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Keeping feet in stirrups?!?

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  • Keeping feet in stirrups

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    01-15-2013, 08:38 PM
Originally Posted by JackieM    
She does not notice my feet coming out as I have to stop her to get my legs back in.

This would be a huge red flag to me, and I would bring it up with your new instructor. That is certainly something I would notice if I were teaching a student.

Let us know how it goes.
HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
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    01-15-2013, 09:23 PM
It sounds like you are getting too tense when you canter. This can cause your leg muscles to contract and then you lose your stirrups. Don't lift your leg up for the cue. Just squeeze where they are.
Druydess likes this.
    01-15-2013, 10:39 PM
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First of all, OP, I think you are amazingly observant. Your description of the problem and your self awareness of what you were doing and how it was affecting the horse bodes well for your future as a rider.

If you want to use the open/closed door visual, you could do something like this:

Say you want her to canter on a right lead. You will want to have her right shoulder be the open door through which she goes. Your inside hip can encourage that by lifting up a tiny bit, and your outside (left) hip can close the door by pressins a tiny bit harder. This happens when you make the outside leg go longer and a bit heavier against the horse. The whole leg , from hip to calf/heel, closes against the horse. Just doing that will actually unweight your inside hip a tiny bit, openning the door for a right lead.

Soon you find that just thinking of your left leg back , just the smallest amount, will cue her into canter.

And, sit up straight and think of "scooping" her out in front of you.
    01-19-2013, 08:32 AM
First make sure your stirrup length is adjusted properly. Ride with your weight divided in thirds .... 1/3 seat, 1/3 in each stirrup. As a fairly new rider, you will need to strengthen your legs and improve your balance. You can do this by riding standing up. First at the walk. Its ok to place your hands on either side of the horse's neck to help your balance, but the goal is to ride with out your hands on the horse's neck. This will improve both leg and core strength, both needed for balance. Just do not use the reins and horse's mouth to help your balance. Advance to the trot then lope when you're cofortable. This exercise will help you get control of your legs/feet.
    01-19-2013, 10:48 AM
I really focused on my legs this week and am convinced that I am not keeping my heels down and I'm tensing up therefore shortening my legs. As I've been focusing on keeping my heels down I realize I never have as I can feel the burn and now I know I need to strengthen my legs...thanks for the standing and riding tip, I like the standing on the edge of a step idea too!
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LeahKathleen likes this.
    01-19-2013, 12:55 PM
That's awesome. Anyone who has ever said that horseback riding isn't a sport has never really ridden a horse properly. ;)

I agree with tinyliny that you have a great future ahead of you in horsemanship. You're very observant and willing to make changes when you realize that something you're doing isn't working. You'd be surprised how many people come to this forum with an issue and argue with the members who are offering advice.

This is really one of the best horse communities I've found on the internet. There is an absolute wealth of knowledge here, and it's a great place to learn. I noticed your status is that you're "doing as much research as possible as to be a good horse owner in the future," and I think that is great. Welcome to the community. I hope you stick around! :)
    04-10-2013, 09:27 AM
Thank you everyone, I no longer have an issue with my feet, I needed to sit more mid saddle (I was sitting too far back) and pushing my feet too forward, now I just have to remember to breathe and sit mid saddle so I do not fall behind the lope and cause her to speed up.
Celeste likes this.
    04-10-2013, 06:08 PM
I know from my experiance, that if my styrups are the right length my heels automatically stay down, and my feet stay in the styrips, if ur putting pressure on ur heels that means ur balancing off ur feet, you need to relax from hip down and flow with the horses movement, try not to worry what ur feet r doing, as when you focus on them you'll find that's when everything else goes off key,

I relised I focused on keeping my heels down so much that I wasnt worrying about my arms and they were bouncing around LOL, if I focus on 1 thing, im not focusing on anything else which I need to be.

Sitting the trot I find my feet come out, balance is the key if ur feet come out, if ur feet have come out, you lost balance before that

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