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I always seem to point my toes outwards when riding. I was wondering if there was a simple way for me to learn to keep them with the horse? I find it feels weird/odd when I try too. :-S
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Bear in mind that some people have a build that makes it difficult to keep their toes pointed forward. If this is you, no matter how you improve this, they will point out a little, else you'll be in great pain. For the rest, I would recommend standing in the saddle, weight your heels, feel to point your toes forward then slowly sit and attempt to maintain that position.
I am also going to repeat what I posted on another thread here about weak ankles. So often, when we ride we figure that will be our physical workout. I don't think that we can take time right before we mount up (while our horse is completely tacked up...stomping feet...impatiently) to stretch. However, we should take time at home (in the house at my place) to stretch out before we ride. Pick another time of day and strengthen your ankles. You should be able to point (which is pointing your big toe as you would pointing with your index finger) and flex. 5 reps each foot, balance on the other leg. You should be able to do a demi-plie, heels together, toes pointed away in a 45 degree angle, which is bending your knees to the place where you want to raise up your heel, but you don't raise the heel. At least 10 reps. You should also practice rising up to demi-point, which is like you do trying to reach for something high. At least 10 reps. Do as a dancer--or get a friend who dances to teach you--and keep your back straight as you do these exercises.
When you strengthen your ankles in this way, you won't have to worry about your horse misbehaving! I think you will find that you can redirect your toes better, too.
 

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You have to have proper foot placement in the iron in order to incorporate proper toe angle and calf placement on your horses side.

The base of the iron should be placed on the balls of your toes first, then the outter bar of the iron should be at the tip of your pinky toe, and the inner bar of the iron placed at the ball of your big toe - then your ankle can relax and start to work as a shock absorber, which in turn, your heels will beable to do their job, which is anchor you into your tack.

You should have at least a 45 degree angle in your toes, not strait forward and not beyond the 45 degrees. You have to find proper placement of your calf - or as I call it, your "sweet spot". You don't want the inside of your calf in use, nor do you want the back of your calf in use, you want that "sweet spot", or as Goldie Locks said "This is just right" :p

Also, as George Morris says, you are not ontop of your horse, you are wrapped around your horse. You have to allow your knees to relax and not come into use. Do not grip with them, allow them to rest softly on your saddle - even light pressure from your thigh to your knees. When you open your knees, you not only allow your bodies weight to flow naturally from head into heels, you also allow your lower leg to make full contact with your horses side. Remember, you are wrapped around your horse.

Another important factor is, does your saddle correctly fit you/work with you/aid your position? Are your legs properly placed under you without hinderance? Or are you put into a chair seat? If your saddle isn't helping you, then you're going to struggle to obtain a correct and effective position in your tack. Your saddle should instantly place you in a proper position, where you are balanced over your feet. You can do alllll the work in the world to obtain a correct and effective position, but it will go to waste if your saddle hinders you.

I used to ride in an All Purpose saddle, that put me in a chair seat. No matter how hard I worked at obtaining a solid and effective position, I couldn't do it. The saddle hindered me from being correct. It didn't work for my body type, where it instantly placed me in an incorrect position. Feet infront of me, seat pushed to the rear of the saddle. It was when I sat in a saddle that put me in a correct position, was when I realized how important it is in having a saddle that works with you, instead of against you - to help you obtain a solid and functional position.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My trainer usually has me put a dollar under my lower leg and tells me to keep the dollar there. You could try this?
Bear in mind that some people have a build that makes it difficult to keep their toes pointed forward. If this is you, no matter how you improve this, they will point out a little, else you'll be in great pain. For the rest, I would recommend standing in the saddle, weight your heels, feel to point your toes forward then slowly sit and attempt to maintain that position.
I am also going to repeat what I posted on another thread here about weak ankles. So often, when we ride we figure that will be our physical workout. I don't think that we can take time right before we mount up (while our horse is completely tacked up...stomping feet...impatiently) to stretch. However, we should take time at home (in the house at my place) to stretch out before we ride. Pick another time of day and strengthen your ankles. You should be able to point (which is pointing your big toe as you would pointing with your index finger) and flex. 5 reps each foot, balance on the other leg. You should be able to do a demi-plie, heels together, toes pointed away in a 45 degree angle, which is bending your knees to the place where you want to raise up your heel, but you don't raise the heel. At least 10 reps. You should also practice rising up to demi-point, which is like you do trying to reach for something high. At least 10 reps. Do as a dancer--or get a friend who dances to teach you--and keep your back straight as you do these exercises.
When you strengthen your ankles in this way, you won't have to worry about your horse misbehaving! I think you will find that you can redirect your toes better, too.
You have to have proper foot placement in the iron in order to incorporate proper toe angle and calf placement on your horses side.

