Losing stirrups - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 31 Old 05-09-2019, 09:33 PM
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I will have to say that there are times that using a 'flutter' of your foot, from the ankle only, (which says is a no-no) , works very well to get a response from a horse. It may not look like dressage perfect, but it can work
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post #22 of 31 Old 05-09-2019, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
Here is my take on the matter.

To me your whole leg is wrong. You are gripping up with your lower leg which will make your heels come up and easier to loose a stirrup.

It all stems from the thigh. I can clearly see that you are not riding with your inner thigh flat to the saddle. This turns your knee away and toe out.

When you first mount and many times through the ride, put your hand under your thigh from behind and pull all to the back.
This sets the immer thigh against the saddle and your knee and toe will be forward. Your knee should be in contact with the saddle but not gripping.

It allows your lower leg to be stronger and hang under you.

Try it and feel the difference.
I'll give it a try! Thank you!
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post #23 of 31 Old 05-09-2019, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
As often, I'll be the contrarian here.

No stirrup work teaches you to ride from the knee up. Your weight cannot slide into and be supported by the stirrup, so all weight must be carried from the knee up. It is good for learning how to ride without stirrups.

If you want to learn to keep your stirrups, use your stirrups. Spend time riding while standing in the stirrups. Walking, trotting - two point reduces the peak pressures on your horse's back by 20% compared to both sitting and posting - and cantering. In addition to being gentler on your horse's back, you will learn to let your weight slide past your knees and into the stirrups. You will also learn to keep your stirrups under your center of gravity. You will very quickly realize it is much easier to stand in the stirrups if your center of gravity matches your horses, and will thus learn how your horse adjusts his center of gravity while turning, accelerating, slowing, etc.

Foot position: Get a ladder. Climb up and down it a few times. Notice where you put your foot on the rungs. Use a ladder with narrow rungs to help. The place you put your foot to climb a ladder is the spot on your foot that will give you your most secure grip on the stirrup. Put that part of your foot on the front 50% of the stirrup.

You are in Australia. FWIW, I developed a love for Australian 4-bar stirrups:


Prefer riding western now and like using stirrups with a 3" deep bed.

Full disclosure: I don't teach anyone. I started riding at 50. A nagging back injury means I'll probably never use my back well. And I mostly ride on trails and NEVER ride for a judge. Other than my horse. But I can't remember the last time I lost my stirrups and I'm suggesting what has worked for me.
I am really bad at 2-point so that could definitely be a problem! I'll work on what you mentioned more. Thank you!
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post #24 of 31 Old 05-10-2019, 08:20 AM
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Check your boots, too. When I first got back to riding, I had a cheapy pair of Greenhawk Auken synthetic paddock boots (they came with a back-to-lessons bargain package) that had hard, plasticky soles. I had a devil of a time keeping my stirrups, and when I did, they'd twist around to an odd angle. Being me, I always blamed myself and my riding.

Then I got some decent Ariats with proper RUBBER soles and the stirrups stayed at the correct angle to my foot, and I lost them about 70% less often.

Edited to add: it looks, in the photo, like your stirrups are just the plain metal and have no treads? That's definitely not going to do you any favours either! Adding some treads would definitely help you, and they don't cost much. They're not "cheating;" they're pretty standard equipment.

I'm not bringing up the equipment stuff to say there isn't a riding component to all of this -- I'm sure there is -- but it definitely helps when your equipment isn't sabotaging your chances for success!
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post #25 of 31 Old 05-10-2019, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostastirrup View Post
I feel required by nomenclature to have some helpful advice.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I never ride on the flat of my inner thigh. As best I can tell, I don't HAVE a flat inner thigh.


I'm sorry, y'all - but you're all rupturing my diaphragm this evening. Not laughing at the constraints of the human body here, @bsms , but I did think when I read what you said above, "Nothing a bit of ironing won't fix!"

