyliny likes this.
Puddintat is offline  
post #8 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 32
• Horses: 0
I ride English and agree with the foot rest concept. Yes, your weight should be in your heels but that doesn't mean that you should be bracing. With posting, you just be using you upper leg to lift yourself, so your lower leg should stay still and again, don't brace against the stirrups.

I know it's easier said than done, I'm still struggling a tad with this, it gets pretty tiring after a bit!
thegoldenpony is offline  
post #9 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 2,042
• Horses: 1
In dressage, its more of a foot rest for me.

However, in jumping, you HAVE to have weight in your stirrups. Where else are you going to place it over the jump? I disagree that is causes you to lock your ankles. You UNLOCK your ankles, then the weight flows down into your heel and it absorbs the shock so that you don't bounce.

I also put a little more pressure in the stirrups while posting. If I didn't, I'd probably compensate by gripping with my knee.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
Eliz is offline  
post #10 of 31 Old 08-21-2011, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Harford County
Posts: 27
• Horses: 1
I always post and push myself by stirrups as well. But I was always taught to only have my toes in stirrups and it made me have less weight on themthem
Marisa 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
Question on stirrup position: ball of foot or mid-foot (home) bsms Horse Riding 37 01-12-2011 08:07 PM
Having a rest Midnight Angel Horse Pictures 7 11-02-2010 11:37 PM
My bare-foot baby is no longer bare foot... speedy da fish Horse Talk 2 06-13-2010 03:47 PM
How long should she rest? skittle1120 Horse Health 5 04-17-2010 11:25 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