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Equitation Riders, What's your take?

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  • Equitation Riders, What's your take?

    Ok so modern equitation has changed so much from the old equitation. Looking at the big Maclay riders, many riders who are actually pinning well, I've noticed stick their toes out quite a bit. It doesn't look very..well polished i guess you could say, not as perfect as I thought equitation really is? What's your take on this? Do you agree with me and what do you think of equitation today and say ten or even twenty years ago?
    Every horse is ART
    And every rider is an ARTIST

  • #2
    Not that I have any real knowledge of htis, but could it be because the eq riders of today are on round WBs, while the eq riders of two decades ago were on more slim TBs?
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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Hunter Mom View Post
      Not that I have any real knowledge of htis, but could it be because the eq riders of today are on round WBs, while the eq riders of two decades ago were on more slim TBs?
      That's very true. I didn't even think about that.
      Every horse is ART
      And every rider is an ARTIST

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      • #4
        As far as I know, and from what my trainer has told me, it's more ok now to have your toes out slightly as it provides a stronger leg. He said too many people try to force their toes in and it makes the leg weaker. At least that's what he told me "STOP forcing your toes to go in!!"

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        • #5
          What I remember most about my lessons in the late 70's early 80's was "heels down, toes in"!!!!

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          • #6
            I'm told heels down toes out. It does seem to help on the fat horse however on the slimmer tb it helps to have my toes more in off his sensitive sides.

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            • #7
              Riding like everything else has evolved. It is now preferred to ride to ride with your toes at a 45 degree angle as opposed to straight a head.

              The biggest reason for this is the development of the "American forward riding system"

              It is no longer common to here trainers yelling to squeeze your knee. We ride more off of our calves then ever compared to riding with our knees. In order to do this effectively you have to slightly turn your toes out.

              It's really obvious when someone post an old video or a video of European riders. They all ride off their knee in the older manor that we were use to 20-30 years ago.

              Now when you post those videos people always pipe up with "I don't know how they stay on" and " their leg is swinging back" these riders are usually very effective but given that our style has changed it isn't what we are use to seeing ( try teaching some one who grow up of seas to ride like a hunter now!!!)

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              • #8
                Well, GM points this out in old photos, and says its simply a change in style. Says its not as polished a look but was a very strong position and not one he objects to.

                Honestly, I say who cares where a rider's toes are. If they are riding effectively safely, and staying out of the horse's way, isn't that all that matters?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
                  Well, GM points this out in old photos, and says its simply a change in style. Says its not as polished a look but was a very strong position and not one he objects to.

                  Honestly, I say who cares where a rider's toes are. If they are riding effectively safely, and staying out of the horse's way, isn't that all that matters?
                  If you are competing in the big eq, all angles count. Something so minor could be the difference.
                  The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

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                  • #10
                    I would say that the typical eq horse of today is much easier to ride, much rounder in the barrel, and a much flatter jumper. The saddles are tackier and much more padded today than those days.

                    A lot of the eq horses from way back when used to also do the hunters and the jumpers. It was a much less specialized class than it is today.

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                    • #11
                      I think it does allow a rider to drive the horse forward more easily, in the past riders were mounted on more sensitive TBs.
                      In fact you will see a different position among advanced riders depending on the "type" they are riding. It's a variable that has been accepted for as long as I can remember.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Riding with the calf, that's something that I also thought it might be from. But of course, I considered that after I posted this thread. It makes alot of sense now, I went to a trainer once who taught older style and told me to grip with my knees. Then, when I moved, I was told not to grip with my knees and all pressure with my calf and spur.

                        Here's another question:
                        Which do you think is more effective riding? Older European style riding, or modern US equitation?
                        Every horse is ART
                        And every rider is an ARTIST

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                        • #13
                          Interesting thread.... I know this how? well I rode as a kid (off the knee) on hot TBs... that was the thing.

                          As an older adult riding lessons; told by instructor "you must have rode as a kid"... Yeah howd ya know that one?

                          I think it's the horses they are riding have a lot to do with it. When I ride my more TB-y type horse I find staying with him very easy... My big 18 hand WB my calf "MUST" stay at the girth or I will take flight over his head if I pinch w/ my knees and let my lower leg slip back. He is much wider and the knee pinching just isn't a very secure feeling. I can get away with it on my smaller horse...

