Stirrups are one of the most important tools in horse riding. However, it is not compulsory to use.
There are many riders who prefer riding without this tool. Once you know who to maintain balance, you don’t need to use it for riding.
However, in some disciplines of horse riding, it is wise to use this tool. The main benefit of using it is that it helps you to maintain your balance when you first start riding.
You don’t need to put all your weight on it, but it helps you to firmly place your feet. It is only for balance. You don’t need to put pressure or weight on it as it might make the horse uncomfortable.
So, if you are using stirrups for the first time, follow this guide. We will show you how to place your feet to help you with riding.
Mounting the Horse:
The first time most people use stirrups is while mounting the horse. However, you cannot just simply put your foot on it and mount the horse. You need to correctly put your foot on it or else. It will get caught against your leg. It will cause chaffing. So, before you mount the horse, you need to make sure the stirrup is in the right position. It should be flat, and half turned. You need to avoid any twists in the leather. Once it is in the right position, you need to place your dominant foot on it and mount the horse. Make sure you don’t lose balance or cause any discomfort to the horse.
Once you mount the horse, you need to know how to place your foot correctly. You have to place the ball of your foot on the thread. Don’t put your foot fully in as it will be uncomfortable for you. If you do so, the entire pressure will be on the arch of your foot. Don’t rest your toes on the thread as well. As most of your foot will be out, you will easily lose footing. It will make you lose your balance and fall from the horse. You need to keep the pressure on the ball of your feet, and your heels should be down. This way, even if you lose footing, you will be able to easily remove your foot before you fall.
Most of the beginners keep on losing stirrups when they first ride. When you lose one foot, it will feel like you are tilting on one side. And when you lose both the foot, there will be no balance. As the horse will pick up speed, you will feel like falling and eventually fall off the horse. If it keeps on happening, again and again, you need to adjust the stirrups or choose another type. However, if you still don’t get the hang of it, you need to practice without stirrups. It will be difficult in the beginning, but with practice, you can easily learn it.