Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Riding Without Stirrups According to WikiHow

So I was searching the Google the other day for some articles about riding without stirrups from, you know, maybe George Morris or Jimmy Wofford or the likes. Just looking for a little professional advice for No Stirrup November. Instead I found this article on wikiHow called "How to Ride a Horse with No Stirrups." It reminded me of this Horse Nation article: "wikihow: How to Get Free Information About Horses" which was delightfully awkward.  

You can peruse this article at your own leisure so I won't recap each step for you, but I certainly wanted to bring you some of the highlights:

Right off the bat with Step 1, doesn't something look a Yeah, it's probably the baseball cap and shorts. Plus the girth-less western saddle (do western riders ever do no stirrups work? I don't actually know...)

Once we get to Step 4 and our inappropriately dressed computer model begins her no stirrup work, I discovered that she was even more inappropriately dressed than originally thought. Nice high heeled boots! 

I actually had never thought about what order I crossed the stirrups, though (whether the left or right was on top). I guess if you had a really tall horse it might help to more easily get the left stirrup back down in order to remount. I don't think it really matters to me, but it's an interesting consideration. 

I just wanted to include Step 9 here because I'm having a hard time getting over this poor computer horse's non-existent elbow joint and bent-backward right-hind hock. 

I also wanted to include Step 11 because of the lovely "canter gait" being depicted here. At least the horse's joints appear to be back in place.

As completely ridiculous as the pictures are, this article still (somewhat unexpectedly) points out some good considerations including:
  • Strengthening your core.
  • Warming yourself and your horse up properly first.
  • Having an independent lower leg.
  • Not using your hands to balance.
One thing that confused me and got me thinking was in Step 10:

"Let your hips swing side to side" - Yes.

"...and grip with your thighs." - Not sure...

"Do not grip with your knees," - Correct.

" this will cause uncomfortable pressure points for your horse," - Maybe? I think more the reason is so that you don't pivot at the knees and swing your leg back.

"..and do not grip with your calves as this is the aid the asks the horse to speed up." - Right, but keep your calves in contact with the horses sides. Correct?

What do you guys think? I know we're critiquing wikiHow here so ya gotta take it with a grain of salt (or maybe a whole salt shaker?), but I thought it might be an interesting conversation point. What do you think about gripping with your thighs in particular?


  1. That horse is amazing. As are those boots.

  2. I can't even comment on the actual steps because those pictures are so glorious.

  3. Yeah, I'm with Carly. I was laughing so hard at the pictures. They tried for some credibility with the accurate and technical descriptions and completely undermined themselves with the pictures.

  4. I just can't stop the burning sympathy pain on the insides of my knees...where all her skin is being torn off with every trot stride. Ahhh, soft skin peeling off while gripping patterned leather...there's no feeling like it.

    The rest...too many levels of awesome to even...although her lack of helmet is at least slightly ameliorated by the fact that she DID wear a shoe with a heel. For her 'no-stirrups' work.