Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
It isn't about pushing your heels down, every rider have different heel angles. That isn't the issue - what it is that you want to achieve is, allowing your heels to do their job which is = anchoring you.
Think of it like this - a sailor will drop the boats anchor to keep the boat in place. To secure the boats position, to ensure that the boat doesn't float off or end up somewhere it shouldn't be.
Now, put that with your heels. Your heels cannot anchor you in your tack, if you aren't allowing them to. Your bodies weight must beable to sink, remember gravity...from your head down into your heels for your heels to beable to aid in keeping your body solidified in your tack.
You can only do that, by allowing the weight to naturally flow from top, to bottom. So back with the gripping and the pinching. Think of it this way - the weight flows from your head, into your chest, into your core, into your seat naturally......just tickity boo. From your seat, it is trying to flow down even more, into your lower leg...BUT if you, the rider blocks that flow from happening because you've gripped with your knees, or with your thighs or your calves.....you've blocked it from beable to sink down. So it stops at that pressure point you've created.
Now your heels cannot do their job, because they aren't getting the weight flow they need to beable to anchor you in your tack - so you have to make a concious effort, to make sure you are allowing that weight flow to naturally take its course - from head, to heel.
Make sure you aren't pushing your weight into your toes either - it's in your heels. Again, they don't have to be at a 90 degree angle, nor even a 50 degree angle, allow your body to do what it can do, the best it can do. Just so long as your heels are taking in that weight flow.
There are many great books out there as well, to help you out with this dillema, focusing on exercises to strengthen you and your body parts to. You can get into pilates, bally ball exercises - there are many ways to help you out to strengthen your body so that you can be that much more efficiant while in your tack.