Keeping feet in stirrups?!?
I have a question about my feet and the lope. I am just learning the lope. I am a relatively new rider, started lessons in September and have been riding 5-6 days a week practicing technique from lessons since December when I started leasing my lesson horse. She is a very good, very broke horse, a little stubborn/lazy, but really a good horse for a greenie such as myself.
So I am learning the lope and have been given the OK to practice myself off of the longe line outside of lessons. I can que her, she transitions well, and she has a pretty nice lope. I am still learning how to sit it, but it is becoming easier each time I try. My problem is that I can not keep my feet in the stirrups. Any time I que with my legs/heels, I tend to lift my leg and/or bring up my heel, as much as I try not to. I can quickly and easily adjust when in the walk or jog, maybe I do not even pick up my legs for that...but in the lope, I roll my heel, but lift my heels, so the second she picks up the lope and I want to release the pressure my foot slides out of the stirrup (this happens almost ALWAYS).
The problem is that I am so focused on getting my foot back in place as she's loping that I ignore my hands and end up tightening up on the reigns, causing her to go into the jog, then I reque, then it happens all over again. I am giving her such mixed signals and she is getting pretty upset with me, and me at myself.
Do any of you have any little tricks to help me keep my feet in my stirrups...this does not happen on the walk or jog.
When I was having issues steering her, she was backing up on me, going to the middle, turning in circles, someone had said that I have to open a door for her, and that I have to close one door to open another...this worked phenomenally! The visual worked for me and I use it every day...I usually give her mixed signals because I am so new that if I just sit and think "what door do I have open" and fix that, we move on beautifully. So When I say "any ideas" I mean more that I can visualize what to do with my feet/body than keep my heels down and toes up with the stirrup on the ball of my foot...I know this, but my feet do not care! I'm tempted to tie bricks to my heels and superglue the ball of my foot to the stirrup! Thank you so much for your help as always!