I'm can easily walk without stirrups and I know I don't put much pressure on the stirrups at the walk.
But at the trot, I always use my stirrups to push into to post. And that's probably wrong.
I was talking to this one girl at the barn months ago who is on the equestrian team at her college. She said one of their warm up exercises is posting and doing the 2 point without stirrups.
I'm sure I'm relying on the stirrups more than I should. I'm going to ask for more work without them. I think that is the only way to not rely on using them and using my legs more.
I know there are a lot of purist riders who believe that a good rider should be able to hop on a horse and ride sans tack and that it's the tack that ends up contributing to injuries. I definitely see what they mean. I know I need to use my body against the horse's body to ride but as mentioned, easier said then done! Lol