But then, I had an idea a couple of years ago that I was going to write a little instructional book called "Cooking With An Iron". You know, steaks - cotton setting, 5 minutes each side. Toasted cheesies, ditto. Chicken - insert iron, wrap chicken in alfoil, cotton setting with steam, 4 hours. Etc.
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post #26 of 31 Old 05-11-2019, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyOn View Post
Check your boots, too. When I first got back to riding, I had a cheapy pair of Greenhawk Auken synthetic paddock boots (they came with a back-to-lessons bargain package) that had hard, plasticky soles. I had a devil of a time keeping my stirrups, and when I did, they'd twist around to an odd angle. Being me, I always blamed myself and my riding.

Then I got some decent Ariats with proper RUBBER soles and the stirrups stayed at the correct angle to my foot, and I lost them about 70% less often.

Edited to add: it looks, in the photo, like your stirrups are just the plain metal and have no treads? That's definitely not going to do you any favours either! Adding some treads would definitely help you, and they don't cost much. They're not "cheating;" they're pretty standard equipment.

I'm not bringing up the equipment stuff to say there isn't a riding component to all of this -- I'm sure there is -- but it definitely helps when your equipment isn't sabotaging your chances for success!
I rode a different horse today and he had better stirrups and it was definately easier - I did lose my stirrups a couple times but not nearly as often and it was because he tripped. I might ask if I can swap their stirrups around. There isn't much I can do about the boots if they are posing a problem because I just got them a couple months ago, but when I get new ones I'll make sure to look at the soles.
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post #27 of 31 Old 05-11-2019, 07:23 PM
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It might be possible to paint anti-slip product on the front half of your boot soles though. It would have to be in a flexible base so it wouldn't chip off when you bend your boot, but these things are worth trying. If commercial things for boat decks, outdoor stairs etc don't work / are too expensive, you can get the abrasive powder that goes into these products from a good hardware store and mix it into shoe-goo, for example, and thinly coat the front half of your boot soles. Sanding that part of the sole lightly prior to application will give a better bond.

Or you could try self-bonding anti-slip strips, running them sideways on a clean, dry surface.
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post #28 of 31 Old 05-12-2019, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
I've been riding for 10 years so I really have no excuse haha.
Yeah, well I started riding nearly 50 years ago, and I can still find penty of excuses! But, seriously, you look very young. I am sure that you have grown a lot in the past 10 years, so it's like riding with a different body!

Quote:
it looks like the grip of your lower leg is actually causing the saddle flap to bunch up behind your calf. Is that true? or is that a visual distortion?
I'm afraid I have to disagree here. To me, it simply looks like the end of your stirrup leather, although I can't really see what sort of saddle you are using.

I forgot to mention: cute horse!
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post #29 of 31 Old 05-12-2019, 02:12 PM
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If you're losing stirrups, there's something wrong with your leg position and/or weight distribution while riding. One common cause is the rider hunching forward and gripping with the knee. If it's just on one side, it may be that one of your legs is longer than the other-- it's common.

Don't add 'grippy' stuff-- that's dangerous. Your stirrups and boots should slide apart easily for safety. It's an issue with your balance, riding alignment, and stirrup length, most likely. Your instructor should be able to help you. If you don't have access to one, have someone video your ride and you can often see what the problem is.
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post #30 of 31 Old 05-12-2019, 02:37 PM
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Adding grippy stuff is not dangerous if it gives you the right amount of grip. It's also why good stirrup treads and good riding boots offer you sufficient grip. Some riding boots do not. The right amount of friction is important for being able to retrieve stirrups quickly when necessary, and for not slipping out of stirrups, or further into them than intended. Either of those scenarios can be dangerous - slipping too far into a stirrup in a hairy situation like a spook will predispose you to a trapped foot should you come off, because it's easier to get hooked up mechanically when your foot is too far in - and this is why good boots and good treads set you up with sufficient friction.

The risk of being trapped in your stirrup as a result should not be increased, because static friction depends on there being weight on the feet - reduce the weight = reduce the friction. I've never had problems losing my stirrups if I want to, like in a fall - with one single exception when a horse and I ended up crashing into a steel gate nearly thirty years ago, and my leg was too numb to feel - and in that case, I got hooked up by having slipped too far into the stirrup before falling off. I was dragged then for a short distance, but the trick to get free is to kick at the stirrup with your free leg if that happens, and that is how I unhooked despite having an injured leg from the collision with the gate.
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