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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
when i ride english my right foot stays PERFECTLY in the correct position with stirrup iron straight across the ball of my foot and my toe pointed straight but slightly out. it feels secure.
on the other hand,
my LEFT foot will NOT stay that way. the stirrup ends up with the little toe side toward the horse's head and the bib toe side toward the rear, like on a 45 degree angle.
i have tried longer stirrup length, shorter stirrup length, different stirrups, the latest being MDC with the stirrup turned at a 90 degree angle so my foot can slide right in.
NOTHING works!
i need help in figuring out WHY so i can correct the problem.
i go to a chiropractor to help with hips.
i do pilates.
i stretch.
does ANYONE else have this issue?????
 

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It sounds like just the way you are built. If you can effectively cue your horse then stop forcing the issue as you will likely just cause pain or injury. Many of us deviate from the perfect alignment that is spoken of. Not that big of a deal. You compensate.
 

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It's how you're made. I know, because my right foot and stirrup does the same. Instructors used to try to get me to keep my foot flat rather that twisting and rolling out but no amount of stretching and forcing changed the position. It did create a lot of pain in my knee and hip though. Now, I accept that my foot isn't going to change as I can't change the way my leg is put together..
 
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What kind of boots are you riding in? I was constantly having stirrups twist and move around on me when I first came back to riding. I assumed I was the problem, because I always assume that. But I had Auken paddock boots -- a cheap brand with very hard, slippery, plastic-y soles -- and when I upgraded to Ariats the problem went away completely, and hasn't been an issue since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you everyone for the input. i went on a long trail ride today and noticed that my right ankle and foot were fine afterwards but my left ankle felt stiff. I think the issue may be my left ankle is not as flexible as my right. so when i place my foot in the correct position it does not want to stay there. i am going to google how to get that ankle to be more flexible. thanks again!
 

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In my lessons I was always struggling to keep the balls of my feet on the stirrups. I did not loose the stirrups, I would drive my foot up to the ankle. How distracting. I thought of getting new metal stirrups with little teeth in the treads to help keep my feet in place ( I have the normal smooth stirrup treads ). Then the other day I was in such a hurry forgot to put on my riding boots. I still had on my rubber mud goulashes with their big ribbed soles. MY FEET STAYED PERFECTLY IN PLACE.
Maybe you could change the soles of your boots, get them re-soled with something not so smooth.

Of course, you still want to be able to kick free of the stirrups in case of having to bail off.
 

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My left foot is always about 20 degrees more toe out than my right. Including when I take a shower. Happily, I've yet to meet a horse who cared.
 

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My right foot sticks out. I went to a specialist, had an MRI done - all he told me is that I was born that way and it will stay that way (I want my money back). If I force my foot in, my whole body tenses up. So I ride with my “ugly” foot sticking out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My left foot is always about 20 degrees more toe out than my right. Including when I take a shower. Happily, I've yet to meet a horse who cared.
i don't care about how it looks. it affects my riding and that is why i want to correct it.
 

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How is it affecting your riding? What are the symptoms of the problem it is causing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How is it affecting your riding? What are the symptoms of the problem it is causing?
it affects my security. my right leg feels very secure, left one not because my weight is not centered. affects how my left leg is applied to hindquarters. and it just plain feels awful because i now how it should feel like my right foot. but i honestly feel it is my ankle (after yesterday's trail ride). so i am going to work on ankle flexibility. see if that helps.
 

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An option to consider. Your choice totally, though.

It is commonly taught to have the stirrup on the ball of the foot. The US Cavalry considered this a serious fault for most riding. They taught to have the foot deeper into the stirrup. Jim Wofford, BTW, agrees that the home position works well when security is more important than finesse. I tried both the "home" position (all the way in up to the heel of the boot) and ball of foot. What has worked best for me and makes the most sense to me is the "ladder position".

Imagine you are climbing a ladder. No one tells you to put your foot all the way past the rung, up to the heel. And no one tells you to just put the ball of the foot on it. Instead, we instinctively place our foot where it provides the greatest security - maybe half way between the extremes. The moment you feel it, you know it - just as you do when climbing a ladder. That position has worked for me using both English stirrups and western.

And when my foot feels solid, my leg tends to follow suit. All just in my experience, and I don't teach anyone and have never competed in anything. But I learned to ride on a very reactive mare and Bandit is quite independent minded too, and the ladder position has worked for me. Free advice and worth what you paid... ;>)
 
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