This morning one of my best friends here, and long term friend in the USA and fantastic coach sends me a Facebook message to tell me one of our friends, coached obviously by someone else, is in the ICU with a broken neck.

Why? Because the horse bucked.

Why? Because the instructor is either a serial killer, or has a murderous death wish upon her pupils, or is so stupid she shouldn’t be in charge of a chihuahua much less an 800kg horse.

Where should your leg be – REALLY?

It’s simple…the scarier the problem = the more FORWARD the leg.

Leg back = heels up

There is ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON to bring your leg back.  NONE NONE NONE.  It’s BEYOND CRAZY DANGEROUS and here is why:

  1. Leg back = heel up
  2. Leg back = hands going forward to counter balance
  3. Leg back is in the BUCK ZONE (flank).  You kick…they buck.  And with your leg back and bucking you have no chance of staying on, worse, you have no chance of ever stopping the bucking.
  4. Heel down and forward is the ONLY THING to stop you falling forward onto your head and neck on the ground.
  5. Leg back means you have NO WAY of picking up the horse if they trip
  6. Leg back means you probably also have your thumbs rolled over which is so dangerous it is AGAINST THE RULES to have your thumb rolled over because they know you cannot stop the horse from stumbling and tripping.
  7. Leg back means you’re looking down…where you look is where you’ll fall.
  8. The further back the leg, the more weight on the forehand.  When the weight is on the forehand, they can REALLY buck!  They can also bolt easier.

Why does your coach want you dead?

heel-down-stirrup-foot-live-or-dieI don’t know the answer to this one, I really don’t, but as I sit here this morning in tears over this lady, and now about my TENTH broken neck and I’ve lost count of how many have died this way that I personally know. None of my clients for sure, but they’re friends and I know all of them.

Back in the 1970’s when people rode many many hours on the farms, some of the young boys were amazing (and still are) at literally having their feet so far back they flung over the horse’s hips.  That was for one reason only – to be TOTALLY off the horse when they jumped to make the SLIGHT difference between a gold and silver medal in STADIUM JUMPING (i.e. SHOW JUMPING).

How to kill your horse quickly…

Eventers are all about PROTECTING THE HORSE!   Eventers aren’t that stupid.  They don’t seem to want to die and kill people as happily as these hunter jumpers.

  • Eventers know to get their heel down.
  • Eventers jump downhill
  • Eventers jump uphill
  • Eventers PROTECT THEIR HORSES FROM TRIPPING!!!!  You can NEVER do that with the stupid bum in the air, toes out, hands rolled over leaning on your horse’s neck. You’re dead, and so is the horse.

Eventers do dressage where the rules are clear to prepare you for the cross country.  Yes, dressage is MILITARY training for the cross country, and we will mark you down if:

  • Your heels are up
  • Your thumbs are rolled over
  • You’re leaning and putting the horse on the forehand unable to pick him up from tripping/rotational fall.

I’m sorry but this stupid hunter jumper crap over here is KILLING PEOPLE and breaking my heart because it’s KILLING HORSES TOO.

Blue ribbon is WAY WAY more important to those with low self esteem than actually having their heel down, toe VISIBLE IN FRONT OF THE KNEE so that you can protect your horse from tripping and a rotational fall, and stop all the bucking.

Pride comes before a fall…

The ONLY reason to get your leg back might be to win a stupid ribbon, or your coach is so stupid, vain, arrogant, irrelevant and OLD FASHIONED that they don’t care if you live or die.  Really they don’t. They mustn’t.

THEY ARE KILLING YOU PEOPLE.  Dump your stupid coach TODAY if they are telling you “get your leg back”, go and get lessons from an eventer, and you’ll come back and win everything in the hunter jumper field there ever was.

There is a joke in Australia…

“Why do hunter jumpers not do eventing…BECAUSE THEY CAN’T.” 

They would be dead in a heart beat.  And so would their horse.  They have NO CLUE how to pick up a horse from a trip walking down the road.  How on earth with their leg back are they going to prevent a rotational fall.

Angry – Pissed – Upset – Depressed

This is breaking my heart.  THESE COACHES ARE KILLING PEOPLE.  Stop it.  Stop it.  Stop it.   Honestly, I can’t take this any more…this leg back and lean on hand thing.

HOW VAIN YOU ARE NOT TO PROTECT YOUR HORSE FROM A FALL!  Heels up = some kind of egoic vanity, not certainly helping protect that horse from falling.

You can’t pick your horse up from tripping with open fingers, thumbs rolled over, heels up and slobbing all over his neck.  You have to be ready.  Or, if you’re so vain to let your horse be on his own, so rude not to protect him, so horrible you don’t care to close your fingers to help him up…riding around in a bad position.  THEN YOU ARE VAIN AND YOU HAVE LOW SELF ESTEEM and you shouldn’t own a gold fish if you don’t care about your animals better than that.


Dump the stupid coach RIGHT NOW who is telling you to get your leg back.  Dump them before the horse dumps you.   Dump them before you are dead. They are SO BEYOND WRONG IT’S DEADLY.

Go and get lessons with an eventer, a western person, even a vaulter would stand a chance at picking a horse up from a trip/rotational fall.

What’s correct?

  1. Heel DOWN.  Learn from anyone who says “heel down” or “toe up” or “feet forward towards the fence”, or “toes up”, or a coach that stands in front of the fence so you’re jumping towards them, and you have to push your heel forward so it’s visible under the stirrup.
  2. Andrew Hoy Jumping Position the Horse Rider's Seat & Posture Foot and Stirrup Position Colleen Kelly

    One of the most decorated eventers of all time. Andrew Hoy. Won Badminton AND Rolex in the same year…and so many Olympic medals!  His leg is next to the girth, and he’s not slobbing on the horse’s neck.  If the horse tripped he can shoot the leg even further forward and pick the horse up.

    If you are willing to die, willing to lose your family. If you are willing to break your neck and lose everything you’ve ever had ‘normal’ in your life….then go ahead and get your leg back.  But if not, dump your coach before you’re dead. Go and learn from an eventer, not some city slicker who cannot ride to the mail box, much less ride out of the arena.

    If they cannot canter a horse down a hill and over a cavaletti – don’t learn from them. That is a BASIC BEGINNER TEST, and if you coach can’t do it with their heel down, they are not good enough to be taking your money.

    I’m 56 years old, breast cancer, broken spine twice and I can get on a horse and canter it down a hill over a fence.  If I can do it…WHY CAN’T YOUR COACH!

Please Lord, I ask you that anyone who has read this far in this article be touched by the terrible accident yesterday, and realize they are learning deadly deadly information that is wrong, is putting them in deadly harms way, and is in no way protecting their horse from a rotational fall. Please Lord, I beg you. And for those who won’t listen, I ask that you cradle this lady, and her broken neck in your gracious arms and lift her from pain. And those darling friends you have already taken to your home, let them shine light upon this deadly problem to see that I am bringing this to you from my deepest heart, my deepest pain to help save lives, and save people from literally breaking their neck.  And this I ask in your name. Amen.

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