Do you ever check into your feet when you ride?
Do you think about how they feel in the stirrup?
Do you press down into them or are they lightly placed?
Are they equally weighted each side?
Are your toes facing forward or out to the side?
We know that our horses feet can have a huge impact on his soundness and performance, but what about our feet?
Firstly, your feet should be placed lightly in the stirrup, they don’t bear your weight your thighs you be doing that. If you press down into your feet you will pop yourself up and lock your knees. They should be relaxed to allow the ankle to absorb the movement.
Having equal, light weight in your feet is a great step for ensuring your symmetry so checking into this should be a regular check in when you first get on.
If your toes are facing forward this gives a good indication that your thighs are gently on the saddle.
Commonly I see a lot of toes turning out which means the hip stabilisers are not working and the hamstrings have taken over. I’ll write more about this another day.
For now try bringing some focus to your feet.
If you have trouble connecting with them, try doing this off horse.
Roll them over a ball and see how it feels You might find tense bits, maybe bits you hadn’t really checked into before and a heightened sensation or feeling of grounding.
Then next time you ride, check back in and see if you can have them light, equal and facing forward throughout. If not…….you’ve got stuff to work on.