Originally Posted by Wheatermay
...So does that gap have to be there?
FWIW, I don't think so. I stay on better with my center of gravity lower, and I like my leg to be relaxed in a position where it naturally follows the curve of my horse. I usually adjust my stirrups for a height that makes my leg feel draped around the horse. On my mare, that is a position that allows me to be light in the seat, but not fully out of it. Maybe an inch, tops.
That is also the position that keeps my knees feeling OK and my heels down.
I have no interest in jumping anything other than the invisible jumps my mare used to find. They seem to be getting rarer now, and I won't miss them if all the invisible jumps go away...
My standard position. I don't teach, train, compete, or anything else...just ride the horse I like riding. Take it with a big steaming cup of FWIW: