Mary D. Midkiff's Women & Horses Newseltter
Newsletter ~ October 2013 ~ Issue No. 206
In This Issue
Stirrup Position - Balanced or Conventional
Article Title

The InBalance Horse

By Mary D. Midkiff

DVD 100 px
All the steps you need to use The InBalance Horse
oil blend, mouth massage and acupressure!

5 steps to maximizing, preparing, training and enjoying horses.

"The Focused Horse" 26 minute DVD includes demonstrations showing steps on how to apply and use "The InBalance Horse" essential oil blend aromatherapy, massage and acupressure techniques to calm and focus your horse, and English and Western saddle fit specific to the female equestrian.
$10 plus shipping and handling 
-  -   -  -  -  -  -  -  -    
Fitness, Performance & the Female Equestrian

Fitness, Performance and the Female Equestrian 

She Flies Without Wings

She Flies Without Wings       
Take the Emotional Stress Out of Your Horse's Life!!!
The InBalance Horse Essential Oil Blend for Horses
We have added Sweet Almond Oil to the blend speeding up the absorption rate; and it resists freezing!
InBalance HorseCalming the Anxious Horse...
with aromatherapy and the analgesic affects of this essential oil blend.

Time after time, horse after horse, horse owners and handlers are experiencing the magic results of The InBalance Horse essential blend for horses.  

Links to Helpful Websites:


Go to Saddles for Women on the website to get a free DVD with saddle fit information!


Clinics by Mary Midkiff: 
Inquiries - please contact me at [email protected] or call 502-552-1195 and we can tailor a clinic to fit your needs.

I'd love to come work with you and your horses and find out what we can create to build your partnerships.
 Galloping horse animation
Mary demonstrates balance position to audience at Expo Cavalos 2013.
Mary speaks and demonstrates rider positions during her Expo Cavalos 2013 presentation in Brazil.
Mary and Ruth at Mangalarga Style expo booth at Expo Cavalos 2013.
Mary and Ruth Vilella de Andrade share the Mangalarga breed magazine at the Mangalarga Style booth at Expo Cavalos 2013.
Mary, Paulo and partner Sergio at Expo Cavalos 2013.
Paulo Arantes, Mary and Sergio meet at the Expo Cavalos in Sao Paulo, Brazil September 25, 2013.

Dear Horse Friends,


Traveling once again to Brazil in late September was as fulfilling as always.  Alltech graciously sponsored my trip and presentations to Expo Cavalos in Sao Paulo September 25-30.


Horse people, especially women, are hungry for information and resources about the holistic approach to horse handling, management, care and training; the female rider as an athlete; saddle fit for the horse and rider; and the horse conformations (in Brazil they refer to this as "morphology") suitable to give the rider a balanced, safe and comfortable ride.


My host, friend and Expo Cavalos organizer, Paulo Arantes, continues to impress me with his ingenuity and progressive thinking for his native Brazilian horse community.  He is bringing breeds, disciplines and people invested in the future of Brazil's horse industry together to seek common interests and to solve common issues.


I also re-connected with the amazing and beautiful famous artist Ruth Vilella de Andrade who is a horse lover and farm owner as well as the creator of the magazine Mangalarga Style and the new TV network associated with her magazine.  She is commited to creating a Women & Horses workshop in Brazil next Spring at a gorgeous equestrian center.  So stay tuned!!


The holidays are upon us.  Seek your horse's love and warm fur for contemplative times during this busy season.


Enjoy the newsletter and let me hear from you.



Happy Riding!

Mary D. Midkiff  


Stirrup Position ~ Balanced or Conventional
Reprinted with permission.  By Dave Di Pietra of Synergist Saddles on September 30, 2013 in Saddle and Tack

Stirrup Position D iagrams shows Balanced Stirrup Position and Conventional Stirrup Position One of the questions we always ask before building a new saddle is where the customer wants the fenders hung. The balanced position enables the stirrup to hang directly under your body while the conventional western position is forward of this position. How do you know which position suits you? It depends on what kind of rider you are and what kind of riding you do.

Let's cover the balanced position first. If you've been around horses for even a short time you've probably heard the saying, 'Ears, shoulders, hips and ankles in vertical alignment'. In order for this to happen the distance from the deepest part of the seat to the fender needs to be approximately the same distance from the ankle to the ball of the foot. From a sitting position, with your stirrups underneath you, you are easily able to stand up in your stirrups without having to lunge forwards to become balanced. This position ensures that your saddle is spreading your weight out evenly front to back over the length of the horse's rib cage.

With the conventional position the fenders are hung farther forwards to accommodate a rider who sits in more of a 'chair seat' position. From this position it is harder to stand in your stirrups. You end up lunging forwards to get in balance over your stirrup. This position can lead to more pressure in the rear of the saddle than in the front.

Stirrup Offset Diagram So does this mean we should all strive to ride in the balanced position? Not necessarily. To me, saddles are tools to perform a job and as with all tools you need the right one to do a specific job. Riding in the balanced position you are going to cause less impact to your horse. So the more you demand from your horse the more you want to consider riding with your stirrups in the balanced position. If you are a weekend warrior who mostly just walks on down the trail taking in the scenery, do whatever you like. You're not riding hard enough to make a difference to the horse.

The conventional position is considered to be a defensive position. This position is great for trainers and riders who are on young horses who have less training and are more prone to spooking. With your legs forwards you can brace a bit against the stirrups and help push your rear end into the back of the cantle for a more secure seat.

Truth be told, not everyone can sit a horse in the balanced position and be comfortable. When I was 25 I had no problem riding in the balanced position. Now at 55 I don't ride enough and am not flexible enough in the hip joints to sit comfortably in the balanced position. By moving my fenders forward a bit it relieves the pressure on the hip joints so I can still ride without pain.
Mary's Note: Even though this is written by a man, Dave is a saddlemaker first and consults with his wife, CJ, on every aspect of saddlemaking for their predominant clients, who are women. His information is useful to all riders.  Thank you Dave!
Letters from You



This is my second order... Both myself and Luna LOVE your oil!

Thank you for being there... very long story but I believe you saved both of us!


~Namaste, Sally 



Hi Mary,

Just thought I would let you know ...... I bought the oil for a very stressed out Paso Fino that I was given. I finally got to use it on him this week and he was falling asleep after I rubbed his nostrils and gums. I also did some head and neck work (Masterson Method) on him. He was quite relaxed. I will use this on him every time I work with him. He needs all the help he can get. Thank you for making a great product.

~ Cari