One thing that I struggle with is keeping weight on the balls of my feet. I’m wanting to focus on where my weight is more in the box. I try to focus on it throughout my run, and I notice that when I ride my horse better, it’s easier to keep my feet in my stirrups and my weight in my stirrups. It keeps my upper body square. Here’s how I’m working on it:
In the box
In the box, I focus on where my weight is on my feet and how much of my weight is in my saddle. I have a tendency to squeeze with my thighs. I want to keep my legs around my horse and keep pressure and weight in my stirrups, making sure that my upper body stays loose.
Leaving the Corner
When I leave, I make sure that I really push off with my stirrups instead of necessarily dropping everything. I want to push on my stirrups in my start and focus on keeping that weight there throughout the whole run.
I notice that if I put my toes down more, then I lean more to the front of my saddle. If I’m on my heels, then I have a hard time getting up. I really focus on keeping the balls of my feet in my stirrups a little more—not with my toes down, but just with the weight pressure.
In the run
Instead of chasing, I want to focus on riding to the calf and having everything forward, rather than having to pick up when I get there. I want to ride my horse square, keep my feet underneath me and drive my horse with my feet until I get in position to throw my rope, instead of getting out in front and blocking my horse off. To do that, I have to focus on keeping that weight down in my stirrups.
In the stop
In the stop, I’m bad about squeezing with my thighs. You can see in the photo that I don’t have weight in my stirrups and I’m starting to squeeze with my legs. I really have to focus on riding my horses correct and using my feet to ride them all the way through my delivery and my slack. That’s when I put my weight in my stirrups and don’t squeeze with my thighs.