Originally Posted by bsms
I guess my next question is "Why do you want your toes pointing forward?"
I'm a beginner rider, and if I try to force my toes forward, it tightens and stiffens my leg. A stiff or tense leg is much more harmful to good riding than sticking my toes out, so I eventually just accepted having my toes stick out 50 deg. With time, my legs and hips are getting more flexible, so now my toes are only about 30 deg out.
I'd recommend twisting your stirrups to allow whatever foot position you can have while riding with a relaxed and loose leg. And if I've misunderstood what you are saying, I apologize in advance...
I think I do have a pretty relaxed, loose leg, until you reach my foot that is. At least, I don't feel tension in my leg, except for my foot...
I really want to have my feet pointed forward because I dream of showing competitively, in something, someday and since I can't do that with my current horse, I figure the next best thing is to get my position perfect while I'm trail riding for hours instead of spending hours practicing "bad" habits... If that makes any sense...
Originally Posted by riccil0ve
I agree with the above. People drill "toes forward!" into riders, but in reality, they just mean don't stick your toes out. I think the whole thing has been misconstrued, and the true meaning has been lost. You want your legs to be relaxed and comfortable. By forcing your toes in, it will stiffen up your knees and your hips, preventing you from riding at your true potential because your joints are too locked up.
I do know what you mean about bearing more weight on the outside of your foot. I think most riders do that naturally. But since yours is so extreme, I would work on relaxing your foot and ankle. Take your feet out of the stirrup and point your toe up, then down, then do circles in both directions, etc, until your foot can relax. I would do this at the start of every ride, and whenever you notice it happening during your ride.
I saw your thread about Lacey starting to act up a bit. Have you noticed this problem to happen in relation to that? Maybe your girl is just keeping you on your toes a bit?
I think your first comment is very interesting, and not in a bad way either. I've actually found that I think my lower leg is stiffer with my toes out than with them in... With my toes out, I find that I do a lot of kicking with my heel instead of engaging my entire lower leg. Maybe it's because I toe-in so much irl? I dunno. With my toes pointed forward, I've also found that I can stay with Lacey when she canters much more easily. I had been having major issues with that in the last saddle I was riding in. It's weird for sure!
I'll give that exercise a try! It sounds like it might be helpful. I'm a very stiff person in general so I need all the help I can get! Haha
Perhaps, actually... I keep catching myself with my heels up, and I say to myself "how are you going to stick with Lacey if you have a short, ineffective leg?? Lengthen it up!" So maybe subconsciously I'm trying to combat my heels coming up by forcing them into "correctness" and then getting stiff so they stay down... I've also been riding in rain boots, which probably doesn't help.
But I don't have any other footwear that I don't care about getting muddy and that actually fits inside the stirrup (I have a pair of these muck boot type things but they get stuck in the stirrup and I don't want to tempt fate into making me fall off Lacey when I'm wearing footwear that will cause me to get hung up in the saddle).
Originally Posted by corinowalk
Is it comfortable to ride like that or are you having pains after rides in your ankles/knees/hips?
I generally have pain in my ankles after I ride, and I always have, even when I was riding with my feet twisted out. I'm not sure why but I'm sure it's probably something else wrong with how I ride.
The thing that brought this to my attention was that I keep having pain in the area of my foot I rest on the stirrup bar, while I ride. But other than that, I'm pain free.
So, I guess the simple answer is no, it is not comfortable to ride like that. Haha