How to be more comfortable with longer stirrups?
I have ridden hunters all my life and I recently switched to dressage with my new gelding. My problem seems to be posting with longer stirrups. I am only comfortable if I have my stirrups at a hunter length. As soon as I drop my stirrups down a hole or two to a more appropriate dressage length, I lose the independence of my seat and am not as stable. Any tips to help with this?
Lunge lessons. If I was your coach I would be putting you on the lunge and taking your stirrups away to help you develop an independent seat and allow your legs to become more comfortable in a longer position.
Equestrian I can relate! It feels really weird at first and it also feels like you are leaning back but you get used to it and it actually becomes quite comfortable! Now whenever I switch back to my AP saddle it feels awkward. Anyhow, I didn't do anything but kept at it and it became more natural with time as I built up the appropriate muscles. I do feel like I'm using my core a lot more with dressage so maybe you are still rebalancing and building your core? Just a thought. Definitely good advice to work on the lunge line to focus on you! =)
Don't just put your stirrups down three or so holes. Then your heels will come up and you will not be able to use your seat properly! Always lengthen stirrups slowly, so the you aren't reaching for the stirrups, but they are a comfortable length. Until you learn to really stretch down your leg, just lengthen them about a hole. then lengthen another hole when your legs are yearning for a longer stirrup. Otherwise you'll simply lose your stirrups 90% of the ride.
When I first switched to dressage, I did a lot of stirrupless work, especially at the walk during warm up. I focused on stretching my legs and sitting as deep as possible. When we started at the trot and I picked up my stirrups, they didn't feel quite so long. I also only dropped my stirrups about one half hole a week to get used to them. But, now I'm back to hunters and oh so happy to have my stirrups jacked back up! LOL!
equestrian~ I have the same problem and same background.
I def recommend the lunge lessons, or even just having a friend lunge you stirrupless. I am still more comfortable without stirrups than I am in longer stirrups. Your saddle may also have an effect. If your still riding in an AP or jumping saddle it does tilt you as it's designed to support your leg when it's shorter.
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