                          I usually try to keep my toes more forward and just slightly out - - but if you turn your toes out just a bit more; you will find it gives you a very strong leg over a fence that your horse may have jumped with some extra effort. lol.....

                          I think modern US riding is more effective because of the horses that are being used and winning....
                          Live in the sunshine.
                          Swim in the sea.
                          Drink the wild air.

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                          • #14
                            well I couldn't tell you what's right or what's better but at a show this weekend I saw a girl riding with her toe literally turned out 90 degrees from the horses side. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard. it just looked painful. Now this was a much lower level kid than big eq, but I really hope this isn't seen as a good thing nowadays.

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                            • #15
                              My trainer has been trying to retrain my toes, they are currently programmed to point straight forward and remain parallel my horse's side. My childhood event coach, who incidentally received his training in England, taught me to ride this way as it provided more range to the aids and one could be more selective about where and when pressure was applied along the calf or with the spur. He most certainly never let us pinch with our knees though, weight had to be down through the back of the leg and draped around the horse's barrel. Now, with the modernization of the American style my coach wants my toe turned out. But it feels odd and as if I'm going to poke the horse with my spur every stride which in turn could make them even more dull to the leg aid. I'm probably wrong, which is why this thread is so interesting to me! Would a BigEQ judge really find fault with a rider that can keep their foot parallel the horse while keeping their leg still and draped around the horse? Does the 45 degree angle allow for more finesse in applying aids than does a parallel foot? Thanks! These body mechanics discussions are fascinating
                              "Beware the hobby that eats."
                              Benjamin Franklin

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                              • #16
                                Where your toes point is simply a reflection of where your hips and therefore knees are - it's never a toe issue, it's reflective of what is happening higher up. People tend to want to grip with the backs of their thighs (hamstrings) which is not correct, instead of using their quads (fronts of thighs) and the muscles along the insides of their thighs, which is correct. It's harder to ride properly, and while dressage riders still remember this one aspect, it seems hunters don't. It also takes time to train your hips and flexors to work in this way, and it's something I think a lot of people aren't aware of anymore. People grip on with their hamstrings and the backs of their calves because it takes less training than learning to use your thighs and calves properly... if your toe is out more than a hair, you are using your calf in a completely different way.

                                Whoever said it's TB's vs. WB's probably has a valid point as well - it's harder to ride properly on a wide WB, and they tend to take more leg (although that's a training issue I don't want to get into haha, I think EVERY horse is capable of being light to the leg, it just takes more training). It's easier to grip with the back of your calf and ride with your heel in the side of a lazy horse. But it's not correct by any means.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by JumpWithPanache View Post
                                  Does the 45 degree angle allow for more finesse in applying aids than does a parallel foot?
                                  In my own riding, I find it's absolutely the opposite of this! I feel like I have much more range and finesse when my quads are closed and my hamstrings are relaxed, knees touching the saddle but NOT gripping, and the sides of my calves are on the horse with toes pointing mostly forwards (I have no problem with slightly turned out toes, by the way). I can then use my lower or upper calf quite easily, which I can not do with toes turned out and the back of my calf on the horse.

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                                  • #18
                                    I have figured its a result of "don't pinch with the knee!"
                                    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

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                                    • #19
                                      I am from the days of toe forward, knee touching but NOT gripping now since times have changed I find myself re-training my legs to a toe out position and wow do I feel a difference. I really feel I have my leg on. Still, my knee touching without grip but I have better coordination with thigh, leg - leg, thigh now.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Mayaty02 View Post
                                        well I couldn't tell you what's right or what's better but at a show this weekend I saw a girl riding with her toe literally turned out 90 degrees from the horses side. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard. it just looked painful. Now this was a much lower level kid than big eq, but I really hope this isn't seen as a good thing nowadays.
                                        See, that would feel a little awkward if I did it, but it wouldn't hurt at all. Forcing my toes less than 45 degrees forward? Agonizingly painful. I wish I were doing eq now--as a kid it was torture. My trainer would tie my stirrups to force my toes in (and this is the NICE trainer!) I can also pinch with my knees with my toes turned out, too, so I don't find it mutually exclusive (I also ride a skinny TB.)

                                        Of course, I can stand on the floor with my feet in ballet first turned out farther than 180 degrees, or in a (very incorrect) fifth with one foot pointing forward and the other pointing straight behind me. To say I'm very naturally open-hipped is a minor understatement.
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