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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have developed a nasty habit when riding of my heels sliding up and I'm tipping forward when I ride. I had a little break because of my health as well.

I think it may have to do with when I'm trying to school my horse he gets extremely lazy and I'm constantly on him with my legs and having to push him forward the whole time....

I think anyway, was hoping some lovely forum users would have some advice for me :)

I'm thinking of putting spurs on next ride, but probably wont have them on for the whole ride, maybe like 10 mins or so, but then I'm worried I will be jabbing him in the side every 10 minutes as I've also found I'm constantly moving my feet as well....

I really got to start having lessons again, I think that may be the best solution...

But any tips/suggestions/exercises that you guys can recommend I'm all ears, while eyes :)
 

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I have developed a nasty habit when riding of my heels sliding up and I'm tipping forward when I ride. I had a little break because of my health as well.

I think it may have to do with when I'm trying to school my horse he gets extremely lazy and I'm constantly on him with my legs and having to push him forward the whole time....

I think anyway, was hoping some lovely forum users would have some advice for me :)

I'm thinking of putting spurs on next ride, but probably wont have them on for the whole ride, maybe like 10 mins or so, but then I'm worried I will be jabbing him in the side every 10 minutes as I've also found I'm constantly moving my feet as well....

I really got to start having lessons again, I think that may be the best solution...

But any tips/suggestions/exercises that you guys can recommend I'm all ears, while eyes :)
I think you were correct when you mentioned that you may need to take lessons as it seems to be the correct approach at this point. Working on keeping your leg extended with your heels down should really be your first concern before you compound the problem by using spurs. I'm sure that your horse senses your signals and is acting (not acting) accordingly.
Just relax and let your instructor guide you so that you progress by steps. Your horse and you will both be happier. :)
 

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Use a riding crop, not spurs. Spurs are for finesse not punishment. Turn your toes out a little, squeeze the calf muscle and relax it. If the horse fails to respond then squeeze again and deliver a smack right behind your leg. He may lurch forward a bit so be careful not to grab his mouth or you will never get this to work. If he breaks into a trot, allow it to happen. He now knows you hold the high card. If he's not responsive, he need only think you will deliver a smack. Don't keep squeezing your leg, it is the release that teaches. The squeeze is merely tighten and relax.
 

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I have developed a nasty habit when riding of my heels sliding up and I'm tipping forward when I ride.
It's all connected. You're heels are coming up because you're tipping forward. I do the same thing. Just keep telling yourself to open your chest and sit up. Once you get your core muscles back in shape, it should fix itself.
 

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Instead of thinking heels down-shoulders back, try thinking TALL. I've been trying that lately and it's working for me. I can feel my seat deepen, my short legs seem to grow, and I can feel my tummy tighten as my chest comes up.

Then do some exercises in the saddle, like turning left and right, touching your toes, etc. (Nice to have a lazy horse when you practice this!)

Schooling your horse is a different problem altogether, and perhaps should wait until your own balance is better---just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's all connected. You're heels are coming up because you're tipping forward. I do the same thing. Just keep telling yourself to open your chest and sit up. Once you get your core muscles back in shape, it should fix itself.
Thanks, my core is one thing I need to work on big time, not riding for a couple of weeks, having surgery... Well let's just say it's not the best for it :)

And I do ride with a dressage whip :)

I just need some exercises even ones off the saddle that can help me, lessons are going to come but probably not as soon as I would like, but you never know how I can swing things, have to work on my availability and my instructors.

But I also find when he's out/ at a different place he's generally more forward, so I'm not having to use my leg as much and I'm pretty sure my heels stay down and I don't tip forward as much...
I think I may be overthinking it, but when he's going slower, I think I tip forward to try and encourage his forward, or maybe my heels go up to try and get him to go forward and it's the whole thing again, I don't really know, have to start taking my lessons again
 

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Something that might help, tell yourself toes up instead of heels down. No idea why but it seemed to work with my students.
 

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I'm on my university's horsemanship team. The coach thinks we all have heel down problems and for practice sometimes, we have to drop our stirrups and have spurs sitting out our toes. If your toes drop and the spurs fall, you have to get off, go get them, then get back on and go again. Sucks when you have a tall horse.
 

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I like to think of getting my heels as far away from my hips as possible-- that helps both with the leg stretching down and your hips lifting up. That and strong core will help the falling forward.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Something that might help, tell yourself toes up instead of heels down. No idea why but it seemed to work with my students.
Thanks I'll try that out just start telling myself toes up, sometimes how you word stuff to yourself makes a massive difference :) I have a feeling this may do it


I'm on my university's horsemanship team. The coach thinks we all have heel down problems and for practice sometimes, we have to drop our stirrups and have spurs sitting out our toes. If your toes drop and the spurs fall, you have to get off, go get them, then get back on and go again. Sucks when you have a tall horse.
Haha that's a good one as well, does she make you do it all paces? I think I'd be getting off every second stride, but it would work eventually
 

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Haha that's a good one as well, does she make you do it all paces? I think I'd be getting off every second stride, but it would work eventually
Yep. Sucked for me because the gelding I had for the first half of practice (we switch horses halfway through) had no desire to go faster than a walk, so I was constantly squeezing him, which caused me to drop my spurs. He was also around 16hh or so tall so hiking up that far was not a good time. Coach laughed at me because I got off, I believe, 10 times in 25 minutes until we switched and the little mare I then had stayed trotting and it was much smoother, causing me to only drop them once in the next half hour.

ETA: I only had to walk and jog because I only show for this team at a W/T level due to the rules dictating your experience is based on lessons taken. The higher level people who lope did have to lope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep. Sucked for me because the gelding I had for the first half of practice (we switch horses halfway through) had no desire to go faster than a walk, so I was constantly squeezing him, which caused me to drop my spurs. He was also around 16hh or so tall so hiking up that far was not a good time. Coach laughed at me because I got off, I believe, 10 times in 25 minutes until we switched and the little mare I then had stayed trotting and it was much smoother, causing me to only drop them once in the next half hour.

ETA: I only had to walk and jog because I only show for this team at a W/T level due to the rules dictating your experience is based on lessons taken. The higher level people who lope did have to lope.
Haha yer my boys close to the 16hh mark, I'll have to give it a go though :)
 
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