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How do I keep my Heels Down?

Trainer Lindsay Grice explains why it’s important for horseback riders to keep their heels down in the stirrups, and how to maintain the position.

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By: Lindsay Grice |

"Heels down!” is a persistent refrain we all hear as young or new riders. Funny, I never had an inkling to ask “Why?” Here are three reasons to keep your heels down: Stability and safety. To lengthen your leg deep and around your horse for jumping or quick movements. A secure, anchored position if your horse spooks. Fairness to horse. Dropping your heels provides a pause from your leg aids. A “Yes” to his correct response. Show ring success. Judges penalize loose legs and lost stirrups. For instance, a lost stirrup earns a 10 point penalty in AQHA equitation or horsemanship. Believe it or not, sometimes practice doesn’t make perfect! Sitting trot and two point position are excellent standard rider drills. Nonetheless, either exercise out of balance can create some unhelpful side effects.  Too much two point. I meet riders who’ve been coached to step down in their heels to…

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