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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I'm not going to blame it on the stirrups or the horse or whatever. I know it's 100% me. But I can't keep my feet in the stirrups when I'm cantering!!!! I don't know what's wrong, I just can't. I balance fine without them, it's not a problem, but I should be able to keep my feet in the stirrups! Any tips or suggestions as to what's causing this?
 

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It could be that either your sturrups are to long so you are having difficulty, you are pointing your toes down, or you aren't putting any weight on your feet.

In my experiance it is usually one of those things. If you are pointing your toes down try focusing on putting weight into your heels. If you aren't putting any weight on your feet try focusing on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh i forgot to mention that i'm really good about my heels-they're almost always firmly down. by putting weight on my feet, do you mean kinda pressing down on the balls of my feet without pointing my toes?
 

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A little bit, you should have good contact with the sturrups. You want to have enough pressure on them to feel them, but not so much that it affects your seat. I don't know if that makes sence lol.
 

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Are you pulling your legs up during the canter? That was my issue (my instructor said 99% of her students have that problem at first) and if your legs go up (even if it's not that much), your feet come out of the stirrups.

I spent a couple lessons cantering on a lunge line so I had nothing to do but concentrate on keeping my legs from coming up and I'm not losing my stirrups any more.
 

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I'm not sure so much it's putting weight on the stirrups as putting your weight/center of gravity in your heels...hard to explain and takes a while to "get it" but when you do, you know it.

Sounds like maybe your stirrups are too long to me
 

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are you riding in an english or western saddle?

try riding without your stirrups as this encourages the leg to hang low and helps when practicing balance. when riding with your stirrups back you will notice they feel shorter. if the problem persists then canter in a light seat (bum out of saddle) this will put all your weight in the stirrups and should get you used to keeping your feet in them!
 

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At least you know you don't depend on your stirrups! That's good :D I had the same problem when I started riding dressage...at least for me, it was a matter of figuring out the longer stirrups and getting them just right. I had to punch extra holes in my leathers so I could go up half a hole, and that helped!
 

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I had the same problem for a while and it was because I wasnt putting enough weight into my stirrup. My trainer had me two point and put my arms out to the side, but to the point where i still had contact, but just so they were not in front of me and off his neck. It FORCES you to put weight in your heel and sink down and it really helps! Or you can do it on the lunge line and two point with your arms out to the side! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok. So what i'm hearing is practicing two-point, and cantering on the longe line. Would it work to canter on the longe without stirrups, making sure my legs hang down low, because it seems like practicing on the longe I would still have difficulty keeping my legs down. thanks for the advice, guys :)
 

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I recently made a major adjustment to my position and ended up with my stirrups 3 holes longer than before! Anyway, the problem turned out to be way further up in my hip angle. It simply was not loose and open enough. The next time you canter, really think about letting your leg drop down like a hinge out of your hip sockets. It's just a thought, but it might be what's going on with your legs too.
 
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