Distance Equitation - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-24-2013, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Distance Equitation

I have some questions about distance equitation. Or rather, how not to hurt after 50 miles.

Or, how to hurt less.

25 miles into my ride this weekend, my ankles and knees were on FIRE. Hurt like something awful. They only hurt when I'm trotting (posting or sitting.) I was told my legs hurt because I lock/tense my knees and ankles when I ride. "Your legs are like pistons and need to adsorb the shock of trotting instead of bracing against it."

I don't understand how to do that. Or how to use my body when riding long distances. (I was trained as a jumper, if that helps.) So... Tips? Advice?
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-24-2013, 09:52 PM
Green Broke
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brighteyes View Post
I was told my legs hurt because I lock/tense my knees and ankles when I ride. "Your legs are like pistons and need to adsorb the shock of trotting instead of bracing against it."

I don't understand how to do that. Or how to use my body when riding long distances. (I was trained as a jumper, if that helps.) So... Tips? Advice?
My first guess upon reading this (esp the last bit about starting as a jumper) is that you need to drop your stirrups at least a hole, maybe more. Most people I know who do distance ride "dressage length" or even longer. If you come from a jumper background, you maybe still ride with a shorter stirrup simply because that was normal. Where does your stirrup hit when you take your foot out and let your leg hang?

Next question is what type of stirrup are you using and what sort of fender/leather? I know for me, having the fat, padded endurance-type stirrup made a HUGE difference for me. Like the difference between sore/numb ankles and feet and being comfortable. Fenders are also a biggie for me - a stiff, wide fender kills my knees quickly.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-24-2013, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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My stirrups hit a little below my ankle bone. A good bit shorter than I set my stirrups when I ride "proper" English. I don't have fenders; just basic leathers. My stirrups are standard wide tread endurance stirrups.

I have pictures! These are from Biltmore four week ago, around 20-30 miles in. I remember that I was dying.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Biltmore 2.jpg (76.1 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg Biltmore.jpg (79.4 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg Biltmore 3.jpg (67.2 KB, 55 views)
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-24-2013, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Nasty double post. But here's a good stirrup length reference:
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-25-2013, 09:20 AM
Trained
 
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Take the Advil when you wake up in the morning. I am old, and that helps me. It also has a lot to do with your flexibility, so try some yoga and Pilates training to increase flexibility.

Nancy
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-25-2013, 10:58 AM
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I think your stirrups do look a little short. I know if i get my stirrups one hole to high my ankles kill me! Like hurt so bad i can barely stand it. Lol. I put them down a hole and my ankles have not hurt since. Play with your stirrup length at home, never at a ride. Lol. I learned that the hard way. I played with the length at home until i could do a 30 mile training ride without my ankles hurting. My knees just hurt just to hurt, i think. lol. They could be fine one ride and hurt the next or hurt one loop and be fine the next loop.

Hope you get it figured out! I think all endurance riders know the pain you speak of!
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-25-2013, 03:52 PM
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Just wanted to pop in and say -I love your horse!! The two of you look great together!
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-25-2013, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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^^ Awww. Thank you.


I'll experiment with my stirrup lengths. I have an entire three months until my next ride to mess around. I've started during calf/ankle stretches twice a day. I've always had a hard time getting my heels level with my toes. I actually walk on my tip toes, so my muscles/tendons in the back of my legs are super tense.

I might try to get some video soon and post to see what y'all think of that.
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