Newbie with physical limitations with riding questions - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 06-02-2010, 06:00 PM
Join Date: May 2010
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Let your hips aborb the movement. This sounds like it's easy, but it takes experience. Ask someone to lead you around at the walk to just ride the walk. You know that feeling where your hips are moving? That rocking motion? That's the area you want to work on.

Riding bare back also helps alot, as it stregthens your legs and helps you feel the whole movement of the horse. That or just ride without striupps for a while. Both of these exercises make you use your legs and hips.

When riding with out a saddle or without stirupps, be sure to NOT clentch on with your knees. Just let your hips absorb the movement, and be sure not to accidentally kick the horse with you loose feet. Try to keep your heels as far down as they can go without any pain. When you're an expert at that at the walk try the trot sitting, not posting. (you can do it without stirrups but it's kinda hard lol!) And see how to do!

This should help you find and keep your balance on your horse. I really hope that this information helped! I hope you're ankeles heel up! and you continue your riding carrer!

Good Luck!
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post #12 of 21 Old 06-02-2010, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Yoder, Colorado
Posts: 27
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I am hoping for some saddle time tomorrow so I can concentrate more on relaxing. The other day my mare was so herd sour I had to concentrate on winning the battle to leave the heard more then I got to enjoy and relax.

I dont have alot of pain in my ankles anymore, just not much flex. My feet will go from about a 90 degree angle to my leg to maybe 15 degree toe down movement, and zero side to side flex. I walk fine in boots with heels and can do most things without much issue. I have a hard time standing on sloped surfaces or kneeling, and can not croutch down but otherwise I do okay.

Thanks for you inputs and wish me luck !
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post #13 of 21 Old 06-02-2010, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ontario
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I would suggest riding without your sturrups. Get your balance before worrying about what your feet are doing. Once you are comfortable all 3 gaits without sturrups then start working on that. If you can't put your heels down then that's fine, it won't affect you to badly. If your feet stay pretty level that that is a good alternative to heels down. Once you are working with your feet in the sturrups then try putting a little weight on them to keep them in place.

The key is to stay relaxed as much as possible in every part of your body.

Hope everything works out for you. Good luck, and good for you for getting back into it and trying :)
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post #14 of 21 Old 06-03-2010, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Texas
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This is slightly unrelated.

Because of my own disability, I wore braces on my knees for nearly four years. These braces went up to my knees, strapped, and came down beneath my feet into a molded form. These braces served the main purpose of making my feet move into the correct position so my knees would not hyperextend and cause more damage. The braces gave me the ability to move my foot up, however I nearly had to have surgery because I have so much restriction in moving my feet up.

For the first few months it was odd, painful. However, after the years, I finally learned how to jump, run, and do nearly anything. I felt more comfortable, more secure with this. At times I have considered fusing my ankles, however the idea frightens me and you are a very brave girl to have gone through it.

Everything will take adjustment, however I believe you are capable of doing it.

When you ride, you don't put your heel down. Especially in the faster gaits, if you put your heel down you will tighten your calf muscles and cause tension in your legs. Rather, relax your seat and try to bring your weight down completely. Let gravity move through your body, and let your weight go down, down, down, and relax. Your body should naturally move that way.

I may also suggest riding without stirrups for a little while. If you are capable of moving into the rhythm with the horse without stirrups, and get your weight in the correct positions, hopefully you can have a smooth transition into stirrups.


Something that I was convinced of when I was first diagnosed. I was having emotional problems. A teacher of mine told me something that I still hold to. You are capable of anything you want to do. Everybody is different. A blind person may be more capable of playing the piano or writing a story than a person that is healthy, just as Frank Hopkin's wild mustang may be more capable of an endurance race across a desert than the finest bred Arabians. It may take you a little bit longer than other people to accomplish what you want to do, but try to keep from excuses. Tell yourself that you can get past this, no matter how long it takes, and don't give up.

I don't think somebody with your kind of problem is a commoner around these forums, and you are an inspiration to me, and I am sure, many others here.

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post #15 of 21 Old 06-04-2010, 08:43 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 4,761
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I think it's great you are riding again! One other thing that I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned is that you said the horse has had a 3 year break too. Which means she is probably really rusty herself, with little muscle tone. When mine even get the winter off, they have a hard time coming back balanced and smooth until their muscles are back. Definitely more bouncy and uncoordinated. Give her some time to get back into shape too, before you blame yourself for it all. :) And don't forget to breathe! I have all my students do breathing exercises when they get tense, it really helps them to relax and move with the horse a little better. Good luck!

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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post #16 of 21 Old 06-04-2010, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Yoder, Colorado
Posts: 27
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Again, thank you everyone for the support !

I got a couple hours in the saddle last night. I am getting more confident and comfortable, although still about bounce out of the saddle at anything faster then a walk ! LOL ! I am not giving up though, Eventually I will get it ! I tried not using stirrups and had to grab hold of the horn to stay in. I will try again today !
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post #17 of 21 Old 06-04-2010, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ontario
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There is nothing wrong with holding onto the horn until you are comfortable. As long as you aren't pulling yourself out of the saddle because of it you are fine :) Try getting someone to have you on th lunge also so you can focus on what you are doing and not have to worry about what the horse is doing.
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post #18 of 21 Old 06-05-2010, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Yoder, Colorado
Posts: 27
• Horses: 10
Rode again yesterday, I think she is starting to understand me better even though my leg cues have had to change slightly. I realize now I need to do some ground work with her now that I know how I will have to use leg cues and get her to understand. She knows how to do reining spins fairly well, but I am uncapable of getting my feet turned in the proper position to tell her I want her to move only on the front end.

This week will be busy so I dont know how much riding I will get in, a friend won a spot in Clinton Andersons tour and we are her support crew and are doing the hauling from Colorado to Vegas. I thought it was telling when they called her to tell her she won, they told her DO NOT do any training before we go and made sure she had not used CA's methods on this horse. I had always wondered how much these horses were shown before his clinics, I guess that answered my question.

I am going to try to get a day or two in riding, or at least doing ground work on my horse before we leave. All I think about now is getting on my Horse !
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post #19 of 21 Old 06-05-2010, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Aw, she is such a pretty girl with those long flowy blonde locks.
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post #20 of 21 Old 06-05-2010, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Taranaki New Zealand.
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Your horse has such a sweet face! She looks very kind and patient, she sure is pretty.
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