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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like many lessons, sometimes I take a step forward and sometimes a step or two back. On occasion I will trot without stirrups and it is usually a good exercise for me as it naturally lengthens my legs and improves my seat. This past week she went slightly past a trot into a slow canter and I totally lost control of the situation. I was trying to keep my heels down and back while sitting upright. I was simply floundering. I initially forgot how to slow her down until I realized to take the same steps as if I were still in stirrups.
It really shook my confidence as it is one of the very few times that my brain has just shut down and I was just waiting to meet the ground. I didn't fall, but probably should have.
Any sage advice for remaining in control while stirrup less and in a strong trot ?
Order of importance ? (I'm currently working ground poles and getting back to cross/pole jumps). Hoping for a good week.

Big thanks !
 

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Always remember to relax!

When you feel yourself getting imbalanced and bounced around, take a deep breath and sit taller. Let your legs fall down, don't force them. Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Imagine you are being drawn upwards by a string and just relax as much as you can.

It always helps me stay calm by remembering that the taller, stronger, and straighter I stay on top of the horse's centre of gravity, the harder its going to be to lose balance and fall.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Always remember to relax!

When you feel yourself getting imbalanced and bounced around, take a deep breath and sit taller. Let your legs fall down, don't force them. Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Imagine you are being drawn upwards by a string and just relax as much as you can.

It always helps me stay calm by remembering that the taller, stronger, and straighter I stay on top of the horse's centre of gravity, the harder its going to be to lose balance and fall.
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Thanks !

Your description creates a good visual I can remember. Where were you on Saturday ? :)
 

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This may not help, but when I got my first horse my mom just had me get on bareback and learn that way. Just riding bareback any chance you get (I would recommend ten minutes a day starting out very slow) will improve your balance.

If you can ride bareback I promise you can ride in any kind of saddle with or without stirrups. Just make sure to practice proper technique. Even though you don't have stirrups, keep your heels down and a lot of people tend to slump. Make sure to sit up straight like you would in a saddle! I promise your balance will improve and you and your horse's relationship will grow stronger.

I prefer bareback and my friends trainer says I have better jump position bareback than with a saddle. And yes, you can hold on to their mane for balance. Just a thought? You may have already tried this but I just thought I would throw it out there. Hope I helped some!
 

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Never mind keeping your heels down, think toes up instead and keeping your legs quiet.
 
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