For many of us, when we are riding under instruction, we often hear the command “Toes In!” - especially if you are focusing on the dressage discipline.
But is it doing your riding any good?
Why I don’t teach toes in:
My instructor that taught me to teach gave me the best piece of advice I have ever received as an instructor: “if you can’t explain it, don’t teach it”. This has lead to a life long, never ending pursuit down the rabbit hole of “why?”. Seriously you’d think I was a 2 year old!
Rather than observing our dressage etiquette’s as gospel I have asked why of everything ever taught to me before and since and everything that I have ever taught.
So why toes in? What purpose does it have? Mostly because toes out looks bad!
But that’s not a good enough answer for me.
I believe the purpose of any postural correction in the saddle should first and foremost improve our horses ability to move freely, secondly improve our balance in the saddle and lastly “look good”
In fact turning your toes in uses the exact opposite muscles you need to ride with an independent seat! It makes you tighten your thigh and knee taking your calf off and rotate your pelvis down hollowing your lower back.
So while I don’t teach toes in, I do teach how to control your lower leg to enhance your horses movement and be more effective with your aids and supple through your seat. And then AFTER you can do this we can tidy up your toes and make the look overall aesthetically pleasing.
We have our last workshop in April before I’m on maternity leave 😱 we cover how to use your lower leg, seat and body most effectively to enhance your horses movement and your balance, not limit it.