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No stirrups 101

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  • No stirrups 101

    Anyone basically want to give me any and all tips that they can? My new horse is a much better mover than I'm used to and it's really hard to sit any of his gates, plus my leg is alway flying because he jumps me out of the tack. My "solution" was deciding that any ride I do that's not a lesson (so basically 4 hacks or 4 hacks and some small jumping) would be with my stirrups taken off of my saddle. I figure since so many big eq riders get their stirrups taken away for period between medals and winter circuits, that I could suffer through two or three months. Bareback isn't really an option though because I a. want to protect his back and b. don't trust myself to stay on bareback, at least with a saddle on I'll FEEL like I could always grab on to something.
    Mendokuse

  • #2
    Posting and 2 point. Your legs will be screaming at you.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Satin Filly View Post
      Your legs will be screaming at you.
      Ahh, just what I want.
      Mendokuse

      Comment


      • #4
        When trotting, doing two beats up and one beat down around the ring is also great... also, two beats down and one beat up.

        Two point though, definitely key. Once you feel stable, try it over trot poles.

        Tack aside, you're definitely on the right track for stabilizing the lower leg. Gymnastics (with stirrups - you don't have to kill yourself!) over low jumps will help too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Just make sure when you are doing two-point and the no stirrup work that you aren't pinching with your knee!

          Comment


          • #6
            One I love having my students do is to actually keep their stirrups, but only have them drop ONE stirrup at a time while doing posting/sitting/two point/up-up-downs/down-down-ups/canter, lots of transitions, etc. It will really show you which leg is stronger. It isolates the muscles in the leg without the stirrup and you will notice very quickly how much stronger you leg will need to be.

            Just remember to do just as much work on each leg! Good luck and congrats on your new horse!

            Comment


            • #7
              A recent Practical Horseman magazine contained George Morris' thoughts on riding without stirrups -- he still does it! I recommend finding the article.

              Comment


              • #8
                I really like the up two, down two (or whatever combination you want to do, you can really torture yourself with this exercise, especially if you go "up" for a lot of beats)

                Standing upright in the irons at a walk is also a great strengthening exercise.

                Also, since you mention this is a new horse, make sure your saddle fits too. I know that when I ride in my saddle on other horses (mine was fitted to my own horse) I can sometimes feel really off balance/loosey goosey. Just something else to consider before torturing yourself!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Reviving to say:
                  Been riding 3 a day since the 18th, and spending 20 minutes of all of my rides with no stirrups (so like 60/135 minutes of riding). I'm not strong enough yet to do it for an entire ride, especially with 3 a day to ride.
                  Mendokuse

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hunterrider23 View Post
                    Reviving to say:
                    Been riding 3 a day since the 18th, and spending 20 minutes of all of my rides with no stirrups (so like 60/135 minutes of riding). I'm not strong enough yet to do it for an entire ride, especially with 3 a day to ride.
                    Congrats on getting this far!

                    I also have 3 horses I ride each day. I pulled the stirrups off of one 2 years ago and I ride her every day without. I do all of my collection work on the other two without stirrups also. It has made the absolute biggest difference in my strength, endurance, and position. I think it's a fabulous long term exercise to keep up with
                    __________________________________
                    Flying F Sport Horses
                    Horses in the NW

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      After not riding with stirrups, I have a hard time going back to sitting the trot with them. Any advice?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have that problem as well - it just doesn't feel right.
                        I'm up for suggestions too.

                        Originally posted by Ready To Riot View Post
                        After not riding with stirrups, I have a hard time going back to sitting the trot with them. Any advice?
                        The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
                        H. Cate

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by JGHIRETIRE View Post
                          I have that problem as well - it just doesn't feel right.
                          I'm up for suggestions too.
                          It's really hard to sit one that's as bouncy as mine, so I've mostly been posting it, but if you really really sink into it and try and move your hips with the horse's shoulders, it's a little better. You kind of have to ride it like a dressage rider and let your legs really hang down and your seat deep.
                          Mendokuse

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ready To Riot View Post
                            After not riding with stirrups, I have a hard time going back to sitting the trot with them. Any advice?
                            Think pull your toes up instead of push your heels down. If I push my heels down I start to brace off the stirrup and get stiffer but if I just pull my toes up my leg gets longer without the stiffness.
                            "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                            Phoenix Animal Rescue

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Good ideas - thanks!!

                              Originally posted by kateh View Post
                              Think pull your toes up instead of push your heels down. If I push my heels down I start to brace off the stirrup and get stiffer but if I just pull my toes up my leg gets longer without the stiffness.
                              The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
                              H. Cate

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Not trying to hijack this thread, but on a related note I've been trying to work up the courage to take my stirrups off (he's 17.1 hh.. a long way from the ground). The trouble is I haven't gotten back into a regular riding routine since my wedding- it's been odd rides whenever I get the chance. Now that I'm back in more regular riding, would you brave people who ride without stirrups recommend I wait until I have more strength built up, or just jump in there and give it a try?

                                If you tell me I should just go for it, I'll have no more excuses

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by DNB View Post
                                  Just make sure when you are doing two-point and the no stirrup work that you aren't pinching with your knee!
                                  how exactly does this work? it's physics. you do a leg extension and lift your body up without something to give and equal and opposite reaction.so you either pinch with your knee or clamp with your thighs or calves. the latter would make the horse i'm riding FLY with great difficult stopping. so HOW the heck does this posting and two-pointing without stirrups work? because you can't just float on and off the horse and "light contact" won't give an equal and opposite reaction (even with the horse's movement helping you up a little). just my thoughts. it blows my mind that people can do this and every time i ask someone to demonstrat their either clamping for dear life or they dont even hardly rise up... oh well i'll figure it out.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Joel Reitzloff View Post
                                    how exactly does this work? it's physics. you do a leg extension and lift your body up without something to give and equal and opposite reaction.so you either pinch with your knee or clamp with your thighs or calves. the latter would make the horse i'm riding FLY with great difficult stopping. so HOW the heck does this posting and two-pointing without stirrups work? because you can't just float on and off the horse and "light contact" won't give an equal and opposite reaction (even with the horse's movement helping you up a little). just my thoughts. it blows my mind that people can do this and every time i ask someone to demonstrat their either clamping for dear life or they dont even hardly rise up... oh well i'll figure it out.
                                    Think of it more as a rolling onto the front of your thigh/knee instead of gripping anywhere. So your lower leg stays stretching down and as you go up you let the horse's motion roll you onto the front of your thighs. Make sense? I can "feel" it in my mind but I don't know how well that came across!
                                    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                                    PONY'TUDE

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Even though you're doing no stirrups work you still could be not benefiting your leg at all. I would recommend going from 10 minutes of no stirrups to 5 minutes of with stirrups, that way you can make sure your leg is in the right spot in the stirrups!
                                      I would completely recommend doing two point though! It's a killer but it gets your heel down and your lower leg in the perfect spot! Hope it works! ( :
                                      Save The Date 08-15-2011

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