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Old 09-21-2006, 04:06 PM  
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keeping feet in the stirrups

I have been having a lot of trouble keeping my feet in the stirrups lately. or rather...keeping the ball of my foot on the stirrup. my foot ends up slipping forward so the stirrup is resting right infront of the heel of my boot. I can sometimes fix it without stopping the horse by kicking my foot out of the stirrup back to where it's supposed to be...but that's difficult and annoying and I'd rather it just not slip to begin with. I've really been trying hard to keep my heels down/toes up...and have tried both lengthening and shortening the stirrups. Mostly i'm frustrated because whatever it is I'm doing wrong, i didn't used to because i didn't used to have this problem.
anyone else had trouble with this? what caused it?

oh..and i'm talking about english riding/stirrups.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:59 PM  
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The only way your foot can slip forward is if you don't have enough weight in your heels and leg. Try keeping some more weight in your heels and on the ball of your foot.

If possible see if you can get someone to video you while you ride. That wa you can see what your doing and fix it I do this all the time, it's extremely helpful!
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:02 PM  
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I have this problem too... I know it probably isnt the right thing to do but i know it helps. I just shorten the leather a hole...but like I said i dont know if thats the proper thing to do.
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:07 PM  
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Well by now you ought to know where to put the weight

I ride Western so maybe this won't help, but I point my toes out slightly and this helps me keep my foot where I want it.

Its funny, I used to hate wearing my cowboy boots to ride because the leather soles were so slippery and my foot would slip, like you said. So I bought a pair of 'work boots' with vibram soles. But then it seemed like a strain to keep the ball of my foot on the stirrup. My hubby said that there is no way a good heeled boot is going to get your foot stuck in the stirrup (OKAY within reason no get on my case, accidents can happen to the best laid plans) and its okay to have my foot 'all the way' in the stirrup to the heel.

Funny thing, since I started wearing my leather soled cowboy boots and pointing my toes out (which also helps keep me in the saddle and more secure) I feel very comfortable and in all of the pix we take, the stirrup is under the ball of my foot!
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:26 PM  
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I agree about pointing your toes out slightly. I know it's not technically "correct" but it does help with the heels issue, and is sure more comfy for me!

You could also invest in a pair of jointed stirrups. Here's a pic:

http://www.statelinetack.com/global/...08&Ne=15669 5

They are helpful in heels down issues.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:08 PM  
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strirrups

try riding a little each day without stirrups. posting etc., even at a walk , and two point position. that will strengthen your legs so that they hold naturally, without having to rely on the stirrups so much. your legs might be weak and keeping the heel down too tiring, so as soon as you let up mentally, your legs slip forward from tiredness (that is my guess) if you have access to lunge line lessons or a friend who can lunge you without stirups that would be an amazing help too.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:38 PM  
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My eldest daughter went through a similar experience. Her foot would slip out of the stirrup at the trot, canter, and jumping. She tried lengthening and shortaning. She put so much weight into her heels it was painful. Nothing helped. So her instructer stood right infront of her and her horse. Something looked wierd but she could't pinpoint it. So she called over another instructer and she looked at it. Guess what. One side of the saddle had more stuffing than the other. So we got a new saddle and her problem was cured. So maybe check out your saddle.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:30 PM  
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Check out this book Centered Riding by Sally Swift. It's a great book and gives you lots of visuals to make remebering the hows and whys easier.
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:48 AM  
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sometimes *heels down* gets hard, and the harder you try to push your heels down, the more they dont seem to want to go down.

try thinking KNEES down instead, and that in turn will push your heels down further and should help you keep your stirrups where they need to be on the ball of your foot.

most of the time, when you lose stirrups, its because you are gripping with your knees, so think knees down and relaxing your leg, and more of your weight should go into those stirrups so you can keep them!!
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:51 AM  
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I agree with JJCG. It sounds like you are lifting your knee higher not much but some so the foot is sliding deeper in the stirrup. I had one of my riders fix it by spending time in two point so she was forced to let her weight drop then begin riding normal again. When she would start to lift the knee, two point again.
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:54 AM  
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Good advice JJCC - where in Ontario are you from?
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:02 AM  
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Also agree with JJCC. Are you short? I have found that sometime short, or even not-so-short, riders on a wide backed horse can have problems keeping their feet in stirrups.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:04 AM  
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ok- i'll concentrate on heels (and knees) down more. and toes slightly out.
i didn't used to have a problem with keeping my heels down....frustrating that i am now. and i'll have to pay attention and see if i grip with my knees. i know that's a big no-no. my leg muscles were really tired (i'd been riding around in 2 point for several minutes) so maybe that was part of the problem. and i have ridden with no stirrups (but not well and not very long) so i'll ask my teacher if we can work on that some more. maybe this is another excuse to do more bareback riding
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:05 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishmusic
Also agree with JJCC. Are you short? I have found that sometime short, or even not-so-short, riders on a wide backed horse can have problems keeping their feet in stirrups.
not too short...5'5. and the horse isn't fat, and i don't think she is quite 15hh.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:08 AM  
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Just a thought, are you riding a different horse? I don’t know if that would make a difference or not.

I will sometimes stand in my stirrups to get loosened up and then relax into my knees and heels. I find that always helps me get organized and back into position and I’m good to go.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:16 AM  
 
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Do you do any stretching exercises at home? My instructor (daughter) makes me stand on the steps and let my heels hang down. Also walking around on your heels will help stretch it. At work, I sit at my desk and do stretching exercises. I really have found out that it is helping.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:17 AM  
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well sense starting lessons i've ridden 6 different horses. and the one i'm on now (zana) is my favorite. i also had this problem when they had me on a 14 (or less) hh pony that was almost as wide as she was tall. but i had never had this problem on zana before.
and i'll try that standing in the stirrups for a bit thing too...thanks

yeah i do stretches at home. i started because my ankles had really been hurting a LOT when i rode...sense starting to do stretches and ankle excercises they have stopped hurting.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:04 AM  
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My teacher used to always yell at me to "Put your heels down!" Now whe i ride i keep that in my head. maybe more than i should
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:31 AM  
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The two piont suggestion is an excellant one. Your heels really help balance, and with out balance you can't stay in two piont. Th thinking of keeping your knees down dhould help as well.

If you work with out stirrups just makes sure you keep you leg in a "correct" position, and that will really help you strength your muscles and feel where to put your weight.

Good topic!
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:01 PM  
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I agree with JoAnne on this one too. Sounds like you just need to ride and work on the strength in your legs. You are def on the right track and honestly before you know it your feet and body is going to position its self without you even knowing it. Its all come naturally in a matter of time! Keep up the good work!
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