The base of the iron should be placed on the balls of your toes first, then the outter bar of the iron should be at the tip of your pinky toe, and the inner bar of the iron placed at the ball of your big toe - then your ankle can relax and start to work as a shock absorber, which in turn, your heels will beable to do their job, which is anchor you into your tack.

You should have at least a 45 degree angle in your toes, not strait forward and not beyond the 45 degrees. You have to find proper placement of your calf - or as I call it, your "sweet spot". You don't want the inside of your calf in use, nor do you want the back of your calf in use, you want that "sweet spot", or as Goldie Locks said "This is just right" :p

Also, as George Morris says, you are not ontop of your horse, you are wrapped around your horse. You have to allow your knees to relax and not come into use. Do not grip with them, allow them to rest softly on your saddle - even light pressure from your thigh to your knees. When you open your knees, you not only allow your bodies weight to flow naturally from head into heels, you also allow your lower leg to make full contact with your horses side. Remember, you are wrapped around your horse.

Another important factor is, does your saddle correctly fit you/work with you/aid your position? Are your legs properly placed under you without hinderance? Or are you put into a chair seat? If your saddle isn't helping you, then you're going to struggle to obtain a correct and effective position in your tack. Your saddle should instantly place you in a proper position, where you are balanced over your feet. You can do alllll the work in the world to obtain a correct and effective position, but it will go to waste if your saddle hinders you.

I used to ride in an All Purpose saddle, that put me in a chair seat. No matter how hard I worked at obtaining a solid and effective position, I couldn't do it. The saddle hindered me from being correct. It didn't work for my body type, where it instantly placed me in an incorrect position. Feet infront of me, seat pushed to the rear of the saddle. It was when I sat in a saddle that put me in a correct position, was when I realized how important it is in having a saddle that works with you, instead of against you - to help you obtain a solid and functional position.
Thankyou for such quick and detailed responses! I'll have to try them next time I go for a ride. My saddle is an all purpose that is a bit big, but I had the same problems, if not worse in my old smaller stock saddle.
 

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i cant say much about this one cause i train cutting horses and my heels are down and my toes are always east and west.i hang on when im breaking and training with my calves and knees.a trainer told me years ago,your legs dont stop working,even if your just hanging on with them.
 

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Also, as George Morris says, you are not ontop of your horse, you are wrapped around your horse. You have to allow your knees to relax and not come into use. Do not grip with them, allow them to rest softly on your saddle - even light pressure from your thigh to your knees. When you open your knees, you not only allow your bodies weight to flow naturally from head into heels, you also allow your lower leg to make full contact with your horses side. Remember, you are wrapped around your horse.



MIE,

I am curious, in hunt seat should your knee be off the saddle? I mean, I see a lot of hunt seat riders, that viewed from behind, I can see daylight throught the crook in their knee. Yet, they have a secure seat.

I learned dressage, so having any daylight visible behind your knee is anathema.
 

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In a dressage saddle, your toes are forward - you don't require the same calf placement on your horses side as you do when you are in a close contact saddle.
 

