What's the perfect foot position in a stirrup? Is it the forty-five-degree angle, a flexed ankle, a stirrup that is placed on the ball of the foot or the heels placed in a downward fashion? It's a combination of all such factors.
Having the right seat in your stirrups makes up a large portion of the rider’s overall position on the horse. With the right foot position, we can avoid commonly made mistakes that can affect our upper body position. Instead, we can develop and maintain a relaxed back that makes a strong and elegant rider with a natural posture.
What makes a weak riding position? A rider with the heels up and the toes down may be in serious trouble. A lower leg that moves back from the knee can decrease the security on the horse. A lose and uncontrolled leg may even distract the horse.
In order for the rider to not only be safe on the horse but also to build a strong connection to the hose, he or she needs to work on developing that strong foot position. Only when the entire body is in sync, we can develop a natural and elegant posture.
You may realize that your foot position still has some room for improvement: A heel that points upwards or your foot that shifts too far back and forth. You can strengthen your position through different exercises on the flat such as riding in your two-point position in all gates or putting your stirrups to the side all together. No-stirrup work has shown to be a success in developing a stronger leg through an improved seat and posture.
Let’s look at it from a different angle: Will the effect of data-driven gadgets help to improve the rider’s position? It’s a point-in-time input about how you are riding. You can combine real time data with historical trends to understand how the smallest moments can make a difference in your riding position.
- Maria Senf, CEO Gallop Equine
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