And one more question.
Is it very significant where and at what angle your foot is in the stirrup? I believe Sally Swift talks about having the stirrup in some sort of sweet spot (the sensitive spot just behind the ball of your foot?) and the stirrup at an angle to your foot, George Morris wants your foot to the outside of the iron, etc. Not that there is a Right and a Wrong, but is there a Preferred and an Unhelpful??
Yes, it is very significant. You are partially standing even when doing flat work. When I was able to get a student to integrate that idea their riding took off.
Yes, I recall Ms Swift's description of the sweet spot, but I must have lost some of it. I don't recall the stirrup angle to your foot comment. Unless you mean a 90 degree angle. Logically I would think she might say that. Other angles? Mmmm...I don't think so, but I have been wrong before.
I know too little to comment about George Morris' foot to stirrup placement. Though I'd like to hear the rationale for it as you describe it.
I think there is a right and wrong placement. But that does not mean there is a universal right place, and wrong place. It simply means the for the select job, with the
particular horse, and particular rider, particular tack, placement varies.
"Right" in Western might be only half right in Jumping, while it might be decidedly wrong in dressage.
What one rider's conformation might demand, another's would possibly preclude.
I do though have a general rule for forward seat, sometimes referred to as hunt seat.
Just about the sweet spot Ms Swift describes in CR2, but with the ankle cocked to the median. I don't believe she describes it, and I don't believe she advocates it, though in other places where she talks about toe angle to leg it would be hard not to roll the ankle in. Your leg may differ, but if I have my knees bent (which she does mention) with my feet under my hip/shoulder/ear, and pronate, turn my toes slightly outward, my ankles simply roll inward.
It's a quite natural feeling, very relaxed, and brings my thighs, knees, and calf inward too. With little strain or stress. Though it would be even less so were I sitting a horse.
It may be, as in another comment of her's on the Forward Seat via Caprilli, today it's just so accepted people no longer to bother making a special note of it. "Forward Seat" is simply how we ride to jumps and galloping cross country, and the cocked ankle, as far as I know, has always been a part of Forward Seat.
I cannot say exactly how Ms Swift might view this. Nor can I know, unless I asked her.
I can only give you my opinion of what I think works. Not a definitive right or wrong position in the stirrup. Though I'm more than happy to support my opinion with anatomical drawings that show the workings of the ankle, and it's tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles.
My students had that well known "aha!" experience when they could actually see, with skin stripped way, the relationship of the parts. We had to use text books. Thank goodness for the Internet, eh?
Take the heel bone, for instance. It is decidedly NOT the shape one thinks it is. Nor is it aligned front to rear as we might guess it is. Very peculiar, the foot, and even more so the ankle. Wonderfully built to do what it does, IF we have proper foot placement.
And that, of course, is very much true in riding.
Here are some things to look at when you consider "correct," placement of the foot in the stirrup. http://www.northcoastfootcare.com/footcare-info/foot-anatomy.html
Following copyright rules of fair use note that I have not duplicated the entire page, but instead have placed only a single photo of many, and direct you to that page with a clickable URL above.
Who would have believed that the heel bone, in a foot oriented straight forward from the body, would be more aligned with the little toe. I believe this is why we, in normal treading, tend to slightly pronate.
As for this heel, not only do you point it downward when you drop your heel, but it's ASKING to be pointed outward. And that is done by cocking the ankle. Looking closely I find it quite easy to see why I find it such a relaxed position. The ankle is made for it.
The finer ligaments that we tear when we sprain, are protected in an ankle in position, and the heavier calf muscle and hamstring take up the shock.
You'll have to look at other pictures n the page to see these things more clearly.