Without Stirrups

I rode half my ride with stirrups and the second half without.  And guess what? PJ went a whole lot better when I didn’t have my stirrups.  He was forward and pushing from behind with a round back and consistent contact.  What does that tell me?  I suck. Seriously, it tells me I am doing something that interferes with PJ’s way of going when I have my stirrups.  I’m just not sure what that is,  I definitely feel like my legs are wrapped around him more and my seat is glued to his back when I don’t have stirrups.  My position feels looser when I have my stirrups.  It wasn’t all wine and roses, I found that I lost my balance a little when I changed bends.  I did a lot of serpentines and when I changed legs so the new inside was closer to the girth and the new outside was back, I was a little unsteady until PJ changed his bend.  Going around and around in the same direction and I felt strong and secure.

So now what do I do about it?  Should I adjust my stirrup length? Should I ride more without stirrups?  And if so, is it to get stronger or to solidify some type of muscle memory? Or is there something else I should be doing?  Hmmm….Any ideas out there?

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One Response to Without Stirrups

  1. shinyfluff says:

    I have found this to be true as well. I think it is about not bracing against the movement, moving with your horse and sort of flowing along…..I am planning alot of non-stirrup/bareback work this summer : )

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