Problem with getting heel down

AnnaB

New Member
Aug 18, 2014
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Hey guys.
I wondered whether someone is having a good advise for me... I am riding for years now and i don't know why, but i still have the same problem! i cant put my heel down when my feet are in the stirrups :( at first i conetrate on it and after about 5 minutes there up again... can anyone help me??
 

Dannii5691

Owned by Ponies!
Nov 16, 2009
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Are your stirrups maybe a touch to long? If your reaching for them your heel will creep back up. Welcome to the forum btw!! What horses do you have?
 

AnnaB

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Aug 18, 2014
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thanks for welcoming me ^^ i am having a holsteiner named Chandar (a whitehorse) ;) well i didnt think about that til nowo_O:D
 

AnnaB

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Aug 18, 2014
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the pic is really old^^ he's the one in the front (that picture was taken when we lived in germany)
 

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Dannii5691

Owned by Ponies!
Nov 16, 2009
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When I started riding my nutty cob I used to have my stirrups too long In am attempt to anchor me in the saddle for when he was bucking and broncing. I found having to reach for my stirrups was making things worse. I still ride long but shortening a couple of holes has helped my position no end :)
 
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OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
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When you say they come up are you actually reaching for the striups or are your feet flat. The old school way of riding was more a hunting position heals very deep down and legs forward to give you a nice bracing position. This has changed over the years and if you watch even the showjumpers they rider longer then they use still with heals down but legs/heals underneath them not froward and dressage riders feet are all but flat with the heal slightly lower.

So I guess it depends what you are doing.

Oh and welcome
 

Calluna

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Oct 14, 2010
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If you can do five minutes walking without stirrups, your legs will be relaxed round the horse. This may be enough to get your heels where you want them. I too have upward creeping heels, but there is absolutely no point trying to flatten them or push them down as that just sends tension all the way down your leg which is not helpful at all!
 
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Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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really need a vid or a photo to see where the problem stems from, it could be any number of things causing it. Can't really say until we can see you on a horse moving
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Welcome to the forum!

Yes let's see a video of you on your lad! He looks lovely. Grey is very unusual for a Holsteiner, isn't it?

As for correcting things that are wrong, you have to be patient with yourself. It needs I think 5,000 correct repetitions before you have really learned something - so if you tweak your heel down 10 times every time you ride, you'll have to ride 500 times before you have fixed it!
 

Gimp

Gimpy Gimp Gimp
Jan 19, 2005
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some work taking your stirrups away will help you to stretch down and lengthen the leg, I found in the past that helped my leg positioning might be worth taking your stirrups up to, but if it then looks like your riding short I would be concentrating on lengthing that leg!
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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Sometimes folk try just too darned hard for the elusive "heel down" when all that is truly required is a foot that is parallel with the floor or the heel a smidgin lower than the toe. I see so many heels forced to the floor causing the seat to be utterly unstable.
 
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Wally

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If you look on fb you will find Peter de Cosemo's series of writings on position seat etc. He has this to say on the subject.
https://www.facebook.com/PeterDeCos...1985416283578/286557768159675/?type=1&theater


Rider position – Myths and some truths… Part 2.

Toward the end of last year I put forward some thoughts on the vertical seat or the ‘straight line ear, shoulder, hip and heel’ business. Here are a couple more that really get in my craw…..

(Keep in mind these are only applicable in English, other languages may have better ways of saying them.)

“Heels down” For decades instructors have been yelling at pupils this very simple phrase, but it causes more problems than I can even begin to go into here. Before half the riding world fall off their chairs in horror and campaign to have me burned at the stake, I will clarify. It would be FAR more helpful to riders if instructors took a moment to say;

“Heels should move UP and down”

I have spent half of my teaching career asking riders not to force their heels down. Some many riders have been brain washed into this action form childhood and pony club days and find it very hard to loose the habit. Inevitably they over do it and end up with the stirrup leather in front of the vertical which throws their balance off. Here is my take on it.

1. The rider mounts, sits in the saddle, then places each foot into a stirrup and rests the ball of the foot on the support. With a relaxed, supple leg dropping down from the hip, the heel will sink a little lower than the sole of the feet because there is no support under it.

2. The heel must be allowed to be soft and supple to act as one of the three important shock absorbers of the whole leg. The hip joint, the knee joint and the heel/ankle joint.

3. Watch any good rider with a soft, supple seat in sitting trot and you will notice the natural movement in the ankle softly up and down. When riding on the flat heels and ankles MOVE.

4. Forcing the heel lower than it’s natural position creates serious stiffness through the leg and into the hip and lower back. One American rider once told me she had always been drilled in lessons to ‘mash’ her heels as far as she could. Curiously her seat was about as supple as an anvil.

“Sit still..”

Frankly, what a load of tosh. There are riders all over the planet desperately trying to ‘sit still’ which is so ludicrous . So what is the reality?
A good rider creates the ILLUSION of stillness, they don’t sit still. Even at the halt, well if the horse is still breathing and let’s hope he is, there is a modicum of movement. A good rider has core strength, balance, suppleness and had developed a greater sense of feel in order to move sufficiently to compliment the horse’s action what ever it may be. (If the horse is doing something the rider doesn’t like or want no doubt the rider will NOT move in harmony at that point). If riders actually did ‘sit still’ they would be like a block of wood and fall off the saddle the moment the horse moved.

Trying to sit still is right up there with ‘heels down’ for manufacturing uncoordinated and stiff riders lacking feel. In all paces the rider’s entire body and particular joints move sufficiently to preserve balance and harmony. There may be vertical action rippling through the length of the rider or modest lateral movement depending upon what is going on below the saddle. Only enough movement through the rider to compliment the action of the horse. Nothing exaggerated or we then move into the area of the pelvic thrusters.

‘You must follow the movement, or contact….’

Ugh…. Please look in the dictionary if you are unsure; to follow anything is to be BEHIND. If you are trying to ‘follow’ the contact you will be constantly trying to catch up! If you are trying to ‘follow’ any of the horse’s movement you are already too late. It went without you. You missed that bus.

Riding is a present tense activity. It happens ‘now’, in the moment or whatever you want to call it. Riding is pretty much perpetual spontaneity. Good riders have learned how to react spontaneously to be ‘in the moment’. So how about this? You need to ACCOMPANY the movement. You need to be WITH the contact. If you are thinking of harmony anything else is pretty much pointless. Obviously again if you want to change something in the horse then you will change your action.

An international rider that springs to mind and showing a great example of all these qualities would be Christopher Bartle. Unfortunately Christopher is so old I couldn’t find any digital photos of him riding!
Ha

One of the current top riders, in the U.K. and a good example of these qualities is Gareth Hughes, photographed here. Last year he made his debut onto the British team, I think we will be seeing a lot more of him too. Shows great harmony and incredible feel riding some over achieving mares.

To summarise. If in future you are told to keep your heels down, sit still or/and follow the contact or the movement, ask for you money back.

Just saying like…
 
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