Problem with Stirrups Slipping

This topic contains 15 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by barrel_racer15 barrel_racer15 2 years, 10 months ago.

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  • NYHunterJumper Original Poster
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 2

    I’ve recently started having trouble with my left foot slipping out of my stirrup. Doesn’t matter where my stirrup is placed, after a lap or two of cantering its on the tip of my toes. I’ve only had the issue with the super comfort stirrup pads. I compete at IHSA Shows and a majority of the saddles have those stirrup pads. I’ve been riding for 10+ years and compete at the Open level so I’m quite interested in what might be causing this to happen and what I can do to prevent it from happening at shows.

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    Hi NYHJ!
    Not actually able to see you ride I can only speculate in general terms. Take it with a big grain of salt!

    I often see, in ULRs as well, that the rider’s inside engaged leg can creep up. Mind your seat bone and corresponding lower leg, it might simply be that, with your experience (and possibly that you most often ride a familiar horse; see question below), your leg has merely become complacent. Could one leg be longer than the other? Not an uncommon situation.. Check your stirrup length, adjust to different lengths out of curiosity. The pads might be just enough to throw you off if one leg IS longer. Might want to consider other pads as well.

    Are you riding multiple horses or just one or two primaries? Try riding a different/new horse? That often causes us to pay attention more than we’ve been if we are regular, “full time” riders. Back to basics for evaluation if nothing else. I would be interested to hear what you find and how you choose to resolve it : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    NYHunterJumper Original Poster
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 2

    At shows I ride horses that I’ve never ridden before. Part of the whole IHSA thing is you don’t get to practice on the horse you will compete on, you draw a horse’s name then get on and compete. Its possible that the slight changes in saddle pads or saddles are contributing to the issue.

    I’ve been riding in a friend’s saddle recently because she has the super comfort pads. I definitely still struggle with the slipping but it is not nearly as bad as it is at shows. Its quite possible that my legs are uneven or that I sit a bit more evenly in my seat at home. I will definitely try adjusting my stirrup lengths this week in lessons to see what that does.

    I will also look at all my videos and see if I can pick up on anything from those

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    I have to say that it DOES sound like a mechanical issue but again, without seeing you, I can only guess. I hope it’s merely a matter of a centimetre or two in the pads (try a double pad? A thinner pad?), or if push comes to shove, maybe that ancient chestnut: punching half holes in the leathers : )

    You say this is a recent development….what changed?

    Does this happen at shows only? Not thinking nerves as much as over-concentration. That can have the same resulting tenseness as nerves. Riding an unfamiliar horse, and wanting/needing to present well is not without its demands, needless to say.

    Catch riding and all its formats can produce one solid rider. I almost always will look for the catch rider before the barn rat (meaning: the ones that ride at the same barn forever) tho they, too, have incredible value. Diversity breeds versatility. Desirable traits in the horse biz. You have my respect and admiration : )

    Still would like to hear how you resolve this when you do… Good luck!

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    NYHunterJumper Original Poster
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 2

    Now that I think about it I did buy a new pair of tall boots. Though I’ve had them for over a year now and ride in them almost everyday.

    I will punch a few extra holes in my leathers to see if its just an issue of me being uneven.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Nearly everyone has a leg that is slightly longer than the other, a foot that is slightly larger, etc. One thing I was always told was to periodically change my leathers from one side of the saddle to the other, as sometimes they don’t stretch evenly, particularly since we always mount from the same side of the horse. The prepunched holes are almost never exactly correct anyway, so I have, at times, added holes in between, to compensate.

    It is never the horse's fault

    ShilohsGirl ShilohsGirl
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 49

    I had a similar problem last summer.
    My trainer noticed that when I focus I bring my right leg up, causing my stirrup to slip. Theye could be a little quirk that you have that is causing that.
    My trainer had me ride with a crop behind my elbows, to help me straighten out and keep it even.
    It just takes time, but you could also try shortening the stirrup one hole and gradually bringing it down?

    "Think of riding as a science, but love it as an art" ~George Morris

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    when you hack, try taking your right foot out from the stirrup, keeping your left foot in and pressing deep into your left heel and ankle and get all your weight there. posting trot, canter, sitting trot, whatever. my trainer has me do this and i’ve noticed a big difference in keeping stirrups.

    JLThunder JLThunder
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    Switching leathers is a great idea to keep them the same length. I do this everytime I clean my tack.

    You can take your leathers off your saddle, place them on the floor and see if the holes match up along with length. It might just be a simple tack issue.

    I start off my lessons with my feet out of the irons for a few rounds around the arena. It allows your legs to stretch before you go into work. This helped with my issue of having one foot from coming out of the irons. Mind your balance, you may lean to one side which can cause your foot to come out. We all naturally favor one side.

    All of the suggestions above in the previous posts have great suggestions.

    Let us know how things work out.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    It’s called stop buying something you wrap around your stirrup iron and get a cheese grater option pad.

    I can’t use the rubber pads that come with new irons, therefore I’ve had to resort to finding irons with cheese grater pads like the MDC iron. Also, it depends on what type of iron you’re using – a regular fillis iron, a fillis iron with flex option, or god forbid, one of those stupid plastic ones!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Riders in IHSA shows are not allowed to use their own tack. So this rider cannot change the stirrup pads she uses at shows. Boots with a grippier sole might help, if they exist.

    justjen58 justjen58
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    What you have described sounds like you are perhaps gripping too much with your upper leg or knee. I had the same problem. When you are riding think about sinking your knees downward and grounding your feet in the stirrups, allowing your toe to align with your knee. You should be able to easily go into your two point at any gait and stay there effortlessly. Instead of gripping with your leg, allow it to drape the horse with a light, even pressure and remember to breathe deeply. You might have developed some tension.

    Any time spent with horses doing anything is a good time!
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Most of the time these issues don’t have anything to do with the lower leg. They usually stem from the hip. Do you have a good chiropractor? If you are tight or turned in on your left hip then the hole leg will curl up or turn in. Try opening up your hip or seek out a chropractor. This has solved many of my students stirrup problems.

    JLThunder JLThunder
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    In addition to what was said above, try a posting trot without stirrups. It is difficult and you may only be able to do it for a short time, but it will work on your balance and eliminates your need to rely on your stirrups. Have someone watch you to ensure you maintain your proper leg position. Keep it to a collected trot.

    This will also build your core muscles

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 7

    I have similar problems when my back needs to be adjusted. The issue comes from unevenness in the pelvis. You might try that sticky spray used on saddles/boots and apply that to the stirrup pad(s) as a quick fix.

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