Dear Editor... Dear Saddle Up:
hope you will consider printing this as I want to publically thank Maureen Logan for gifting me her lovely horse ‘Special Endeavour’. Thank you Maureen! I will name him ‘Dev’, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him ... and feed him cookies and care for him always. – Calle, Vernon BC Dear Nancy: felt I must make comment on the article by Ken Cameron in the March issue. I strongly disagree with his comments on Misconceptions items #1, 2, 4 and 7. I am sure if you were to check with any qualified coach either English or Western they would not recommend riding with your foot all the way into the stirrup or Quote: “tipping your toe down on one side and heel down on the other to stay in sync with a horse’s lead change and rider balance.” Unless you walk with your toes seriously pointing out (toed out if you were a horse) the rider’s leg will fall naturally with their toes pointing more or less ahead. Riding on the balls of my feet, aka metatarsal arch does not make me or anyone else I know brace against the cantle in either an english saddle or a stock saddle. It means that your weight is over the strongest part of your foot, the area of your foot you push off as you walk, weight down thru your heel you are in the ideal position to give aids effectively and sit deep when needed, e.g. downhill, a spook or to control forward impulsion with your body. At age 68, still riding most days I need neither knee or hip replacement, possibly I would if I rode with my toes turned out! Quote: “So why are clinicians giving instruction to the contrary and merchants selling angled stirrups?” Maybe because they are more knowledgeable than Ken Cameron is? Check out
photos of good Western instructors. I think you will find they do not have their feet rammed into the stirrups. Barrel Racers and Cutters possibly when really in action. #4 - The implication that people are wearing helmets and body protectors because they expect to fall off is asinine. Helmets prevent brain injuries, that is why people wear them to ride, bike, ski, snowboard, skateboard, etc. Same goes for body protectors, now required to compete in horse trials, for jockeys and by many others who want to avoid injury should a fall happen. #7 is hardly an intelligent answer to the question – western stirrups can be adjusted just as those on an english saddle can be, you just can’t switch them from one side to the other as most english riders do to prevent stretching. A horse will only develop uneven muscles on shoulders if he has not been suppled on both sides during his training. Whilst I may not wholeheartedly agree with all articles I read in Saddle Up it is nevertheless interesting to check out another perspective on subjects relating to riding, training, equipment, etc. This is the first article which has contained so much bad info (misinformation!) I felt compelled to comment. Thanks again for Saddle Up, looking forward to the April issue. - Sincerely, Retired Coach.
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Published on May 1, 2015