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Discussion Starter #1
So for the last 18 years that I have ridden (a good chuck of that was competitively) I have been taught to keep my toes forward.

Now that I have a mare that I use a little spur on I am not sure how to keep my toes forward but still engage the spur. We have been working on a lot of moving off my leg, side passing and bending and so my little spurs are the tool that I need to make it all happen. (*She is off the track so sometimes they can be dead to your leg, she is great just hacking around but we have been dabbling in Dressage)

Anywho I attached a picture of what my toes look like when I am doing the above/using my spur ... any advice would be great. Oh and I am not going to use a larger spur...
 

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Well, I think you're just supposed to have your leg in a position that is natural for your build. For some people, their toes stick out a little, and for others, their toes are straight forward. I know if I kept my toes straight forward, it would be pretty painful, so mine are slightly pointed out. I'm curious to see what other people's responses will be.
 

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I agree with anrz. I've found that if you angle the stirrup across the ball of your foot so that the outside edge is nearer your pinky toe, you get a more comfortable, flexible ankle and leg position. It will also allow you to bring your heel in a little each time you need to engage the spur, without keeping it on the flank constantly, and then regain your regular foot position with minimal movement.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hu I will try that iron placement.

I have been successful in equ classes and you have to have your toes forward but this horse I have now, who I haven't shown, takes a little more leg/spur so I am at a loss.

Thanks!
 

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I agree with anrz. I've found that if you angle the stirrup across the ball of your foot so that the outside edge is nearer your pinky toe, you get a more comfortable, flexible ankle and leg position. It will also allow you to bring your heel in a little each time you need to engage the spur, without keeping it on the flank constantly, and then regain your regular foot position with minimal movement.
^ This

I compete and train for the Eq and have qualified for many finals and won a lot of Eq classes in my time and this is how I've always ridden. I've never ridden or seen anyone ride with their toe completely forward, when I think about it, it would completely displace what my knee should be doing, being open and instead close my knee.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok so i have been told that my toes are out to far in these pics ... I thought they were ok and from what you are saying they are ... or no?

**Please ignore my piano hands .. when I am focusing really hard one Maddy that is the 1st thing to ALWAYS go :lol:
 

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If that's natural for you, then they probably are fine. If you've ever seen Nikko Ritter (sp?) ride, from what I remember, his toes point pretty far out, and he got to the Maclay Finals. So it can't be that bad if he was able to get that far with them!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
^true :D

also it's not necessarily what is natural, if I am on a horse who didn't need as much leg then they don't point out so much ... I guess I am just a perfectionist lol
 

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^true :D

also it's not necessarily what is natural, if I am on a horse who didn't need as much leg then they don't point out so much ... I guess I am just a perfectionist lol
Yeah, I didn't think about that :). Whatever feels comfortable and works well, I guess!
 

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If you are riding with spurs, different disciplines have different norms.
Hunter folks tend to ride with tiny spurs. I guess it is because they often ride on the backs of their calves, toes out, and would engage a longer spur without meaning to. The problem with the nub (short) spurs is that you have to move your leg out of position to use them effectively. With your leg out of position, you lose a lot of feel for the spurs use.

Dressage riders use a longer spur. That way, you do not have to move your leg out of position. You ride with your toes forward. To use the spur, you simply turn your toes out, press the spur, and then turn your toe back forward disengaging the spur. It allows greater feel and more subtle signaling, IMO.

I almost always ride with spurs. I don't use them very often and keep my toes very forward. Unless you can do this, you are often using the spurs when you don't mean to.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Allison: that is exactly what I do, when I use the spur I turn my toe a little to use it (and i only use it when she doesn't listen to my heal pressure) and then turn my toe back ... I ride hunters and have never had to use so much spur (you would never know my mare is a 6 yr old OTTB lol).

It sounds like I am going the right thing so ill keep it up.

Thanks!
 
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