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rottenweiler 02-04-2010 06:46 PM

problem with leg position
I wasn't sure where to put this so I decided on here. I have had a problem keeping my right leg properly in the stirrup when riding. It doesn't matter which direction I'm going, I don't seem to put enough weight in my right leg and then my heel comes up and the stirrup slips back. Any suggestions on how to correct this?

Scoutrider 02-04-2010 06:54 PM

The problem could be in your stirrup length; if your stirrups are too long, it's going to be hard to put weight into your heels and keep your stirrups in place. The stirrup and leather length should be about the length of your arm from fingertip to armpit. In the saddle, sitting relaxed with legs hanging, the iron should be no lower than your ankle bone. Since you say its only really your right leg, perhaps that leather has stretched some over time and hangs longer than the left, in which case put it up an extra hole.

Some saddles have weird configurations as far as the stirrup bar placement in relation to the seat that can make it hard to keep a solid leg position as well.

MyBoyPuck 02-04-2010 11:08 PM

Wow, until I read this post, I totally forgot that I had this same problem a few years ago. No matter what I did, my left leg came up and I would keep losing the stirrup. One day I tried riding without stirrups and suddenly realized that I wasn't using that leg hardly at all. I practically slid off the side of the horse since my right leg was doing all the work. I think the stronger leg was unknowingly doing all of the work to stay balanced and pulling the weaker side up. I would suggest posting with the weaker leg out of the stirrup. It will force your body to correct its lopsided position and strengthen the weaker leg at the same time. It isn't easy, but it does work.

rottenweiler 02-05-2010 05:51 PM

hmm...I think I'll give that a try the next time I ride. When I used to ride and show in hunter/jumper, my instructor had me ride without stirrups all the time. Posting trot, sitting trot etc...I remember it because I had SUCH a hard time with it!

xxBarry Godden 02-06-2010 01:24 PM

Read the thread "toes up, heels down". The theory is discussed relentlessly there in

As a start:
1 SHorten the stirrup leathers
2 Manhandle the thigh to roll the leg round so that the foot lies parallel to
the direction of the horse
3 Mount up, put both feet in the sitrrup, force the heel down and turn the
foot parallel, then stand up in the stirrups and reach as high as you can
whilst pushing the ball of the foot into the stirrup bar, then sit down again.

But as has been said, it is an indication that you are not sitting level in the saddle. For the trail rider, it is a good idea to have more weight in both stirrups - a very light weight on the stirrup bars is more appopriate for the flat,quiet and level surface of the training arena.

The other thing to consider is tightness in your calf muscles and the possibility that your ham strings are too tight. If at work etc you regularly wear high heeled shoes then you are walking with your toes pointing downwards, thereby learning to "ride" with your toes down,and carrying
your weight on the ball of the feet
Pilates exercises will help free up those muscles.

Mercedes 02-06-2010 03:13 PM

Certainly examine and try the things that have been suggested. But I'll bet money you sit the horse crooked. I'll also bet that you walk crooked. I'll also bet you have one leg that is shorter than the other. And finally, I'll bet the horse is crooked in the same way you're crooked.

Have yourself examined by a healthcare professional to evaluate your own crookedness and come up with a plan to even yourself out. Once you're straight, you can then work on straightening the horse.

Dani9192 02-06-2010 04:13 PM

I have the same problem lol but one of my legs is shorter than the other, i don't have i crooked spine or anything. but if i don't adjust my stirrups one foot is perfectly in the stirrup and one barely touches the other one! kinda weird, maybe your legs do the same thing? except theres a less noticeable difference in the length of you legs? hmm.. might be something to see about

Diamond 02-07-2010 04:08 PM

just adjust your sturrup a hole higher on that side, and while posting trot use it KNOWINGLY, meaning on purpose. make an effort to use that right leg.

rottenweiler 02-08-2010 05:53 PM

Thanks for all the advice. What I find strange is that I remember taking lessons in my younger days and my instructors making me ride without stirrups, sitting and posting trot. I had SUCH trouble with it because I apparently was squeezing with my upper/inner thigh and so my lower leg would ride up behind me, tilting me forward and I'd have to grab the saddle or horses neck and right myself again. But, even with this problem with my right leg now, I can kick my feet out of the stirrups and ride sitting and posting trot with no problem...and I can FEEL myself using my WHOLE leg instead of just my inner thigh. But when I put my feet back in the stirrups it all goes to hell again.

rottenweiler 02-10-2010 06:17 PM

Well I shortened my leathers one hole on the right side and trotted around for a bit and it seemed to fix the problem of the 'bouncing foot' on that side, but I noticed it on the left side so I went ahead and raised that one as well. I think maybe that's all that was wrong, although I was taught to set the length as was mentioned earlier, holding the stirrup to my armpit and putting my hand on the saddle, making sure it was right at my ankle. But I definitely felt more 'seated' with the stirrups up one more hole

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