Have you ever played QWOP? It’s a simple yet impossibly hard game where you are expected to control the legs of a really incompetent runner to complete the 100-meter dash. (Give it a try…you won’t do well but it’ll probably make you laugh.)
But it only took a few rides before I started to hit my stride. I fixed the position flaws—or at least stopped compensating for them with nonstop gripping—and made friends with the challenges of attempting to ride correctly without the aid of stirrups.
I’ll be honest: Going in to this month-long challenge, I thought I’d be building strength more than anything. But somewhere in there was the a-ha moment (or maybe it’s really more of a “duh!” moment) when I realized that what I was really working on was balance. Sure, the muscles get their workout at the posting trot, but even that ended up being more of an exercise in keeping my body aligned and, well, balanced in challenging conditions.
There are tons of amazing Instagram videos where hardcore #NoStirrupsNovember devotees are clearing big jumps and accomplishing other amazing feats without their stirrups. I’m not quite there yet (maybe next year, you guys!) but I appreciate the inspiration. So, take a look at some of those everyday equestrian heroes, and then tell me about what you learned, improved or achieved over the past month in the comments.
And then we’ll figure out how to ride this wave of awesome into December.
Back to The Near Side
Leslie Potter is Sr. Associate Web Editor of HorseChannel.com. Follow her on Twitter: @LeslieInLex.