Losing stirrups when turning on the trot - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 10-04-2013, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Losing stirrups when turning on the trot

I've just started taking riding lessons (woo! Lesson number 2 was last night!) and while I understand that some things come with time, I keep losing my stirrups when my horse is trotting and I'd just like some tips so I can be a bit prepared to try something different my next lesson.

I assume that part of the problem is that I must be lifting my foot when asking for a turn since it tends to happen the worst when I'm using my feet to direct my horse - to the point where my foot is completely out of the stirrup and I have to fish for it quickly with my foot or ask the horse to slow down in order for me to get back into position. It doesn't matter if I sit the trot or post - I lose my stirrups, and always on the turns.

Is there a way to keep my heels down and my foot in good contact with the stirrup while asking for a turn with my foot and posting?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :) My next lesson can't come soon enough! Too happy to be finally able to afford to pursue this as a hobby.
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post #2 of 23 Old 10-04-2013, 10:55 PM
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lesson number 2? You are right in that it just takes time to learn not to grip up. Becuase that is certainly what you are likely doing that causes the loss of the stirrup.

Turn more with the rein, less with you leg. In the beginning your main job is just finding the balance so you don't make life tough for the horse. That's why a lunge lesson would be optimal for you soon.
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post #3 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
lesson number 2? You are right in that it just takes time to learn not to grip up. Becuase that is certainly what you are likely doing that causes the loss of the stirrup.

Turn more with the rein, less with you leg. In the beginning your main job is just finding the balance so you don't make life tough for the horse. That's why a lunge lesson would be optimal for you soon.
some good advise here..i would like to add, learning to use your core (pelvis and abdomen) to help turn...learn to use your whole lower body and not just your leg to signal. You need to look where you are going and not at the horse. Good luck, and have fun. Riding can be a cheap alternative to theropy for most people
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post #4 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 09:24 AM
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I sounds as though you have no weight in your stirrups (one of my main problems when I strarted to ride again) as I was gripping with my thighs - riding without stirrups makes you grip "around" the horse - and that's the grip you need to emulate with stirrups - maybe see if you can try that x
Oh, and all of the above too :)
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post #5 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 09:44 AM
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I found out that trying to think heels down was for some odd reason sort of difficult. Instead I learned to think toes up. Simple as it may be, just changing the way I thought about that one little thing made a difference in my riding with my feet in the proper position.
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post #6 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 10:30 AM
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Raising your stirrups for a few rides just enough to make it easier to put your weight in your heels and have a good stable point of contact can help. Then as you learn the rest and develop balance you lengthen again and work on stretching your leg down and into the stirrups instead of raising the stirrups to meet you. I'm not talking raising them up alot just one maybe two holes. It makes a difference.
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post #7 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckyroo View Post
I sounds as though you have no weight in your stirrups (one of my main problems when I strarted to ride again) as I was gripping with my thighs - riding without stirrups makes you grip "around" the horse - and that's the grip you need to emulate with stirrups - maybe see if you can try that x
Oh, and all of the above too :)
Is this one of the differences between western and english? My last western instructor (loosely referenced, it was an experienced rider who gave me advice) always told me to keep my legs off the horse until a leg command was given. And, when giving the leg command, to make sure the other leg was OFF the horse.

I am also struggling with losing my stirrups, mostly on corner turns.

If someone could speak to this post, it may help me further visualize what I should be doing.

Thanks.
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post #8 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AQHSam View Post
Is this one of the differences between western and english? My last western instructor (loosely referenced, it was an experienced rider who gave me advice) always told me to keep my legs off the horse until a leg command was given...
AQHSam, in a word, yes. I think.

On the rare times I ride in our Circle Y saddle, the shape of the saddle prevents me from having contact with my lower leg unless I twist it in. I learned to ride on a horse who spooked or jumped sideways a lot, while using either an English or Australian saddle, so I like to have my legs wrapped as far around the horse as possible. And I think that agrees with all the books I have on English riding, both jumping and dressage - the side of your calf lightly against the side of the horse: "always in soft contact with the sides of the horse; no great effort required to keep them there" - Riding and Schooling Horses, by Harry Chamberlin

Trooper is a ranch horse. He was also viciously spurred on a ranch he was briefly loaned to just before we got him. He still has the scars. He interprets lower leg contact as 'speed up'. Since I always ride with lower leg contact...well, I have to adjust when riding Trooper. 95% of his riding is with my daughter, and she uses the 'no contact unless I want something from you' approach - as she was taught to by a couple of western riding instructors. I don't have any good books on western riding, but I know she was taught to do it that way.
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post #9 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 12:50 PM
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Another thread:

Losing stirrups

... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
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post #10 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 12:59 PM
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as always BSMS, thank you for the well thought out explanations. I am sure I am instictively keeping my legs off so I will add that to my checklist of things to correct as I bounce around the ring.
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