Toes stick out

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Toes stick out

This is a discussion on Toes stick out within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        11-16-2013, 06:30 PM
    Toes stick out

    I have developed a lovely pair of 'Mary Poppins' (as my friends like to call it) when I ride. (I take lessons, but this summer I was only able to get out to her place once every two weeks or so. I ride without instruction maybe 1-2 times a week). It's especially bad at the posting trot. I've tried working without stirrups, thinking maybe I'm bracing against them, but it didn't change. I've had people tell me 'heel out, toes in' and it makes sense, but unless I'm really, consciously thinking about it, my toes stick out at a horrible angle. It makes my already horrific eq even worse. Is there anything else I can do to fix the problem? What might have made me start doing this? I didn't used to have this problem, and one day I looked down and it looked like this
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        11-16-2013, 07:06 PM
    If I could see a video/pictures of you riding it would be helpful...
    Though I don't think it's WRONG to point your toes out. Generally if I force my toes straight forward, I'd have to pinch with me knee and it would be much harder to use a supporting leg on my horse.

    That being said, I'm an effective rider, not a pretty one. I would rather look a little funky and do well than to look pretty and be ineffective.

    Do you ride a lazy horse?
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        11-16-2013, 07:34 PM
    Start at the top of your leg to fix the issue at the bottom :)

    Concentrate on your thigh. You want the inner part of your thigh (think where your thighs rub together when you walk) to be touching the horse/saddle, not the back of your thigh. If the back of your thigh is touching, this rotates your knee out, which also will in turn rotate your ankle out and makes your toes turn out too.

    Think of sitting on three 'points' of a triangle in the saddle - your seat bones and your pelvic bone. Sitting this way will help 'open' your hip and allow the proper area of your thigh to make contact with the horse. Also, periodically throughout your ride, halt and take your hand and actually pull your thigh out and away from your horse at the back of your thigh to help you lay the proper area of your thigh on the horse/saddle.

    It isn't easy, and is a mental and physical workout to get to the point where you don't constantly have to think of how you are riding, but it works.

    Another thing you may be doing is gripping with the back of your calf (this can happen in conjunction with what I mentioned above). Once you have that thigh muscle being used properly, you will find you can take your calf off your horse and not feel unbalanced. I'm working with my bf right now to teach him to use his thigh instead of back of his calf to hold himself on the horse, and it is slowly helping his toes out issue. There is already the muscle memory there, so it is not going to happen overnight.

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