How do you keep the stirrups in canter? | Dressage Mastery TV Ep270

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “How do you keep the stirrups in canter?”

What do you do if you keep losing your stirrup in canter?

I know why you’re losing your stirrup in canter. That’s because you’re gripping with your knee and the minute I grip with my knee, I’ve lost my stirrup. It just fell out. How did that happen? It fell out because I didn’t have weight down through my ankle. 

I like weight down through the ankle. And weight down in your feet, because if I’m standing on something, so just when you get on a horse, stand on your stirrup, and then go, it doesn’t even matter if your heel’s up, are you ever going to lose your stirrup? Of course not, because you’ve got weight in it.

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey riding superstars, today I’m going to answer the question, how do you keep your stirrups in canter?

All right, so what do you do if you keep losing your stirrup in canter? Well, I can guarantee you, it’s magic, and I know why you’re losing your stirrup in canter. That’s because you’re gripping with your knee, and the minute you grip with your knee, do you see how I’ve lost my stirrup? It just fell out. How did that happen? It fell out because I didn’t have weight down through my ankle. Weight down, the typical learning dressage phrase of “heels down, heels down, heels down.”

I don’t like heels down, because you can still get your heels down, and no weight in the stirrup. And now I still lost my stirrups. See, my heel’s down, but I lost my stirrup. So I actually hate the heels down advice. I like weight down through the ankle. And weight down in your feet, because if I’m standing on something, so just when you get on a horse, stand on your stirrup, and then go, it doesn’t even matter if your heel’s up, are you ever going to lose your stirrup? Of course not, because you’ve got weight in it.

Now, if you take the weight out, whether you have your heel up or heel down, is irrelevant. You’re going to lose your stirrup, because you’ve got no weight in it. So you’ve got to make sure you have weight down through your ankle I always say, because then it makes it go down through your heel, and your heel is down. But then you’ll never ever, ever lose your stirrup again.

So, if you are losing your stirrup, and I’ll do it in canter, the minute I grip with my knees, crap, I’ve lost my stirrups. I’ve lost it on the other side, which you can’t see, which is irrelevant. And this is the trickier bit, getting them back. So don’t ever lose them, it’s hard to get them back. Okay, so now, you just make sure that there’s weight, weight down through the ankle, weight down through the foot, weight down through the ankle, weight down through the foot. You’ll notice the horse has changed as well. When I’m not anchored, and I’m like this, the horse gets strung out, loose, and not as together. Then, when I’ve got everything, weight down through the ankle, weight down through the heel, you can keep cantering while you poo, I know, I know. And now I’ve got the horse more together.

I’ve got the horse more together, and I haven’t lost my stirrup. So yay on both counts. So make sure, no matter what, if you’re going on, I don’t know how to keep my weight down in the stirrup, just do it in halt. Go okay, what would I do? And I’m guaranteeing, it’s not about putting the weight down through the ankle, it’s not gripping with your knee. If you grip with your knee, you’ve got no weight because you have now decided that this muscle, this big thigh muscle is going to keep you on the saddle. You grip with your knees and your legs, you’ve lost your stirrup. So let go of your knee, let it all hang long and down, and then you’ll be able to keep your stirrup.

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