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my fault mie,but she didnt say what type of riding she was doing.but i would like to add that i disagree with mr george morris.you either sit a horse or ride a horse,if your wrapped around a horse,your stirrups are most likely too long
 

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In a dressage saddle, your toes are forward - you don't require the same calf placement on your horses side as you do when you are in a close contact saddle.

I know this. What I was curious about is with regards to hunt seat. I wondered if one should try to keep knee on saddle and turn lower leg/ankle out independently (there is some motion capable without rolling the knee, too, out). or, roll knee outward, too.

I would like to learn a bit of hunt seat riding, one of these days . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #11
my fault mie,but she didnt say what type of riding she was doing.but i would like to add that i disagree with mr george morris.you either sit a horse or ride a horse,if your wrapped around a horse,your stirrups are most likely too long
English pleasure. :)
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please inform me itz,i judge english but i dont ride it.even in english dont you have to ride with your stirrups up to where you have a bend in your knees and so you can guide him easier by getting your heel in his ribcage?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rob, I'm honestly confused. :?
What I meant by the thread is the fact my toes point outwards, when they are normally meant to stay with the horse?

Not at my worst, but you can sort of see what I mean: (Yes the saddle has slipped)
edit.jpg




Then, what I think they are meant to be like?
imagesCATCZCML.jpg
 

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Itzkaylee,

If you look at the horse you are riding, it has a very round barrel. It would be very hard for any human to postition their leg so that it draped down , wiht the kneecap facing forward, and the toes pointing forward, especially any FEMALE human being.
We females have a bit more difficulty NOT having our knee roll outward just due to our pelvis shape. But that pony is so wide that he pushes you knees out, and thus they tend to roll outward, and thus your whole lower leg rolls outward; all to accomodate the round barrel.

Do you have similar issues on a narrower horse?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yep, same problem on an arab even. :-|
Old lesson welsh, (2008).
Silver.jpg


My mother's arab (2010).
Jewelz.jpg

As for him being round, a friend rode him when we first got him and her toes did not stick out as far as mine. :p
Ashlea.JPG
 

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but her lrgs are farther back at the bottom also and her toes are pointed down
 

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Bear in mind that some people have a build that makes it difficult to keep their toes pointed forward. If this is you, no matter how you improve this, they will point out a little, else you'll be in great pain. For the rest, I would recommend standing in the saddle, weight your heels, feel to point your toes forward then slowly sit and attempt to maintain that position.
I am also going to repeat what I posted on another thread here about weak ankles. So often, when we ride we figure that will be our physical workout. I don't think that we can take time right before we mount up (while our horse is completely tacked up...stomping feet...impatiently) to stretch. However, we should take time at home (in the house at my place) to stretch out before we ride. Pick another time of day and strengthen your ankles. You should be able to point (which is pointing your big toe as you would pointing with your index finger) and flex. 5 reps each foot, balance on the other leg. You should be able to do a demi-plie, heels together, toes pointed away in a 45 degree angle, which is bending your knees to the place where you want to raise up your heel, but you don't raise the heel. At least 10 reps. You should also practice rising up to demi-point, which is like you do trying to reach for something high. At least 10 reps. Do as a dancer--or get a friend who dances to teach you--and keep your back straight as you do these exercises.
When you strengthen your ankles in this way, you won't have to worry about your horse misbehaving! I think you will find that you can redirect your toes better, too.
I agree with this person. Exercise will help but some people just don't have the build. I'm one of them. I remember being so frustrated because my instructors would be annoyed thinking I wasn't listening. I remember one twisting my leg into the proper position. I was in agony and she couldn't tell that my foot was twisted inside the boot. I toughed it out but was in severe pain by the end of the lesson. The thing is that I had excellent balance and a secure seat but some people were too fixated on the "ideal" placement and overlooked my ability. Do the best you can and if you are secure and balanced I wouldn't worry too much.
 
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