Hang ‘Em Up, Horse Nation: No-Stirrup November Starts Today

I have a dream, Horse Nation. A dream about thighs. Strong thighs. Mighty thighs. Your thighs in 30 days from now, if you accept this challenge.

Photo: Leslie Wylie/Horse Nation

Losing our stirrups, both on accident and on purpose, is something of an HN tradition. I nearly forgot about No-Stirrup November but, fortunately, reader Melissa sent in this cheery reminder.

Hello HN!

I just wanted to remind everybody that today is the first day of No-Stirrup November! Drop your stirrups for the whole month! Though it’s OK to work up to that (i.e. start with 10 minutes, gradually work up to a whole ride) and to keep them for shows, lessons, greenies, etc. I’m taking on the challenge, and thought if anyone else wanted to, we could give each other much-needed moral support. Plus, just think how toned your legs will be by Thanksgiving. 😉

Stay Strong!


The official removal!


First jumping session without my beloved stirrups. No hate, I know potatoes two-point better.

A no-stirrup jump lesson on day 1? Get it, girl. While hanging ’em up for 30 days isn’t easy, and it sure as heck isn’t fun, it WILL do wonders for your seat, balance and stickability. When I’ve done it before the results were dramatic: In the dressage my leg got longer and my seat got deeper, and over fences my chronic case of “slipped back leg syndrome” all but disappeared.

Here are the challenge guidelines:

  • Kiss your stirrups goodbye.
  • It’s OK and realistic to have exceptions. For example: “I’m giving up my stirrups, but I can keep them for lessons, horse shows, galloping, and jumping over 2’6″.”
  • It’s OK to start small. Not ready to give up your stirrups for a whole ride? Start with five minutes, and as your leg strength and security in the saddle improves, increase your no-stirrups time accordingly.

Not so bad, right? Plus, you’re not alone. We’ll be posting weekly “support group” check-ins each Saturday here on HN and we’ve got a thread set up over at Equestrians Anonymous so you guys can whine, brag, exchange tips and share encouragements 24/7. Look for it in the “Training” forum. Misery loves company, you know, so share this post with your riding buddies if you think they’d like to accept the challenge as well!

Who’s in?


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