If you research "heels down" you'll find thousands of people talking about it on social media, in articles about riding, at horse shows, and everywhere you find people riding horses - yes, even rodeo bronc and bull riders! Search it on the internet - everyone talks about "tricks" to keep your heels down - but what if there was a proven way to train yourself?
Most riders know why we need to keep our heels down. What we struggle with is actually doing it.
Have you heard about muscle memory? Here's a definition - "when a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort. This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems." Examples of muscle memory are found in everyday activities that become automatic and improve with practice, such as riding a bicycle, typing on a keyboard and of course, riding a horse.
Basically, through repeating the same movement every time, your body will eventually "learn" it. Sounds easy, right? How many of us still have to work hard at keeping our heels down, even after years of riding and expensive lessons? Do you have difficulty knowing when your heels are in the proper position, or one heel that constantly creeps up more than the other? You are not alone!
"This is a product I have needed for YEARS! Thanks for the innovation to bring something like this to the market!" - Kelly
"Just wanted to give an update. The indicators have helped so much. They beep less and less. My heel used to come up a lot especially while giving a leg aid in lateral work. I am happy to report I am not having that problem anymore! Thanks so much for inventing these." -Lorie
“They were everything I had hoped for. I thought they were expensive but they were worth every penny. My only question is, "How do I afford more?” – Meredith
“Love these because you get instant feedback. So worth the price of a few lessons to buy them” - Lorie
"As an instructor, I'd love to be able to move on from saying heels down all the time” – Brittany
“They are well made and easy to use. They are an awesome training aid! ...SUPER happy I invested in a pair and I highly recommend them!” – Val
The unit constantly measures the angle and when the rider’s heel moves up out of proper position, the indicator will alert with an audible, adjustable tone until the heel position is corrected! Newly patented technology in a horseback riding training aid that helps you build muscle memory to stay in an optimal foot position, and helps your riding improve to the next level – without your instructor constantly “nagging” you!
A riding instructor can only see one side of the horse and rider team at a time – even if the “inside” heel is correct, the “outside” heel can still stray upwards unnoticed, creating an unbalanced rider. As an instructor, you can focus more on riding techniques if your students are able to self-correct their foot position. Or, if you’re a solo rider or perhaps practicing without someone watching, the Heel Indicator is a valuable learning tool in developing proper position.
Has this happened to you?
SCENARIO 1 - Your student is learning to post. Trotting along the rail, the lesson horse does a sudden strong downward transition! Do your student’s heels come up and he flops forward on the horse’s neck; or worse, falls off? Or do his solidly down heels anchor the student so that he is able to steady himself and drop back into the saddle?
SCENARIO 2 - Your beginner daughter is out on a trail ride when her horse leaps to the side because a plastic grocery bag blows across the road. Her heels come up, her weight goes up, her hands go up and the horse effectively steps out from under her. Or - do her heels stay down, weight stays down, hands stay down and she rides out the spook that would have otherwise landed her on the ground?
SCENARIO 3 - You've practiced long, grueling hours in the saddle, in front of the arena mirror, and with an expensive trainer. Yesterday in the dressage ring, you got a score that just didn't add up the way you'd hoped. While unsaddling dispiritedly, you overhear across the aisle; "Such a shame, but I saw one of her heels move up during a transition. It brought her whole leg out of position and the judge scored it down for a miscue". You wonder, "Should I have used the Heel Indicator when I practice?"