Horse Riding Tips: Why You Keep Losing Your Stirrup
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Horse Riding Tips: Why You Keep Losing Your Stirrup

August 11, 2019

Hi there. I just wanted to pop in quickly
and answer a question that someone from my Confident Horsemanship Community
group had posted about losing one stirrup. In her case it’s her right
stirrup and she does say that she has some weakness on that side. And it’s
very, very common especially for us more mature riders to have weaknesses on one
side or the other of our bodies. And we end up being crooked without recognizing
that we’re crooked. So one of the first things I recommend to my students when
this is happening to them – their having a problem keeping one or both of their
stirrups is to relax the thigh. The front of the thighs should not be pinching in
and causing your knee to pinch in to hold you into the saddle. That
actually causes your knees to come up and you’ll lose your stirrups – because of
course your foot is going to follow your knees up. So relax the the front of your
thighs and allow your knees to to fall slightly open. You really want your foot
to hang rather naturally for your confirmation. You know, we often read or
are told that your foot should be pointed straight forward. But that comes
from more of the military style of riding which was male – back in the day. And men’s pelvises and the way their legs come out of the (hi, Lisa!) … the way the men’s
legs come out of their pelvis or connect into their pelvis is that the
the leg hangs straighter and the foot point straight ahead. It’s
different for women. Our pelvises are a different shape. So for many of us our
feet are going to naturally – if you let your leg just drop without your stirrups
just sitting on your saddle let your legs just drop out of the hip sockets –
and you’ll see that your feet tend to point outwards for most of us a little
bit. And that’s how you want your leg to to naturally hang on the saddle. So you can start with that – just sitting on your horse
and letting your leg just drop right out of your hip joint. And let gravity take
your foot to the ground or just imagine that your feet are stepping down
evenly in both feet – the feet are just stepping towards the ground. Let your
knee drop and feel that you’re balanced with even weight on both seat bones. So
you tend to – will tend to have a – or have a tendency to sit a little bit heavier
in one seat bone. Right now I just shifted – it’s going to look like the
opposite side because the video is reversed- but I’ve just dropped more
weight into my left seat bone than into my right. And you can see (pardon my cat) you can see that what that does to my shoulders. Now I’m going to bring myself
back and put my weight even into both seat bones and you can see that that
makes me more square. If I drop more weight into my right seat bone, again, you
can see that shifts my weight and makes me a little bit more crooked. So if I’m
sitting like that in the saddle and I’m not conscious of it I’m gonna be
gripping more with the leg on the side that I’m collapsing into. So in this case
my right seat bone – it may look like the left in the video – but it’s my right seat
bone and I’m gonna grip more with my left leg to try to hang on. And that
again is going to bring my knee up and bring my foot out of the stirrup. So you
want to find – and you can practice this on a chair as I’m doing here, on an
exercise ball, and in the saddle when your horse is standing still if
someone’s holding your horse for you, ideally – and just feel that you can move
your seat bones around a little bit until you find the spot where it feels
really, really even. And you want to be balanced evenly on both seat bones. So
if these are the seat bones this way. And then
the back of your pubic bone. So we have this little tripod that we’re balanced on. So
you’re sitting on that tripod pod of the two seat bones even. If you’re not sure
and you’ve got a a mirror available or someone can take a picture of you from
straight on and from straight behind then you can have a look – because we
don’t always feel our own crookedness. It’ll feel normal if you’re used to
sitting like this with weight heavier in one seat bone than the other. So find
that balance. It takes a little practice of sitting evenly on this tripod. And
letting your leg again hang right out of the hip socket. Just let the legs drop.
Let the knees drop. And then pick up your stirrups and try to keep that same
feeling where you’re balanced over those both seat bones evenly, your knees are
dropping to the ground, and even with your foot in the stirrup that your foot
is stepping to the ground. So if you were standing on the ground how much pressure
would there be? So you’re not trying to force your heel down because
that’s going to jam up your your ankle and your knees. So if I lock up and I try and
push my – imagine this is my foot – if I try and push that down and now I’m moving
with the horse you can see how everything in my arm moves as one unit. But if I relax and allow that joint to absorb now – absorb the horses movement –
now I can move with it and I don’t need to grip. It’s really the gripping in
the inner thigh and that imbalance in the seat bones that causes the knee
to come up and then the foot to come up so if you have any questions about that
you can pop them into the comments and I can answer them. Otherwise, I hope you
found this information helpful. And if you’re watching the replay then just type
in #replay and if you have any comments or questions I will come back
and answer them. Thanks and have a good ride. you

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