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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > General > Riding without stirrups

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Jan 11

Posts: 127

irb13 says:

Riding without stirrups

I've done it before, but omg this morning  ... Eeeks! I still can't stop grinning about it.

My instructor said she wanted to do some work without stirrups. She said my canter's coming on and I'm improving with my practice drills: 20 metre circles, 3 loop serpentines, et al. She's noticed that even though I've got M.E., my stamina is improving as well in that I'm barely stopping between drills or not stopping at all and having to walk. However, my seat could be better in canter and I know it could. So she got me to stop and cross the stirrups over the top and then said what we were going to do - walk (fine), trot (ok .. the last time I did it without stirrups I was bouncy and lopsided) and then she said ... canter  (I know an expression of fear shot across my face at that point).

So we started doing walk which was fine, trot wasn't too bad and got better as we went along, however my legs started tiring quite abit, so we did one short burst of canter. It felt so different and if I'm being honest softer than when I do it with stirrups. We came off track but thats something I can work on next time. For me the big achievement has been just actually doing it. I still can't believe I did it. Going back to stirrups afterwards just felt weird. I had to change the length of them and make them longer, but my rising trot felt a lot better and I had a more positive attitude to canter and we were cantering on the left rein which is both Ben and mine's weaker side.  

Having done the work without stirrups even though it was only for a short period of time I feel like I've got so much from it. Riding without stirrups really does get you to believe and trust in yourself and your abilities as a rider. I never thought at the end of the lesson I'd be the one asking to do it again, and we're going to. My instructor's set out a number of goals that we're going to work together for me to be a better rider. And on that note ... I have to say that I know I made the right decision switching stables earlier on this year. The difference in just 4 months is huge.  

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Jul 11

Posts: 612

wagonsroll says:

Re: Riding without stirrups

Congratulations, cos of my lack of oomph and mega low blood pressure i've started cycling, i go to our local dizzy cycling centre and i go around a flat pad and am now going out a bit on the course, i've found my leg muscles are able to work on the bike as its a trike so im kinda sitting with my legs out in front of me, my exhaustion kicks in really quickly though but i find that the bikes keep going when you cant so i have time to relax and recover and then push again, after only three sessions i rode siem and found my leg muscles were so improved and my walking too, and i trotted for the first time in about 18 years only 2 half circuits but great!!!! Normally i stick to walk and canter and i feel so much better!

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Jan 10

Posts: 1942

Tommytank says:

Re: Riding without stirrups

 I ride for miles without my stirrups, i find it much better for my position, I have a twisted back so it helps me straighten out.  Unfortunatly I don't trust my darling Thomas not to throw in a few bucks when I canter so I always use my stirupps cantering because I'm gererally on my own.  In the past when I've had my friend around to scrape me off the floor if need be I've cantered bare back which is great for balance.  

Well done on your achievement x

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Mar 10

Posts: 3273

greyandbay says:

Re: Riding without stirrups

I always thought cantering without stirrups was far more comfortable than trotting without.

I used to hack Bracken out round the lanes and take my feet out a lot, that was walk and trot only though, like Tommy above, I couldn't really trust her not to put in the odd buck when we cantered !!

But well done with your lesson, it sounds like you've found a really good instructor :o)

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man - Winston Churchill

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Nov 11

Posts: 14

LPequestrian says:

Re: Riding without stirrups

I actually prefer to ride without stirrups as I find it easier... I have a knee problem so riding for long periods of time with stirrups hurts ALOT! so the majority of my riding is done without stirrups & I can really see a difference in my stamina & position as a result. riding without stirrups is honestly one of the best things you can do! x

A life without a horse is a life half lived!

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