Here’s the essence of a Eureka! moment I had in the early days, that I want to share with you.

Riders can spend hours trying to stretch their calves, jamming the heels down only to have the legs creep up, seemingly with a mind of their own.  They buy hinged stirrups (which only makes things worse) or resign themselves to being unable to achieve this most basic principal of a good riding position.

So, here’s the thing …

If your back is hollowed you will NOT be able to get your weight into your heels correctly no matter how hard you try!

Did you know that …

[Tweet “it’s the alignment of the lower back that determines whether the weight falls into your heel”]

A secure heels down comes from a solid, flat back position and supple, relaxed joints – particularly swinging hips, floppy knees and soft ankles.heel

Your leg weight must fall through the heel in a direction toward the horses hind foot with your knee bent, in order to achieve heels down and when we say heels down you need to be subtle about it and not jam them down, have them level or just below the horizontal.

Try this:

  • Stand up, feet forward, hip width apart and stick out your bottom, hollowing your back – you should feel the weight transfer to your toes.
  • Now flatten your back, align your hips and relax your shoulders – Did you feel it?  The weight transfers to your heels.

So, Eureka! No need to get it tattooed anywhere … go do it on a horse!

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster




5 Responses

  1. Ok, I see how that works! One slight problem for me though. I had major spinal surgery 8 years ago, and had to have my spine basically bolted onto my pelvis, so I’m unable to “swing my hips” anymore, as the the titanium screws are at L5/S1 level, the point where you’d normally swing your hips from. I have the issue of my legs creeping up, constantly lose my stirrups and, due to nerve damage and weakness down my left side, I tip slightly to the right 🙁 Am I beyond all help?! Any input/advice would be gratefully appreciated! 🙂

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