Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
You have to have proper foot placement in the iron in order to incorporate proper toe angle and calf placement on your horses side.
The base of the iron should be placed on the balls of your toes first, then the outter bar of the iron should be at the tip of your pinky toe, and the inner bar of the iron placed at the ball of your big toe - then your ankle can relax and start to work as a shock absorber, which in turn, your heels will beable to do their job, which is anchor you into your tack.
You should have at least a 45 degree angle in your toes, not strait forward and not beyond the 45 degrees. You have to find proper placement of your calf - or as I call it, your "sweet spot". You don't want the inside of your calf in use, nor do you want the back of your calf in use, you want that "sweet spot", or as Goldie Locks said "This is just right" :P
Also, as George Morris says, you are not ontop of your horse, you are wrapped around your horse. You have to allow your knees to relax and not come into use. Do not grip with them, allow them to rest softly on your saddle - even light pressure from your thigh to your knees. When you open your knees, you not only allow your bodies weight to flow naturally from head into heels, you also allow your lower leg to make full contact with your horses side. Remember, you are wrapped around your horse.
Another important factor is, does your saddle correctly fit you/work with you/aid your position? Are your legs properly placed under you without hinderance? Or are you put into a chair seat? If your saddle isn't helping you, then you're going to struggle to obtain a correct and effective position in your tack. Your saddle should instantly place you in a proper position, where you are balanced over your feet. You can do alllll the work in the world to obtain a correct and effective position, but it will go to waste if your saddle hinders you.
I used to ride in an All Purpose saddle, that put me in a chair seat. No matter how hard I worked at obtaining a solid and effective position, I couldn't do it. The saddle hindered me from being correct. It didn't work for my body type, where it instantly placed me in an incorrect position. Feet infront of me, seat pushed to the rear of the saddle. It was when I sat in a saddle that put me in a correct position, was when I realized how important it is in having a saddle that works with you, instead of against you - to help you obtain a solid and functional position.