So I have to chuckle a bit at “No Stirrup November” and the idea of dropping one’s stirrups for the month. I’m doing good to ride once or twice a week…I definitely won’t be driving 45 minutes each way to the barn on a daily basis for that particular brand of torture.
Also, it’s been over a dozen years since I did any active no stirrup work. Something about distance riding and trail riding tends to bring about feelings of deep affection and appreciation for one’s stirrups.
But on that same token, I also realize I’ve let myself get a bit lazy and too reliant on the saddle/stirrups. So my goal will be to spend part of my riding time (on Mimi, in the arena) without stirrups. And to continue it beyond just the month of November.
Let’s face it: the pony is a sainted beast who really doesn’t need anything more by way of “schooling” — and frankly, it just annoys her when I try — but that makes her the perfect “schoolmaster” for me to work on me. She doesn’t run off, she doesn’t spook, she doesn’t take (too much) advantage.
And the more I’m focused on me, the less I’m nitpicking or nagging at her.
My core is practically non-existent, so working on an excavation project of discovering those muscles is my foremost priority. While no-stirrup work is theoretically great for building leg muscles, balance and core strength is also a huge part of that, so that’s really my primary purpose in this endeavor.