Workbook 1:

Your Position

begin reading now for free!

The Horse Rider’s Mechanic Workbooks

click here for more info…

The Horse Rider's Mechanic workbooks

Workbook 2:

Your Balance

begin reading now for free!

Buy Horse Rider's Mechanic workbook 2: Your balanceBuy Horse Rider's Mechanic workbook 1: Your position

For a full page version of this Facebook social plugin go to this page

Disclaimer

The authors and publishers of the Equiculture and Horse Rider’s Mechanic websites, social media pages, books and other resources shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in or on them. While the information is as accurate as the authors and publisher can make it, there may be errors, omissions and inaccuracies.

Buying a horse property might be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make - so it is vital that you get it right. This book will guide you through the process, wherever you live in the world.

Begin reading this book for free now!

click here

Reviews

I wish this book had been out when I bought my first horse property, it would have saved me a lot of anguish. I love the check list and I am using it as we look for our next property. Vicky, Texas, USA

This book has brought up so many points that I just would not have thought about if I had not read it. Thanks a million! Bob, Nottingham, UK

So many great pictures and such a straightforward way of explaining how to work out what is important, and what is not. Kirsty, Geelong, Australia

Our rough itinerary for the next year or so…

Feb 2017 to May 2017

Stuart - Australia.

Jane - UK, then Aus.

June 2017 to Oct 2017

Stuart and Jane - UK.

Oct 2017 to Dec 2017

Stuart - Australia + New Zealand.

Jane - UK, then Aus, then NZ.

The Workshops and Clinics page of our Equiculture website is a good place to find out what we are doing and when.

Make sure you are on our mailing list (subscribe) or join us on Facebook so that you are kept up to date with developments.

You can access full a list of our Facebook pages on the contact us page.

Learn how to improve your balance so that you feel more secure when riding. This book is the second in this series and it shows you how to increase your balance. It contains 18 lessons for you to follow in your own time.

Begin reading this book for free now!

click here

Reviews

What a simple way to improve balance, I now teach this method to all of my students, from beginners to advanced. Fiona, Toronto, Canada

I am now much closer to achieving a truly ‘independent seat’. Feeling secure and confident. Bring on the next book! Megan, Cambridge, UK

This book is very easy to follow and has saved me money. My own instructor is great but she does not cover these fundamental basics. Thank you Jane for making it so easy to improve my riding, Jan. Kent, UK

Click here to go to our bookshop

Bookshop

Our books

© Equiculture and Horse Rider’s Mechanic 2000 - 2016

Homepage

Mailing list

We have just launched our brand new Equiculture site - we will be closing this site down shortly.

Please go to

www.equiculture.net

where you can join our mailing list and find out about our new developments.




Your stirrup length


Approximately 690 words article

The correct stirrup length is very important. When your stirrups are the correct length you can fully utilise the dip and spring function of the joints in your legs. This will be felt particularly in trot but also in canter.

In the diagram below of a rider rising to the trot you can see that as the seat leaves the saddle the heel drops slightly. This is what should happen as the weight of the rider transfers from the seat to the feet. This cannot happen if the stirrups are too long.


Riders tend to ride with their stirrups too long rather than too short. This is often because they want their legs to look as long as possible. As you can see in the picture below the rider’s heels are rising as her seat is rising because her stirrups are not short enough to simultaneously allow her heels to drop slightly as her seat leaves the saddle. You can also see that she is loosing her balance and relying on her reins for stability.



The correct stirrup length helps you to ride as well as possible by allowing you to have just the right amount of bend in your joints.

So how can you tell if your stirrups are the correct length for you? As already mentioned, when they are too long your heels will not be able to dip slightly as you rise. You will also not be able to clear the pommel of the saddle, therefore you will either hit it each time you rise or you will not be able to swing your hips forward far enough (in rising trot).

In sitting trot and canter the stirrups will either ‘clatter’ around on your feet or you will lose them altogether. Your lower legs (in rising trot, sitting trot and canter) will be ‘disengaged’ at this point because as soon as the heel comes higher than the toe the lower leg ‘disengages’. At this point the rider is standing on ‘tip toe’ (or rather the balls of the feet) and is in a very precarious position.

Stirrups that are too short are much less common because a rider tires more quickly when they are too short. The muscles in the legs have to work a bit harder and the joints ache quite quickly due to being too constricted. So riders tend to self regulate stirrups that are too short.

When your stirrups are just right you will feel much more comfortable and secure. You should be able to rise to the trot for quite a period of time without feeling tired (once you are riding fit) and without pain occurring (especially in the outside of the ankle joint).



As a general rule of thumb the bottom of your stirrup irons should be level with your ankle bones when you take your feet out of the stirrups. Another (even more) general rule of thumb that you can use before you even mount is to put your knuckles to the stirrup bar (the metal bar that the stirrup leather threads on to) and with your other hand lift the stirrup iron itself and see if the base of it reaches to your arm pit. Both of these methods give you a ‘ball park’ figure. To get a more accurate result try standing in your stirrups while your horse is either stationary or walking, let your heels drop slightly and your seat should be able to clear the pommel (front) of the saddle.

If you suspect that your stirrups are too long (they often are) experiment with taking them up just one hole at a time and see what a difference it makes to the engagement of your lower leg in particular.

Horse Rider's Mechanic Workbook 1: Your Position and Horse Rider's Mechanic Workbook 2: Your Balance cover the importance of the engagement of the lower leg and how to achieve it. Start reading these books now (for free) by clicking the titles above.


We hope this article has been useful to you. If you think it could be added to or improved please let us know (contact us).


▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬


Back to top


Hi there, we now have a brand new website - can you please go to www.equiculture.net - where you will receive - COMPLETELY FREE the 3 part  (¾ hour) video series called Horse Grazing Characteristics. Next we are working on some free stuff for Horse Rider’s Mechanic too - so don’t miss out! Join our new mailing on the new site to keep in touch - see you there.