Originally Posted by JulieG
And try riding without your stirrups when it's up to you. I do that at the walk/trot sometimes when I need to get a better feel for a horse, but it helps get you used to the feeling so you don't tense up or fall forward if you do lose them on accident.
Riding in your saddle with your feet out of the stirrups is the best thing for it if it makes you nervous or insecure. Don't do it bareback. It's not the same. You need to feel the saddle under you and learn to grip with your thighs. The principle is basically the same as bareback, but the feel and experience is different (you won't be bareback when you lose the stirrup
). If you lose just one stirrup it's much the same. Just grip with your legs. If you're walking it's pretty easy to just get the stirrup back. You can even practice it at a walk. Make sure you're horse is ok with it first. I've seen green horses panic over a loose, free swinging stirrup.
(and if it keeps you from coming out of the saddle while you learn to deal with it there's no crime in grabbing the saddle to stay on
I actually make my grandchildren do this when they first get on. Of course they always start out grabbing the saddle the first time, but that's pretty normal for 5 or 6 year olds (not to mention many adults
) and they quickly learn to grip with their legs.