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I need some advice (help horse people!!)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've been riding for 2 years now and last Saturday my RI said from now on I will be doing most of my riding without stirrups. HELP! I have never done this before in my life!! Has any horsey person out there got any tips or advice for riding without them? My RI said I will be cantering without them too! help please!!!
post #2 of 10
cool! I have never done it (well I rode a wild little tiny pony that hated being ridden and bucked me off in a second)

But I am sure you won't be cantering right off the bat will you? I think of movies like The Black Stallion when Alec rode The Black down the beach at full speed without a saddle or stirrups. Looks like fun. I haven't ridden in years and I am dying too. I wish I knew someone who would let me ride their horse until I could get one of my own. I guess there is a liability or something in case I fell off the horse, people are probably afraid of being sued. I would never even think or imagine doing that... But when I rode when I was younger I always felt like I couldn't hold on when cantering WITH stirrups. Maybe I just needed to relax in the seat a little more. I don't know, it has been so long....

Do you know if there are places where you can rent a horse for a day? hehe, probably not but I would love to just go riding all day long.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for replying!

Well I did it. I took my feet out and cantered without stirrups. And to be honest I hated it! You bounce up and down, it hurts your back end, and while doing sitting trot you wobble around and feel stupid. And I was the only one without stirrups!

Oh well, thanks for replying anyway Jen!
post #4 of 10
I LOVE riding without stirrups,and would much rather ride bareback! It's a great way to improve your balance and learn to move with your horse. Just use your knees and calves,gripping their girth to keep from bouncing so bad. You can even post the trot after you get used to it! Try jumping over a creek sometime! Of course,if the horse has a prominent backbone,it can be painful!!
post #5 of 10
Riding without stirrups is all about the SEAT! THAT is what your instructor is striving to develop more with you. What discipline do you ride?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Sea Witch View Post
What discipline do you ride?
If discipline is what I think you mean then I ride english. I've never tried Western riding in my life lol if I got that wrong and discipline is something else I know I am stupid please tell me what it is!

post #7 of 10
Before I was allowed to jump I was required to go the whole lesson without stirrups. I'm not very good at it unfortunately. If I were to pick up riding again I've decided I would learn bareback so I would not rely on my feet, so look at it for the better.

Cantering is easier than trotting without stirrups. I was actually about to fall off once because the horse broke out in an uncontrolled trot, she transitioned into a canter and it was SO much smoother and saved my butt...well for a few minutes until she took off into a gallop and cattapulted me into a fence. But that had nothing to do with the stirrups. She spooked and was green anyway.

Really this is the best thing you can do to advance your skills. Most everyone in my class were required to do chutes (jump lines) with no stirrups or reins, hands behidn back or out to the side (not little X's either). I never got to that point but often marveled at watching these lessons.
post #8 of 10
Yes, I was going to add that it means you are progressing! Congrats!
post #9 of 10
yup, that's what I meant, LOL. Huntseat? Dressage?

I know when my instructor (this is MANY years ago now ..eeep) had us start with no stirrups, it was to deepen and enhance the seat. It helped us in balance, and in REALLY learning to use the "circle". What I was taught is that it all begins and ends with the seat. In dressage (that's what I ride) it's very very important to have a deep seat. It's actually very important for ANY discipline to develop a good seat.
post #10 of 10
Don't forget flatseat! Once you get the hang of it, you will really appreciate it! Especially, posting without stirrups is FUN and really gives you a sense of accomplishment! It will give you confidence that even if you lose a stirrup, you don't really need them anyways, and may not even notice for a moment if you do lose one.
What helped me (and, I admit, this is easier in flatseat than in a hunter saddle because you can sit "deeper") is to remember how much work and flexing your back has to do to keep your rump in and attached to the seat. This is going to sound a little silly, but what helped me was remembering to grip with my knees and thighs and "scoop" my rump forward at the waist in rhythm with the horse- it's easier to get at a canter, because of the rocking motion.(like standing straight up, and then tucking your rump forward and underneath you while simutaniously bending your knees? Try it, you'll see - those are the muscles). And remembering to try to grip with the front of the insides of my knees,like I'm trying to grip with my kneecaps , to help me keep my heels and calves rolled out and away from the horses sides.

And they're right- it means your instructor thinks you are progressing well, and if you're the only one without stirrups, ahead of your class! (Take it from a one time state equitation high point champion!- my one claim to fame! )

I forgot how much I enjoyed this- it's been a while. Have fun- it's hard work, but it is a good feeling of acomplishment when you know you've tried and done your best!
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