Dressage Critique - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 59 Old 05-27-2015, 10:57 AM
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You could use some time riding in 2 point and sink your heels. Heels level or up, as yours are in this recent photo and a good way to ride home and get a foot caught in the stirrup. The ball of the foot needs to always be on the stirrup. Try, also, sinking and rising on stair steps, 10-20 reps per foot, and stand on just one foot. I suspect that your ankle muscles need stretching.
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post #52 of 59 Old 05-27-2015, 11:25 AM
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I had this problem from riding hunt seat for 30 years.......I went to a biomechanics clinic, and he recommended picturing your elbows touching your hip bones. This ceases the arched back, and the stiff arms in one exercise.

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post #53 of 59 Old 05-27-2015, 11:40 AM
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Since I don't do dressage, I won't comment much. I have been experimenting with stirrup lengths recently. My standard stirrup length was to have my heel either not touching or barely touching the stirrup if I sat in the saddle without boots. I've moved that up so it is about halfway between the bottom of my heel and the bottom of my ankle...or closer to my heel still. But raising it a little has made it feel good to have the stirrup on the ball of my foot. Part of why I was riding with my foot deeper in the stirrup was to keep from losing it. My riding background is in Australian and western saddles on a spooky horse, but I think what I'm seeing now is probably universal to riding - a too long stirrup may prevent bracing (which is why I started it) but it has other effects that hurt our riding.

Beyond that, here are links to a couple of dressage-oriented articles about stirrup length:

What is the Correct Stirrup Length For You? | Dressage Different

Check Dressage Stirrup Length | Dressage Today

Since I don't do dressage, don't compete at anything and will never win any awards for riding, you are more than welcome to ignore my post entirely.
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post #54 of 59 Old 05-27-2015, 12:40 PM
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One of the writers for Dressage Today was Heather Blix. She wrote a short but amXing explanation for stirrup length that explained why having them too Lon didn't make a person a more effective rider, but rather made one less stable and more prone to riding off the horses mouth or being behind the motion , since you had a less solid seat. Wish I had kept that issue od DT, like from 7 years ago.
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post #55 of 59 Old 05-27-2015, 01:15 PM
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At Intro level you should be posting at the trot because that will give you the best advantage at this point in your training so you need to have your stirrups at a length that allows you to do that correctly
At present they look too long for that - probably too long even for a sitting trot position because you can't seem to get your heels down
That means you're putting weight on your toes and that combined with the saddle that seems to tilt you forwards slightly means that you're sitting on the wrong part of your anatomy so losing power and control
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoZ57IiTAec
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post #56 of 59 Old 05-28-2015, 09:28 AM
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In addition to the other comments, I like the way that your hands appear to be quiet at the trot in all the photos, I'm sure your horses' mouth appreciates that!
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post #57 of 59 Old 05-28-2015, 05:07 PM
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Also...try to keep your fingers closed!
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post #58 of 59 Old 05-28-2015, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
At Intro level you should be posting at the trot because that will give you the best advantage at this point in your training so you need to have your stirrups at a length that allows you to do that correctly
At present they look too long for that - probably too long even for a sitting trot position because you can't seem to get your heels down
That means you're putting weight on your toes and that combined with the saddle that seems to tilt you forwards slightly means that you're sitting on the wrong part of your anatomy so losing power and control
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoZ57IiTAec

is that video posted as a "do like this" video, or a "don't do like this" video?

the stirrup length might be ok, but the rider in that video has rigid elbows and is pulling the horse down and back with downward pointing hands.
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post #59 of 59 Old 06-08-2015, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
the saddle IS a horrible fit for you. it is too big, by a fair amount. if you raised your stirrup, which you will find stabilizes your seat a ton, your stirrup iron might actually start interfereing against the bottom edge of the saddle flap. that saddle is a no go.
find another saddle.
What Tinyliny said...

Someone mentioned to shorten your stirrups, I think the length is fine, considering that you are rising well above the pomel at the posting trot. In dressage you don't need to rise as much at the post, in fact the closer you remain to the saddle the better. This allows far better contact when riding a dressage test and more advanced moves. That's why upper level riders sit all the time. The stirrup length might seem long because you are rather tense or contracted throughout your body. I don't know how to describe this, maybe someone else could throw in a better explanation. You are not fully stretching down and you are not completely balance. Relax throughout your body and improve your overall elasticity by working on a two point and stretching that heel down.

A good saddle makes a difference, but asides from that, what you reaaaally need is to improve your seat before you begin to work on anything else. You will highly benefit from working witouth stirrups while someone else lunges your horse. Focus on using your hip bones to absorb the impact of the trot and to allow your body to relax and reach further down without losing form in your upper body.

I do a lot of jumpers, so I ride far more often with a forward seat. But whenever I go back to dressage I ask someone to lunge the horse while I ride whit a crop behind my back. My elbows have to hold it in place and this forces me to stretch my upper body, straighten my back, open my shoulders and open my thoracic cavity more. Also while I am doing that I will work at the trot and change between sitting and posting trot. I will drop my irons for a few circles and post without them. Have the person on the ground make sure you look up and are not tipping forward at all. Wish I had pictures to illustrate this torturous procedure. It's a great workout and does wonders when I go back to a dressage saddle in a very small amount of time. I also become impaired for a few days from all the soreness lol

Hope this helps !

Edit Add: My indicator of long stirrups while riding dressage is when a rider struggles to get above the seat and is quickly sucked back into the saddle. Then yes, the stirrups are long. Good stirrup length allows the rider to post and have about a hand of space between you and the saddle when rising. Which OP can do by looking at the pictures. Otherwise if the rider is able to rise, but is having trouble reaching the stirrups, then that is mostly an indicator that the rider is tense and "short" or curled up in a "ball" instead of stretching down. If you shorten the stirrups, you won't be really addressing the problem and in my opinion it can become counter-beneficial in some cases. Try working on stretching out more, and if you still feel unbalanced or having a terrible time reaching down you can readjust.
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Last edited by EpicApple; 06-08-2015 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Added a bit more
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