Anyone feel a little anti- no stirrup November?

Our barn has promised two minutes of posting trot working up to five minutes per lesson. But the amateurs can opt out if they have a reasonable reason.

I have also wondered “why November?” I suppose it started with medal finals prep. But November also features dropping temperatures, a time change in the bad direction for late-afternoon riders, and horses getting body clipped.


Because alliteration is fun!


Same. Especially if I owned said stirrups.
I did my time with no stirrups during my younger years.


Another adult opposed to No Stirrup November! We regularly include exercises in lessons that involve no stirrups or dropping stirrups and picking them back up, and we have no stirrups homework. But as a working adult riding 3 times a week, on a large horse who is super fresh with the weather change, it would be a terrible idea to ditch my stirrups. Nor would it really be productive for me or my horse, and I would be really mad if my trainer unilaterally confiscated stirrups without discussing it. No way I would just cave and ride, the stirrups would be going back on if I’m getting in the tack. I’ll drop them for appropriate practice in a lesson, and I’ll do my homework, but you don’t get to unilaterally take them away for a month!


I really learned how to sit a buck with no stirrup late fall lessons as a kid. Especially after white clipped pony got a bath.

I definitely try to work on my strength still, but me and my lower back have been opting out of extensive no stirrup work for a while.


I had to ride for months without stirrups from February, as I had an ankle injury. So this November you will pry them from my cold dead hands :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Is I DON’T WANT TO, YOU CAN’T MAKE ME a reasonable reason? The last time my trainer said she should take my stirrups away, I told her she’d have to catch me first.


Well, maybe it is. But NSN the way your trainer is doing it is not for anyone.


This. Without educated eyes on the ground the NS rider can form some very bad habits. Some can fake posting w/o irons for days and be unaware of what they are really doing. My trainer used to put dollar bills under our mid-calves to make sure we were not cheating.

If you want to die, post the walk w/o irons. Ugh.


Absolutely, OP.
I have a living to earn, above all. Cannot do my job injured.


I think it started as the equestrian version of no shave November.

As a kid I got my stirrups taken away for the whole winter once or twice. It did me a world of good. But I was a skinny kid on a 16.2h QH. It wouldn’t be fair to subject my 14.2h mare to my adult weight plopping around like a sack of potatoes!


Exactly hahahah our giant Appy - sure I can sit that trot with no stirrups until the cows come home.

My little dressage TB? Lord please no. I can’t sit with stirrups AND she has a lot of sass’. I would end up in the arena rafters haha


Because No stirrup…its the play on words that was run away with.

Not to mention that as an adult I have other people who rely on me, and really can’t afford to get hurt, no matter how much good it might do. No stirrups for part of every lesson - sure. Take them away for a month? Maybe not. I felt the same way about practicing an “emergency dismount.” I have animals to care for, a job, children, etc. (At the time my kids were little, too.) I didn’t need to practice falling off as much as I needed to practice not falling off. :slight_smile:


Not for nothing but this whole “my way or the highway” “trainer is god” “no explanation warranted, just do as I say” attitude is part of how we landed in the current safesport mess we’re in as a discipline. Trainers are NOT gods. If a trainer thinks a rider should do something specific to improve, the trainer should explain the thought process to the rider and make sure the rider is comfortable. And it should be tailored to that rider’s needs. Every rider in the barn should not be doing the exact same thing, that’s a sign of bad rather than good training.


Quoting this so people can like it more than once


Read Denny Emerson’s take on it on FB. He says basically the same thing.

I’m on month 135 of “no stirrups november,” so I can’t really say that I’m against it. I think riding at least one horse a day without stirrups has been the best thing (long term) I’ve done for my riding, generally speaking.

With that being said, I agree that picking an arbitrary month (which I was always under the assumption related to watching medal finals which then created an inspiration amongst young riders to do a “get ready for next year” type thing - and then also alliteration) and trying to do it all at once is not really a great thing for the horses. I think you’re much more likely to create a sore-backed horse than pick up a massive muscle gain…especially if you’re not riding 6-7 days a week.

BUT, I do think that dropping your stirrups for a few minutes to start and upping it from there is a great thing to aim for.

So when I read a title like feeling “ANTI” no-stirrups november, I read it as being a touch defensive and a bit of a contrarian whether that’s the intent or not.

To Brown Derby’s point - there are much better ways to build strength and balance. When I really want to torture myself I stand straight up in the stirrups at the walk, trot, and canter. I dislike the argument that “you can build bad habits” (because that’s a true for every thing you do while you ride), but I don’t think no-stirrups is the end all be all of exercise…just one of the easiest to incorporate into a daily ride.


I don’t mind no stirrups because I can always tell how much better I ride after a month or two of it. Unfortunately, I don’t have my own horse or lease anymore to practice without stirrups on a more regular basis (I used to do a lot of my flat without stirrups). We build up to it though and it is never a surprise. We joke about no stirrup November throughout October. We start with some no stirrup on the flat, then the next week maybe a couple cross rails, then smaller verticals, and the end of the month a full course (nothing that over faces anybody and we can always ask for lower fences if nervous about it) and usually end with a Chase Me Charlie. I’m sure if someone was adamant about not participating that they wouldn’t have to. I’ve been on a super green horse in clinics and was never forced to take my stirrups off even when everyone else did.

If you have no balance, are a beginning rider, have medical needs, have a horse that just isn’t ready for a stirrupless rider (green, dragon, whatever) or are seriously petrified then I wouldn’t be pushing no stirrups at all. I’m an adult, rarely show, currently only lesson 1x a week and catch ride friend’s horses infrequently, but love and loathe the torture of no stirrups. Can’t argue with results.

As with everything–“it depends” and/or “in moderation”

If you have an independent seat and your lack of stirrups won’t be a hindrance to your horse–go for it if you want.
If you/your coach wants to incorporate some no stirrup work as appropriate during November–great!

I usually do a ton of bareback starting around now anyway because it’s cold, dark, and I’m lazy. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

However, this year I’m coming up on 5 months pregnant and I couldn’t get on or off without my very necessary stirrups. :sweat_smile:

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