No Stirrups November is a Southern Conspiracy!

Social media and basically all the equestrian media has been brimming with “No Stirrups November”.  The US Dressage Federation magazine says that this is courtesy of “our friends in the hunter/jumper world.”  Now don’t get me wrong I am the first person to stand up and say there is nothing like it for improving your seat, position, balance etc etc. BUT…… November?

Here’s the thing….look at the photos of all those people doing their no stirrups riding. What’s in the background? Palm trees and other plant life that clearly indicates that these riders are not in Ontario or Illinois! Nope! Want  to know what it looked like in Ontario on November 10, 2017? It looked like this. That’s the view from our kitchen window.

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And the temperature?  Minus 10 Celsius. Now I admit that it has not stayed quite as cold as this since then but no one is going to go into an arena, even a closed one, on a morning like that and do no stirrups  work.  Why? Because horses find a whole new level of energy and friskiness in that brisk air. The barn cat that crosses the arena may appear to them to be a cougar and Whoosh they have to flee to the other end of the arena to get away from it. On a warmer day they would just look and say “oh ya, the barn cat.”

It is my personal opinion that all those gleeful no stirrups people are riding south of the Mason Dixon line or in Southern California. And I salute them. No stirrups work is  very worthwhile. Back in the summer my coach Belinda Trussell assigned me six weeks of no stirrups work. We started with 10 minutes and worked up to 30 minutes. That is thirty- 30-  minutes of riding without stirrups! As you may gather training with Belinda is not for the faint of heart. And I was not going to cry for mercy .But it produced the desired results. First of all here is a video of the trot work with no stirrups. This was in July. No need to watch the whole thing just take a look at the shoulder in and volte down the long side.

Now here is the same movement from just two weeks ago. There are still many things I would like to improve about myself. But…..the main reason Belinda wanted me to do those six weeks was to strengthen my lower leg and make it more effective. Here is the result. Can you see the difference in how Biasini is moving?

So I am a believer in no stirrups work. Just not in November for those of us in Northern climes. So….how about STIRRUPLESS SEPTEMBER?

What do you think?  Is ‘No Stirrups November’ a Southern conspiracy?  Yes? No? Let me know.

 

15 Comments Add yours

  1. It may be because my sister and I really haven’t ridden that much this month, but our instructor hasn’t so far made us go without stirrups for the whole month of November (YET!). I totally agree that going without stirrups helps improve your seat though! And your videos were awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you I’m glad you liked the videos. I’m sure your instructor will have you do some no stirrups work at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow you already have so much snow! Beautiful! Wish we ever had it here in London.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      the snow has been and then gone and then back again and today no snow. Temperatures are up and down too. I’m not sure you’d want snow in London at least here we are set up with the equipment for it. Thanks for commenting. Nice to hear from you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s definitely true! It was frosty last night and some of the trains couldn’t run due to the icy conditions. I do hope the snow will stay around for the Christmas period, makes it all the more festive. Hope you have a relaxing weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Rab says:

    Lol! You’re right! It’s those dog gone dang Southerners who think winter is when you wear a long sleeve shirt instead of a t-shirt! Stay warm!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      HaHA! Yes! I have to admit that after Christmas my husband and I ( and my horse Biasini) defect to Florida. Getting out of the Canadian winter is one of the rewards of being older and retired!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff Rab says:

        Gotta love southern winters, and northern summers!! Biasini is no doubt thankful!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        He is. He hates the cold. Despite the fact that I have him in a special sub zero blanket for his turnout on the really cold days he just walks up and down at the gate and asks to come into the barn. He does not mind heat and will work well even on the hottest days. So Florida is fine for both of us. Thanks for your comments!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Robyn says:

    That is great progress! I agree – it sounds like no stirrups November was definitely created by someone in the south. I support a change to no stirrups September. The work definitely shows in the progress!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Robyn. I appreciate that you can see progress and yes I’m going to go with September too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Austen says:

    Oh wow he is so much more balanced and off his inside shoulder! His haunches are actually bending around and supporting more! Such a big and important difference!

    Biasini is so gorgeous. I’m in love with is suspension. It’s so fluffy, yet looks comfortable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      His trot is comfortable and he takes me with him. The big difference for me has been that now he is light in the hand and with tiny aids he stays that way! Thanks for your very nice ( and observant!) comment.

      Like

  6. The first thing I thought when I started reading your post was that these riders must be in Florida!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Ah ha! You would be right to think that. I’m just poking a bit of fun at the whole thing but I do think it is a Southern thing in November.

      Liked by 1 person

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