Assessment for module 1
This is your self-assessment checklist for Module 1. As you feel you can agree to a statement check it off. You may not be able to check off some of these statements until you have also worked through Modules 2 – 6 so do not be concerned if you are not able to check them all off just yet! You can come back later in the course to check them off.
Remember: you may not be able to achieve the ‘perfect’ position, what matters more is that you are aware of any issues and are doing what you can to mitigate them.
- I agree to let you know about any questions that 1. I do not understand, 2. I think are worded wrongly or 3. do not apply to my situation. I will do this via email (email@example.com) or via the comments box with the assessment post.
- Position: Your feet are able to rest in the stirrups, without pressing down on them. Remember: utilised properly, the weight of your legs is enough to do this. This means that you do not experience numb feet, also you do not feel as if your stirrups are pushing you up, out of the saddle.
- Position: Your feet are able to maintain the correct amount of downward pressure to keep the stirrup treads directly under the balls of your feet. This means that the stirrups stay in the same place on your feet as you ride (in all paces), without you having to think about them.
- Position: Your feet feel the same and if not, you are aware of why not. Remember: there should not be more pressure on one foot than the other.
- Position: Your heels are only slightly lower than your toes when in the ‘default’ position. So your heels are not ‘rammed down’ or too high (above the level of your toes) most of the time. Remember this should be regarded as the neutral or ‘engaged’ position.
- Position: Your feet are parallel (or as near as possible) to the ground from side to side. Remember: the stirrup treads and the balls of your feet should both be parallel to the ground if possible.
- Position: Your toes are pointing straight or almost straight forward. Remember: this position should not be forced. If your feet cannot point forward that is fine. You should find that they improve over time.
- Position: Your feet and ankles give you the feeling of security. You can ride without having to think about your feet or ankles.
- Position: Your feet and ankles only ever move in an upwards or downwards plane, not side to side plane. Your heels can dip and spring when required. They lower slightly more when weight travels down your legs (if you are rising to the trot or standing in the stirrups for example) and return to the neutral or ‘engaged’ position in between.
- Position: Your feet and ankles are acting as shock absorbers, dampening the (mostly upward) movement of your horse and the (mostly downward) movement of you, the rider.
- Position: Your feet and ankles are allowing you to ride without pain or fatigue. If not you are aware of why not and you are doing all you can to help them. Remember this might mean using supports/different stirrups in the short or long term.
- Position: Your feet and ankles are behaving equally. They both have the same amount of flexibility, or inflexibility. Again, this might mean using supports/different stirrups in the short or long term.
- Position: Your calves allow you to stabilise your lower legs. They allow your heels to dip and spring, by absorbing the downward movement and releasing it in a controlled manner.
- Position: Your lower legs are ‘engaged’, they are directly under you (not too far forward or too far back), ‘primed’ and with your ankles slightly flexed.
- Position: Your lower legs feel as if they are your ‘anchors’. They are relatively still and they are able to apply the aids effectively.
- The gaits: You understand the footfalls for the three paces: walk, trot and canter.
- Riding the walk – lesson 1: You can feel your horse’s back alternately dip on one side and then the other, this is felt through your seat bones which are situated at the bottom end of your pelvis.
- Riding the walk – lesson 1: You can correctly identify when each back leg of your horse swings forward under the body, by feel alone.
- Riding the walk – lesson 1: Your pelvis moves with the movement of your horse’s back, remember: your horse’s back should move your pelvis not vice versa. You do not push/shove with your seat (in an attempt to speed your horse up) or brace with your seat (in an attempt to slow your horse down).
- Riding the walk – lesson 2: You can stand balanced with ease without holding the neck strap while your horse walks forward.
- Riding the walk – lesson 2: You are able to lower yourself back into the saddle by thinking ‘kneel down’ rather than ‘sit down’.