How to improve my foot position

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How to improve my foot position

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    • 2 Post By tinyliny
    • 3 Post By Golden Horse
    • 2 Post By bsms

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        07-21-2014, 12:04 AM
    How to improve my foot position

    I know exactly how my ankle/foot should be placed, and can do it no problem in the walk, but once I trot or canter my foot does this. I know I am doing it wrong, I just can't seem to remember until I look at pictures and videos after the fact. Otherwise nice pictures that I now want to trash because of that one thing >.<

    Any tricks to help get my foot placed correctly? I am not gripping the horse with my feet, just letting my toe drop. I usually ride English if any advice makes that matter
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        07-21-2014, 12:08 AM
    Super Moderator
    Oh, I think you probably are gripping more than you realize. Maybe not with your feet, but with your calf and knee.
    Open your hip angle. This means drop your knee downward, as if you were about to kneel, relax your hip , even if it makes your knee rotate outward, sit back, and think, "Toes up!"
    EliRose and BreanneAlter like this.
        07-21-2014, 12:32 AM
    I try to follow this advice regardless of saddle style:

    Click on the photo to read it full size. Also, check your stirrup length. I tend to point my toes when I get the straps/fenders too long...
        07-21-2014, 01:02 AM
    Rather than toes up, I prefer to think of heels down, not forcing them down but allowing the weight to fall down to your heels gently lengthening and stretching.
    freia, EliRose and BreakableRider like this.
        07-25-2014, 11:39 AM
    I had a lot of trouble with this same issue until the other day when my trainer said to think of getting my heels down as a way to lower my knee (sort of try to stretch without actually opening the angle, it feels like lengthening your leg). I immediately noticed a lot of difference in my balance.

    Hopefully you find a way that works for you, its all about finding the right analogy
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        07-25-2014, 03:02 PM
    Green Broke
    Sort of going off of what Golden said, I too prefer to think of it as "Heels down". Specifically as "sinking your weight into your heels".
        07-26-2014, 01:04 AM
    What helped me was the description, "Let the weight flow uninterrupted into the heels". I have tight hips. The first 5-10 minutes of riding is trying to get loosened up so that my weight can flow around the horse and into my heels, without my thighs and knees interrupting the flow with an unintentional grip. It isn't that I try to squeeze with my knees. It is just I sometimes feel like I need to pry my knees apart, because my hips just naturally squeeze my thighs and knees.

    The other terminology that helps me is to think of flexible heels ["relax the ankle joint" per the book above], not heels down or toes up. If my heel is flexible, and the weight is not interrupted by my knees (or thighs), then my heels will go as low as they are freely capable of going - and that is as far as they should go.

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