View Full Version : How to turn the toes in
23rd Aug 2000, 07:21 PM
Hello everyone. I wonder if anyone can help me; I have a real problem keeping my toes turned in, and although I've been making an effort to sort it out, every time I think of something else my toes turn back out again, and my instructor points it out once again. (I hope she doesn't think I'm wilfully ignoring her! She probably feels like recording a looped tape!)
I found something in a book about this. It said that turned-out toes are a problem with the position of the hip and leg, not the toes themselves, which seems fair enough; but then it suggested grabbing your thigh muscle from behind and pulling it out and round, which I specifically remember Heather thought was a bad idea, so I am reluctant to try it. Can anyone suggest any exercises I could do, either on horseback or during the other 167 hours in the week, to get those toes in? Or some other exercise to help with the hip position? I'd be very grateful
23rd Aug 2000, 07:28 PM
You are quite right- pulling the thigh muscle round is the daftest thing to ask a rider to do! It forces the lower leg away.It really all depends on how tight your ankles are, and also your hip joints. Ligaments can be stretched but it takes time. Can you actually turn your toes in fairly easily, or do your ankles feel tight and stretched? Or as you say, when your mind wander, so do your toes! If so, it really just is a case of concentrating on the problem as much as your mind will allow!
25th Aug 2000, 05:58 PM
I have been riding for a year and a half and did not realize that you should ride "toes in". I try to keep my knees turned in but I thought toes should be turned out somehow, mainly because every time I see a picture of a rider going over a jump, it looks as if there toes are really pointing out. Can someone clear me up on this?
25th Aug 2000, 07:52 PM
I think that the reason why you should ride "toes in" is that it helps to keep the lower leg at the horse and makes "long legs" which is essential to give proper aids. Like Rebecca said this is mainly to do with the position of the hips. I don't know a whole lot about jumping, but I guess that the riders on TV have to press their knees together to stay on over those huge obstacles and that this drives their lower legs away. Might be a wrong idea though.
co in wyo
18th Sep 2000, 02:18 PM
I too had a toe out problem. I agree with Heather it has to do with tight hips and ankles. They are tight because the tendons and ligaments are tight. Warm up without stirrups helps to lengthen the ligaments. Then do some quadradept stretches. Bring your heel to your bum, leaving your seatbones on the saddle. Then push your pelvis forward to feel the stretch in your quad. Also lift both knees up as high as you can. No cheating by resting your feet on the side of the saddle. :o)
And last but not least and the most important exercise...this is the one that truely turned my toes in...
The scissor exercise...it was suggested that I do 200 of these on every horse I rode. I was ridding 5 a day at that time.
Keeping your seatbones in the saddle with even weight on both, hold the pommel and kick back with one leg and forward with the other. Kick back from the hip joint not the knee. This does cause a cramp or two in the beginning. Imagine that you are trying to push the bone in your leg to the back of your thigh. Think toes in while doing this exercise. I got up to 60 per horse. I couldn't go 200...partly because my attention span isn't that long. But my toes now point forward. It is hard work...and I quit this exercise and then start again because it is an ongoing problem. Our outside thigh muscles are weak. The inside thigh muscle is strong, that is what turns the toes out. When you strengthen the outside muscle your whole hip turns in - not just your toes. This is a difficult exercise but it really does work. Good Luck.
18th Sep 2000, 05:35 PM
Watch yourself when you walk, do you walk with your feet in a straight line, or do you turn your toes out when you walk?
I've noticed that people who walk with their toes turned out, very often have problems with keeping them in when riding as well. If you do, try and make a consious effort to keep your feet straight, this should help to realign all the muscles in your legs. As a child, when I was sitting on the bus and my feet didn't touch the floor, I used to practise getting my feet and ankles into the correct riding position and pretend I was on a horse instead of a boring bus! I'm sure that heped me. (I still do that, but now it's on the chairs at work, everyone there thinks I'm mad!)
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