I Can Ride With One Stirrup, Right?

Did a little dressage with the GoGo Pony this evening. Trying to sort out my hip mobility again & really felt like dropping my left stirrup (functional side) while keeping the right (dysfunctional side) would be helpful. This is ok, yes? I’m not going to cause any misalignment weirdness for the pony?

There are no stirrup police so you are free to do what you want! As far as alignment, lots of folks are perfectly crooked and inhibiting their horses with two stirrups, so you do what’s best for your riding and your horse. If you think that it might cause a somewhat weird balance for your pony but it’s in the pursuit of greater riding, and the pony doesn’t seem too fussed about it, then go for it. In the end, the best resource to ask would be your pony - does he seem to not notice? Then go for it. Does he seem upset/confused/whatever when you do it? Then maybe try more out-of-the-saddle exercises :slight_smile:


I thought this is actually a common exercise, like riding without stirrups, only IMHO more difficult (I find it much harder to post with one rather than no stirrups). I wouldn’t do it with just the one, but swap out (first use the left, then the right, then without, if getting balanced and centered is the goal).

A reminder I need to do this more myself!


We practice this in lessons, although only for short periods and by dropping first one stirrup, then picking it back up and dropping the other. If I felt like I needed to ride with one stirrup for a prolonged period due to some medical issue, I would probably just take that time to do some no stirrups work (which I hate but need)

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When I broke my leg I rode the whole time I was in a cast and without my left stirrup. The only problem was when I went to the DR for my checks and he wanted to know how I got my cast so dirty???


Thanks, everyone! It’s complicated. And subtle.
Probably wouldn’t even register but for me being: a) neurodivergent b) a yoga teacher. It’s a feeling that the line of energy gets blocked running down my right leg. My right knee sometimes blows up from Lyme flares. Happened again recently. Likely also some myofascial scar tissue adhesions in there by now thanks to multiple such flares. I’ll play around with alternating which side stirrup I’m dropping & see what happens. Atm, I’m feeling like dropping the left might be key to focusing on anchoring weight into the right foot/stirrup.

I have to admit that as a shorter (5’2") dressage rider, I rode without stirrups about 80% of the time. I found I could be much more effective and relaxed in both seat and legs without them.

Of course, then my trainers would always have to bug me before shows to practice with stirrups since I so much preferred without.