Help develop your seat and increase your balance by dropping your stirrups during your ride. Remember to follow these safety tips as you ride stirrupless this November. 

1. Warmup with Stirrups

The weather is cooling off and your horse may have more energy than he did in the summer months, so completing your warmup with stirrups will help you stay safe as you take the fresh off of your horse. If you struggle with balance with stirrups, longeing is an alternative to warmup your horse before your ride. 

[RELATED: 7 TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE LONGEING]

2. Check Saddle Fit

Saddle fit is important whether you're riding with or without stirrups. However when riding without stirrups, your balance may not be as good and may create uneven pressure on your horse's back where it otherwise may not be noticeable. 

[RELATED: FIND THE RIGHT SADDLE]

3. Do it in Moderation

If you're relatively new to dropping your stirrups, it's important to do no-stirrup November in moderation so you don't become sore. You don't have to drop your stirrups for an entire ride and don't have to drop them each time you ride, but instead work your way up to becoming less dependent on your stirrups. 

4. Stretch Before and After 

Rider fitness is becoming more and more popular among equestrians. Stretching before and after your ride will help prevent soreness and will protect your body from injury. 

[RELATED: WESTERN WORKOUTS ON HORSE&RIDER ONDEMAND]

5. Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals will keep you and your horse safe, so you're not overexerting while trying to reach your ultimate goal of running the barrel-racing pattern bareback or performing a reining pattern without stirrups. Use small goals as stepping stones to increase your ability as a rider. 

[RELATED: COMPLETE THE H&R NO-STIRRUP NOVEMBER CHALLENGE]

 

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