Sunday, November 9, 2014

No stirrups November

"I have a dream, Horse Nation.
A dream about thighs.
Strong thighs. Mighty thighs.
Your thighs 30 days from now, if you accept this challenge."

One of my friends posted about this challenge (and linked to this great article) and I figured, hey, why not give it a shot? Obviously it's not an option for me with any of the green training horses, but it wouldn't hurt me to lose the stirrups with Charlie.

Hang 'em up
Wednesday was my first true day of the challenge (although I did ride bareback earlier in the week, so I guess that kind of counts). I have to say, riding sans stirrups in a slippery saddle is much harder than riding bareback. I had a few moments where I caught myself leaning and losing my balance and I clamped up, which only made things worse, but when I remembered to sit up and breathe I got everything back.

I only lasted about 10 minutes and my thighs were definitely burning. By the time I was ready to canter it was a welcome relief from the trot. The only bad part was knowing that in order to stop I had to down-shift back through the bounciness again. Arggg. I kept getting flashbacks to training in college where we would have whole lessons without stirrups, jumping and everything, and our "warm up" would be to stand in two-point for as long as physically possible. Ouch. I'm not going quite to that extreme now hahaha, but I am proud to say I made it two laps of the ring in each direction posting without breaking down. Next time I'll try for three.


  1. I was so excited to do it this year but I don't think I'll really be able to. I may do some "no stirrup" round pen rides if I can. We'll see. :) Oh those green ponies. BTW. Charlie looks amazing.

    1. Thanks :) Yeah it's hard on the ones that aren't very "made" yet...

  2. Replies
    1. I'm not sure I'd call it my favorite haha, but I am enjoying having a new challenge. I'll be ready to go back to real riding when it's over!

  3. My first no-stirrup lesson is tonight and I'm scared ha!

  4. I feel like as an adult amateur now, I'm exempt from entire lessons without stirrups, haha