Heels down - Is it really that important? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 27 Old 02-18-2013, 05:52 PM
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I also have the "can't get heels down problem". As for trying to stretch things out, be very careful. I managed to create severe pain in my right ankle simply by standing in the stirrups and allowing the weight to sink down into my heels. My horse was grazing at the time so no movement, bouncing, anything was going on and something still went wrong. One minute all was good, the next I felt a pop, something overflexed down there, and I was in excruciating pain for over 2 weeks. I'm still very guarded about really flexing that heel since it's been tender ever since whenever I try to get that heel down despite the fact that it happened 6 months ago.

Hopefully heels down is just a finishing step of the rest of the lower leg being in the right position, because mine will never me optimum either.

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post #22 of 27 Old 02-19-2013, 12:06 AM
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Puck, good point - if you're going to stretch your achilles and try to gain more flexibility, do it over time, it won't happen overnight or even within the same week or two. I nearly had the same experience - I felt something pop and there was quite a bit of pain, but it didn't last.. thank goodness. Stretching into heels down has also aggravated my bad knee...


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post #23 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 05:48 PM
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I've been having the same problem for a while now as well! Stretching might help.
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 09:32 PM
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Throwing in my two cents, but I also have very short, tight Achilles tendons.

As a child I was always given grief by various instructors for my poor heels. As an adult I was diagnosed with those short tendons, had surgery on one (BIG mistake), and it's just something I have to live with... and explain to every instructor I run across.

I agree that over time, your heels will stretch a bit more. But it angers me that some people consider those of us with problematic heels to be less-accomplished riders than those who can naturally flex their heels down to the ground. It unfortunately also puts me at a huge disadvantage in the eq ring. But oh well.. we weren't all created equal. :)
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post #25 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 11:08 PM
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Don't worry heymckate, it happens with everything in riding. I do t have issues with my heels, but I have very short musculature legs with a significant booty and a tiny waist - possibly the worst body type for a Dressage rider!
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post #26 of 27 Old 02-23-2013, 05:05 PM
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As long as your weight is in your heels, then you should be fine. That's the whole point of the "heels down"; it's to keep you balanced in the saddle, especially if your horse trips. Let your trainer know about it and maybe she can help you :)
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post #27 of 27 Old 02-25-2013, 10:37 PM
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I read in Practical Horseman magazine in an article - I THINK it was Rodrigo Pessoa, but maybe not - that your heels should not be crammed down. Instead, toes should be up. The toes up helps with balance, and while it's good to have weight in the heel, the cramming is excessive and does something to your legs, but I don't quite remember what that was...

ANYWAY, TOES UP GUYS!
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