How do I stop my feet from bouncing around in the stirrups?
I've been riding for a year. The first riding school I went to was more like a hacking school so I have not been taught how to ride properly. I've changed riding schools now, so I've been having a few lessons every week there. I always struggle to get the horse to canter and when I do canter, the horse ends up stopping or slowing down because my feet are always bouncing in the stirrups - so I can never squeeze the horse forward with my inner leg/foot. I've went onto jumping now (just trotting over the jumps) and I've been taking group lessons for a while and I get a bit nervous. I'm scared in case I get asked to canter around the arena when I can barely even do it because of my bouncy feet! :oops: Any tips for staying still in the saddle and tips on squeezing.. Also, advice for jumping would help too, I've only done a few small ones and it's been great so far (I was a bit nervous though at first, hehe).
Your trainer needs to get you doing some no-stirrup work. Your lower legs shouldn't be so noodly.
Because I do group lessons, my instructor never really tends to do trotting or anything without stirrups. I can't really afford private lessons, they're pretty expensive at the riding school I go to. Thanks anyway though. :')
P.S: Does anyone know any good tips to keep my feet in the stirrups? (Like any foot exercises to strengthen the foot or whatever).
It is easy - take the stirrups off the saddle. Ride without them for six months. When you get back to using them, your legs will be stong enough that you won't bounce.
Alternately - bring them up several notches so that you are riding holding yourself off the saddle by an inch or two... painful, but you will get the leg musscle you need... hehehehe but watch your hands, keep them soft. It will be one heck of a workout!
You need to remember to sink your weight into your heels. Think of making your leg as long as possible. It sounds like you "shrink" your legs when you ask for the canter transition. Sit up tall and weight into your heels.
No stirrups will definately help you strengthen your lower leg. Also, ride in 2 point, really concentrating on sinking the weight down into your heels and letting go with your knee so you're not pinching.
Have you asked your instructor about this problem and asked her how to fix it? Maybe if you ask her to do some no stirrup work she will have the whole group do it.
I agree with all of the suggestions already made by everyone else, riding without your stirrups and riding in a two point position are really great, and remember to think of letting your legs hang down nice and long around your horse letting your weight drop into your heels. Also be sure you are riding with the balls of your feet on the stirrups, make sure you don't have your foot placed to far into them.
Something that you can do when you aren't on your horse that will help you to develop a deep heel is to stand on the edge of a step on the balls of your feet and sink all of your weight down into your heels, start with holding that position for about 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and repeat a few more times, gradually build up the amount of time that you hold the stretch for.
I have a question for you. Are your heals up or down when your riding that may matter on your legs bouncing. If they are done they shouldnt bounce as much.
All I can say is keep those heels down and your weight in your heels! My instructor always told me to imagine I had springs attached to my heels that touched the floor, and I had to compress the spring! :)
Well, you could squeeze a basketball between your calfs at home, standing on the edge of a stair and rising up and down, or do calf raises ( rise up on your toes for 3seconds, rise down so your feet are half a cm off the floor and do it again). I did these to strengthen my lower leg muscles at home.Hope this helps and good luck!
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