dressage rider's heels - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Red face dressage rider's heels

hi theree:)

im kindd of embarrassed to ask this, but i haven't taken very many dressage lessons in my life, just jumping. and yes, i know i should take dressage lessons, it would be very beneficial.

just wondering, why don't dressage riders keep their heels very low? i know that keeping your heels low is the key to balance and a good seat, but i have noticed dressage riders heels aren't low.

not criticizing, just wondering what the reasoning behind it is! and i know not all dressage riders do this, just from what i have seen a lot do.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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anyone got an answer for me? :)
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeosAmericanShadow View Post
hi theree:)

im kindd of embarrassed to ask this, but i haven't taken very many dressage lessons in my life, just jumping. and yes, i know i should take dressage lessons, it would be very beneficial.

just wondering, why don't dressage riders keep their heels very low? i know that keeping your heels low is the key to balance and a good seat, but i have noticed dressage riders heels aren't low.

not criticizing, just wondering what the reasoning behind it is! and i know not all dressage riders do this, just from what i have seen a lot do.
Thank you! lol I'm curious too

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post #4 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 02:21 PM
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I've actually wondered this myself, I hope somebody answers!
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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im glad other people have noticed this, too! now all we need is an answer haha
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 02:41 PM
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"It is worth mentioning that short stirrups make a classical seat virtually impossible. Showjumpers often ride with shortened stirrups as it helps their legs absorb the shock of the jump. Shortened stirrups misplace the legs in a forward position for the dressage rider. It is advisable to sit in the classical position, letting the legs hang loose and long naturally, then lengthening or shortening the stirrup to complement the length of your legs."

Im GUESSING, that because dressage riders ride with so much balance and rythem and feel that they don't need grip to stay on. Thats just my guess. Corrext me if im wrong. Lol.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 08:03 PM
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I think their stirrups are already so long they can't put their heels down much without losing them. Western riders are about the same. I always found sitting deep easier without stirrups... Beats me why dressage riders even use them.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 08:38 PM
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Acctually, I find that it's easier to use the spur and to give aids when my heels isn't shoved down. Also, if your heel is shoved down, what is your calf doing? The muscles are tightening, so when your heel isn't shoved, your muscles arn't as tight, which makes the slighest tension in them feelable (is that a word?) to the horse. Dressage is all about how the slightest cue will get the disired result, so just tightening your muscles a certian way does sometime different. Like I have different ways of tightening my muscles in my legs to signal stoping and going.

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Why live on the edge when you can jump off?- Greenwood Horse Trials Tee-Shirt
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-28-2010, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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thanks ponyboy and stormyblues! :)
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-29-2010, 01:19 AM
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In dressage you want to use a longer leg and you still want your heels to be down but not as dramatically as hunt seat or something like that.

I'm mad at myself, this was JUST explained to me by my trainer and I'm at a loss for how to explain it. The seat in a dressage saddle is deeper and your legs are longer so keeping your heels as dramatically down isn't as critical to keeping your seat and balance. You still need to keep your stirrup in the same place and your heels slightly down, just not as much.



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