Learning to work without stirrups
Riding without stirrups can significantly improve your fit, however, only if you work correctly without experiencing insecurity and not only thinking about staying in the saddle. In this article you will find tips on how to train without stirrups in order to improve the interaction between you and the horse, as well as how to improve your riding skills without stirrups on fast gait and during overcoming low obstacles.
Before you start riding without stirrups, we will need to take care of several things.
First, make sure that you are in the right, balanced position in the saddle. If you are unbalanced with stirrups, then without them it will not be more convenient for you. Sitting in the correct position, with stirrups of suitable length, pay attention to where your legs are. Remember their position and strive for it when you work without stirrups.
Throwing stirrups, you should feel completely safe. Your horse should calmly react to stirrups hanging at its sides (lower stirrups down, let the horse run on your cord without you). For safety reasons, never throw stirrups over the saddle. An exception is if you work on a cord.
Before starting work, warm up the horse and warm yourself. It is best to start riding without stirrups in the middle of a workout while you are not too tired.
For the development of balance and coordination, as well as in order not to panic in a situation of loss of stirrup, it will be useful for you to learn how to throw and catch stirrups.
Without looking down, at the same time remove the legs from the stirrups, raising your toes and moving the shenkel back a few centimeters. Once you drop the stirrups, return the legs to their original position, as if they were still in the stirrups.
To return the stirrups back, move the schenkel back, as you did before, slightly turn the foot with your fingers towards the horse, raise your toes and smoothly push your legs forward, insert the feet into the stirrups. If you are having trouble finding stirrups, return your legs to the correct position as if you have stirrups and try again. It is very important to act smoothly and slowly (sharp, wide movements will affect your balance). Practice this exercise until you learn how to easily throw and pick up stirrups without peeping.
On the step
Are you doing a great job with the previous exercise? So you can move on!
Ask the horse to move along the wall of the playpen. When you put it on a good step, carefully remove your legs from the stirrups. Keep moving, remembering to keep your posture and look forward. Take a few steps. Keep an eye on the position of the eyes, shoulders, hips, arms, knees and feet – this way you stay balanced and keep a proper fit.
Your legs should remain on the horse’s sides, slightly behind the girth. Permanent contact of the hips, knees and legs with the sides of the horse should be maintained. Too much pressure in one area of your leg can upset your balance. It is also important that you do not squeeze the horse too much. You need enough pressure so that your leg is firmly pressed to the sides of the horse so that it does not slip, but you do not need to squeeze so hard that the horse begins to accelerate.
After you go through several steps, pick up the stirrups, as you did during the stop, not forgetting to sit correctly and look forward. Walk a few steps, pick up the stirrups, and then drop again after a couple of steps. Walk in both directions along the arena, following the correct posture, gradually throwing and picking up stirrups. Spend as much time as you need before moving on to the lynx. Work without stirrups is worth one or two minutes, gradually increasing the time of such a ride. As a result, you will have to drive up to 15 minutes. But do not forget that riding in steps without stirrups is not a vacation and not a reason to relax!
Getting started without trotting stirrups, think about whether you feel confident in a training trot with stirrups? If not, then with a ride without stirrups it is worth the time.
When you put the horse on a good lynx and sit in the training landing, take your legs out of the stirrups, gently lifting your toes and moving the schenkel back. Try to make this movement as smooth as possible, as this will help maintain a stable position in the saddle. If you throw stirrups while moving your legs away from the horse’s body, you lose contact and your landing becomes unstable.
Throwing stirrups, remember about your landing: whether you are sitting correctly, whether your gaze is directed forward, check your shoulders, hips, knees and legs. You should not rest your hands on the horse’s neck, you should look where you want to go, your heels should be down, socks at the top. Start with a couple of steps of the training trot, and then return to the stirrups. Gradually increase lynx reprisals until you can easily drive around the arena.