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Don’t let the English riders have all of the fun! Western riders can also drop their stirrups this November. If you’ve been a rider long enough, then chances are you’ve heard of this tradition. Basically, you remove the stirrups from your saddle and ride without them. Be warned… it’s hard work!

Tips to Get You Through No Stirrup November

  1. Start slow and work your way up! It’s okay if you can’t make it the entire ride without stirrups. At first, you can try dropping them while warming up and cooling down.

2. Keep a good position. Make a mental note that when you pass a certain point in the arena you’ll double check your posture, heels and eyes.

3. Don’t be afraid to grab the horn to stabilize yourself!

4. Wear comfortable clothes.

5. Stretch before you get in the saddle. Your legs are in for a real workout!

6. Team up with others in your barn to keep motivated.

7. Videotape yourself in the beginning and on the last day. Your progress can give you a big boost of confidence!

8. Set a goal and reward yourself.

9. Choose a good horse that’ll be safe to ride on.

10. Try different patterns and gaits to keep things interesting.

Who is ready for the fun to begin?! You’ll improve your leg strength, balance and stamina by the end of this challenge.