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Cross Post from Eventing -- Tips to drop heal over fences

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  • Cross Post from Eventing -- Tips to drop heal over fences

    For all of you equitation gurus I am hoping you might have some good exercises or tips to share with me to help me break this habit.

    Sometimes over my fences I think I am pushing on my toe. End result is heal comes up and I look like I am griping vs. sinking. I may be pinching my knee, but that doesn't seem to be the most obvious part of the issue.

    My horse is not quiet enough for me to jump without stirrups. So that one is off the table. She'd buck me off for sure. Any other suggestions or tips are welcome.

    My mare is much less of a green bean this year and its really time to tune up my position.

    thanks in adavnce.

  • #2
    Two point. All the time. If you pinch your knees three laps of it + transitions between WTC will make you never, ever want to again. Doing maybe six laps a ride should get the muscle memory cooking enough for it to be natural over jumps. For good measure, I'd set up a nice little trot pole to a cross rail and approach it at the two point. Sink into your heels at the pole and it'll carry over the fence. Good luck!


    • #3
      You should post a picture; maybe your irons are too long. You cannot get weight in your heel unless your irons are the correct lenght.

      I will do an exersize that you can do "not" on your horse. Stand with the balls of your feet on the corner of the stair; as you hold a hand rail, allow the weight to fall through your heel; so your heels are down. You can stretch the tendons that need to stretch to help get your heels down.

      Just as a gymnast needs to stretch to prepare to do the splits... and over time if you cannot do the splits, you can if you work at stretching the tendons over time.

      Also the other "must" is not to pinch w/ you knee and make sure you are able to place your leg against the girth....

      Good luck and keep at it....
      Live in the sunshine.
      Swim in the sea.
      Drink the wild air.


      • #4
        Posting 2 up 1 down (and vice versa too) is a great exercise for leg position and core strength. It seems to be impossible to knee pinch while doing it. Unfortunately a knee pinch doesn't have to be huge or super obvious to still affect the rest of your position...never thought of myself as a knee pincher either, but I am....sigh.

        In addition to two point you can also stand straight up in the stirrups to really get the feel of dropping the weight all the way down the back of your leg.


        • #5
          Is your horse quiet enough for you to jump one handed? I have found that jumping with one hand on my hip, and then with the reins bridged in my other hand really forces me to keep my balance down in my heels over a jump.

          Also, to keep your heels down, your lower leg must be relaxed. I need to put some leg on my mare at the base of a jump, but the second she takes off I very quickly need to think about relaxing my leg and pushing my heels to her shoulder.
          My blog: Journeys in Riding


          • #6
            It's a hEEl...

            A photo would help determine the root problem.

            The culprit could be long stirrups (<--shorten them a few holes to see if it helps), a bad fitting saddle, or a number of other things.

            Being aware is a fist step to being able to fix it, but pinning down the cause sometimes takes an outside party to help with.
            Inner Bay Equestrian


            • #7
              Originally posted by Friday1 View Post
              My horse is not quiet enough for me to jump without stirrups. So that one is off the table. She'd buck me off for sure. Any other suggestions or tips are welcome.

              My mare is much less of a green bean this year and its really time to tune up my position.

              thanks in adavnce.
              The last thing you want to do to get your heels down is ride without stirrups. I would also check your stirrup length. If you are eventing, I am sure that you spend plenty of time working on your flatwork. Make sure that you are not jumping with the same length of stirrups that you do the majority of your flatwork. Spend plenty of time in two point and try to not support yourself with your hands. Focus on relaxing your ankles and make sure that you are not gripping with your knees.