Are stiff leather boots a hindrance to good dressage riding?

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catrin
30 Mar 2009 13:50
I watched the latest Jon Pitts video on core stability in the saddle with interest. He made a point about the ankle joint being key for absorbing shock & that boots can prevent this. Julie looked to have field boots on & in my experience in softer jumping style field boots my ankle is much more mobile than in rock hard high cut dressage boots.

So are we making a mistake by immobilising our lower legs in these types of boots?
Jon Pitts
31 Mar 2009 17:40
Thanks for your comments Chris. From a biomechanical sense, it is quite contradictory to use contact with stirrups as the primary balancing point, and then limit the movement of the joint by encasing it in a stiff boot! I have found this makes the rider more reliant on the boot support rather than building greater ankle function, but by working on improving stability at the joint it does then seem to improve stability in the boot, although I suspect that this could still be far better! It also appears to make riders more reliant on other balance aids such as hands on the horses neck which would generally require body weight and centre of mass to shift forward too. There are lots of little things like this in riding and they would be great to explore more with you all.
 

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