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No stirrups and leg position?

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  • No stirrups and leg position?

    This feels like a dumb question and I couldn't find an answer in the Search... so apologies

    When riding with no stirrups, is your goal to ride with your leg in the same position as if you have stirrups? Or do you let your leg hang, as if you're riding with longer stirrups or even bareback?


    Also, when attempting to post the trot with no stirrups, are you mostly gripping with your knee or your whole leg? My leg is long enough on my gelding with no stirrups that I can't really grip much with my lower leg without bear-hugging him to create contact with my lower leg.

    Thanks for entertaining my dumb question(s)
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

  • #2
    Exactly the same position as with stirrups.

    You use your leg the same, you should not be gripping with any part of your leg. There is no "gripping" when using irons. When you post let the horse push you out of the saddle, just control it. The stronger your leg gets with out using irons the easier it will be.

    If you are able to get a copy of George Morris' book Hunter Seat Equitation you will find many pictures of people with correct leg position without irons.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Seal. My horse has amazingly smooth gaits and there is very little "push" to post from at the trot. (He's a dream to ride bareback!) So I struggle to really post with no stirrups unless I'm gripping somewhere to help get my seat out of the saddle Maybe I'm just better off to sit his gaits when riding with no stirrups.... ?


      Edited to add: Thanks for the Hunter Seat Eq reference. I have that book at home and will check it out tonight.
      "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

      Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

      Comment


      • #4
        Make sure your horse is engaged at the trot, not doing the "slug" shuffle. You don't need to post sky high, just as high as they push you out of the saddle. A working trot is 8 miles per hour, and the hind end is engaged, that is where the push comes from.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have been seriously slacking in my no stirrup work and have recently begun again. I find working in sitting trot then canter without stirrups, while doing lateral work and two point helps greatly.
          After I do a bit of this, my horse is generally more supple and tends to have more of a bouncey trot plus my muscles are warmed up and it doesn't feel like such a task to post.

          Your leg with stirrups should be slightly engaged through the thigh and calf to keep engagement and prevent your leg from flopping around.
          You use the thrust from the hind end to bounce you out of the saddle. You should only be using just enough thigh and calf to keep your leg from sliding down.

          Good luck and learn to love the burn
          http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Definitely the same position as if you had stirrups. This is where the thigh burn really comes into play! I am prone to "cheating" and letting my leg get realllly long and it is much less of a workout then. Of course now I am dealing with the spooky, fresh, "it's winter" version of the horse, so I am getting a workout even with my stirrups.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SkipHiLad4me View Post
              Thanks Seal. My horse has amazingly smooth gaits and there is very little "push" to post from at the trot. (He's a dream to ride bareback!) So I struggle to really post with no stirrups unless I'm gripping somewhere to help get my seat out of the saddle Maybe I'm just better off to sit his gaits when riding with no stirrups.... ?
              Just try. The more you do it, the stronger you'll get, and the easier it will be to get out of the saddle. Sitting might be easier, but it won't be the same workout. Keep trying, even if you can only get an inch off the saddle.
              Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
              Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
              VW sucks.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks guys! I appreciate the tips and words of encouragement. I'll keep working at it!
                "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

                Comment


                • #9
                  My trainer had me doing this tonight, and my lesson horse sounds like yours.. not alot of bounce! So yes, I had to grip a little and push myself up for the posting with no stirrups. Probably not conventional, but he is a smooth little QH with no bounce! Had to get the post somehow.
                  www.thetexasequestrian.com

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                  • #10
                    I'm 2 1/2 years into my daily no-stirrups ride on one of my horses. I've recently been using her saddle on my youngster as well, so I just leave the stirrups dropped when I ride her (since I need them on him). It turns out that my leg hangs almost exactly where my flat length stirrups sit. They occasionally pop onto the end of my toe while trotting around. I couldn't figure out why it was happening (after all of this time) until I realized that it's because I dropped my flat length a bit longer for my baby.

                    So I guess my answer is that my leg sits just a hair longer than my normal stirrup length on that horse.

                    In regards to "gripping," I certainly do grip more when I'm riding without stirrups. It's primarily through my upper thigh down to just above the knee. That's actually *why* I'm riding without stirrups daily.....I need the reminder and natural strengthening that comes from using your legs properly (i.e. without stirrups) rather than allowing myself to create bad habits because of the fact that it's easy to "float" (meaning using my leg less) on my big guy.
                    __________________________________
                    Flying F Sport Horses
                    Horses in the NW

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It depends on why you are doing no stirrup work. For some things you can practise toes down and really wrap around the horse's body, for some things you can use the same leg position as with stirrups.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Good point PNW - I'll have to check to see where my leg falls in relation to my stirrup. I had taken my stirrups completely off my saddle so I'm not sure if my leg was actually in the correct position or not. I might not be that far off from my flat length either!

                        I just want to strengthen my leg and tighten up my seat a bit. I'm working with no stirrups on my older gelding because I can trust him But I have a younger QH gelding who is very muscular with a lot more thrust in his gaits and I find myself having a hard time sticking with him sometimes! My legs get tired quickly on him because I'm actually having to USE a lot more leg than I'm accustomed to on my older gelding.
                        "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                        Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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