How much weight goes into the stirrups?

rabbit

Devoted Clydie X owner
I've been battling with my feet sliding into the stirrups.

My instructor says its because I don't put enough weight in the stirrups.
How much weight is supposed to go in the stirrups?

I've been doing lots of stirrupless work, but what I don't understand is that when you ride without stirrups, all your weight is in your bottom. So how does that help ?

Its the one thing that is stopping me from progressing and its driving me nuts.
 

Peanut

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Aug 1, 2005
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This is one of my problem areas too, so I'll be interested to read the replies. It's so annoying isn't it when you know you are getting it wrong but just can't seem to correct it!
 

Anvil83

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May 1, 2007
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In a book I've read, Improving Riders Position by Joni Bentley, it says that the weight is in the heels & backs of your legs, you kinda relax at the knees & release downwards. Then your feet will rest naturally in the stirrups rather than pushing against them which will tense up your leg & you'll end up losing the stirrups even more or just popping out of the saddle all the time. An instructor told me that this takes years to master, it's just something that comes with time.

I struggle with this at the moment, I'm still having to do lots of exercises to lengthen my calves to help me to keep my heels down.

Do you ride with stirrup treads? If you don't then it's going to be really difficult to keep your stirrups. Also I was told to relax at the knees as I was gripping up so much that it was forcing my knees upwards & I kept losing my stirrups, so I had to ride with my knees out to the sides, really exaggerating this, I looked silly but once I got used to it I could then go back to having them close to the saddle again but too tight against the saddle. Also squeeze the horse with your calves rather than your heels & let your legs hang down heavily. Wrapping the legs around the horse helps too, but they should not grip, it should just be like a wet towell resting on the horses sides.

Hope I've been of some help, although I think I went off on a tangent there, sorry :eek: I'd love to know how you get on. Good luck.
 

kirstinbell

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Jul 24, 2007
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I sometimes really struggle to find a balance between gripping with my knees and forcing my weight into the stirrups.

I've found that my feet sit much better in the stirrups if I start the lesson without stirrups and let me legs hang naturally an then when I start using my stirrups I adjust them to accomodate my legs rather than bending at the knees to fit me feet into the stirrups.

My instructor keeps reminding me to work with gravity and not against it and also encourages me to push down with my legs as I rise to encourage my calves to lenghten.

Another exercise that I found works for me is to stand up in my stirrups and lean slightly forward in a sort of gallop position - not only did this increase the impulsion of the horse but it helped lengthen my leg.

And finally another piece of advice that really worked for me was to not focus too much on my lower leg - after spending a lesson mainly focusing on my hands my instructor commented on how quiet my lower leg had been because I hadn't been focusing my attention on it which allowed it to sit more naturally by the horses side.

Hope this is of some help to you!

K x
 

Stella2

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Aug 5, 2001
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You should think more of keeping weight in your lower legs, then softly drop your heels (maybe think toes up rather than heels down). If you push them down to much, you actually push yourself up and shorten your leg/lighten the front of your foot and this can lead to you 'reaching' for your stirrups and your foot sliding. Also could it be than you would benefit from taking your stirrups up a hole if you are 'reaching' a bit anyway?
 
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