Caught in your Stirrups
 
 

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Caught in your Stirrups

This is a discussion on Caught in your Stirrups within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Proper foot position in stirrup
  • Scary stirrup

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    12-06-2011, 11:51 AM
  #1
Weanling
Caught in your Stirrups

Itís every riderís nightmare, at least it's one of my fears.

One of my readers sent in a very scary story about how she got hung up in her stirrups while riding.

Based on her incident and our riding experience both on the trail and as registered riding instructors we put together this piece that discusses some of the whyís behind how your foot can get caught; what to look for in footwear to prevent the problem; and a look at different stirrup styles.

What do you do to prevent a hang up? I like tapaderos since Iím partial to lace up boots.

You can read the entire article here.

     
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    12-06-2011, 12:50 PM
  #2
Green Broke
That's going to leave a mark,,,

I have had it happen once. Luckily my horse imediately stopped and looked at me, as if to ask, "Why are you down there ? My australian saddle is designed so the stirrup leather comes off in that situation. I'll take their word for it as I have no desire to test it.
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    12-06-2011, 01:16 PM
  #3
Trained
I question this: "Additionally, proper stirrup placement, on the ball of the foot, instead of jammed "home" clear up to the arch, also lowers the risk of a rider being caught and dragged."

Do you have any evidence? I'm not saying you are wrong, just that I've seen no evidence it is true.

When I ride with my foot homed, it would be tough to make it go any farther forward. The stirrup leather is against my shin, so my foot cannot accelerate to slide thru.

If the stirrup is the correct size, then why is the 'home' position bad?

I notice the cowboys of old used that position exclusively:



A day herder, Bert Killion, on a knoll overlooking the grazing herd. LS Ranch, Texas, 1907

Erwin E. Smith Collection Guide | Collection Guide

This is a thread I started not long after joining the forum:

Question on stirrup position: ball of foot or mid-foot (home)

Today, I ride with the rear of the stirrup about 2-3 inches in front of the heel. To this day, I don't actually know if it helps, hurts, or doesn't matter. I don't lose my stirrup as often...



Like Joe4d, I like the Australian saddle.
     
    12-06-2011, 01:25 PM
  #4
Showing
I think in western type stirrups, it is pretty common to ride with them all the way to the arch of your foot. I know that's how I ride.

As for myself, I avoid getting hung up by using appropriate footwear...slick soled boots, and I use roping stirrups. They are hard to get hung in and if you do manage it, they are easy to get out of.
     
    12-06-2011, 01:36 PM
  #5
Trained
I think we should include training our horses to several cues for a halt--the weight, the reins and the verbal--and to ground tie.
Also, we should be schooling our horses without stirrups so that they feel your weight and the stirrups hitting their sides without incident. I like to lunge with a saddle, preferably English, since the stirrups will bang much more than Western stirrups do.
I've had enough really well trained horses and NONE of them ever did what the picture on the original post is doing. Even "Corporal", who parted ways with me when a 5yo--we were delivering a message to the Colonel, riding towards a cannon which he didn't like, we went left, we went right, we went left again, I went left and he went right--He stopped and waited for me to remount. Then again, I've been thrown by several horses who couldn't tolerate anything on their sides, YOUR legs, stirrups, and rope--you NAME it, it bothered them.
This is the PERFECT time for this post. I don't have an indoor arena, so I train and retrain (review, really) basics with my horses this time of year. This is the best time to reinforce your authority over the little things that your horse hasn't really mastered, so that by next Spring, everything will be smoother.
     
    12-06-2011, 01:48 PM
  #6
Trained
The lady who broke Lilly for us spent some time teaching her that a very badly balanced weight in the saddle meant stop and wait for help. That would be a good thing for a horse to think!

Right now, she is working with my spooky mare Mia. They have had a number of lessons now trying to get Mia to understand that a rope that smacks her legs or even gets tangled in them means stop. She isn't there yet, but is making progress. In Mia's case, it is working with her to get over what seems to be one of her worst fears, but it would sure help if someone did get caught in the stirrup.

When I started riding, I wore those athletic riding shoes, in the theory that the stores SAY they are OK for riding. I still have a pair that I use for loafing around, but now I ride in boots. Period. With slick soles. I'd much rather ride in a cowboy hat than with sneakers or those 'riding shoes'!
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    12-06-2011, 02:50 PM
  #7
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
If the stirrup is the correct size, then why is the 'home' position bad?


Balance.

With your foot 'home', a rider tends to sit as though on a motorcycle with legs stiff instead of balanced on the balls of your feet and thus lighter in the saddle.
     
    12-06-2011, 02:56 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
Balance.

With your foot 'home', a rider tends to sit as though on a motorcycle with legs stiff instead of balanced on the balls of your feet and thus lighter in the saddle.
Nope. Look at the photo of me in my Aussie-style saddle. Whatever my faults may be in that picture, bracing against the stirrups isn't one.

In fact, since I don't worry about losing my stirrups, I ride lighter in the stirrups and have a more relaxed leg.

The old cowboy picture reflects an older style of riding, but they didn't spend 12+ hours days in the saddle with stiff, braced legs.
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    12-06-2011, 03:31 PM
  #9
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Nope. Look at the photo of me in my Aussie-style saddle. Whatever my faults may be in that picture, bracing against the stirrups isn't one.

In fact, since I don't worry about losing my stirrups, I ride lighter in the stirrups and have a more relaxed leg.

The old cowboy picture reflects an older style of riding, but they didn't spend 12+ hours days in the saddle with stiff, braced legs.
In the photo you are doing anything. You aren't rounding a barrel or working a cow. Fence work or trail riding is a lot different.

But since you feel you know the answer, why did you ask?
     
    12-06-2011, 03:33 PM
  #10
Showing
Agreed, bracing with your legs is a bad habit that can happen no matter where you keep the stirrup on your foot.
     

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