The heel must be kept slightly lower maintaining a reserve amount of ‘shock absorption’ in the ankle. On the other hand, the feet must always be parallel, like those of a skier. This way they can move following the horse’s movement. When freely moving forward, they allow one to find one’s balance, for example, when jumping or turning. At the take-off point, intelligent feet must provide impulsion and a fraction of a second later, be able to return to their original position to keep the rest of the body balance.
To work on the position of the feet, move your toes exaggeratedly forward and backwards without stirrups, at a halt. Do this a number of times as if your feet were the balance wheel of a clock.
ATTENTION! . Pointing the toes outwards is a very common defect in riders. The calf generally stays glued to the horse and leg aids become ineffective. A saddle excessively padded near the knees can, at times, be the cause of this problem. . If the rider’s feet move forward, the pelvis moves back and it becomes difficult to use leg aids. In this position, the rider puts pressure on the horse’s sensitive back. . If the rider’s feet are positioned too far back, he will lose his balance and fall forwards.