Knee Pain / Discomfort - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-24-2011, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Knee Pain / Discomfort

I've noticed that if I ride for very long (at or more than an hour) my knee(s) start to hurt very much so and occasionally my toes will fall asleep! It's super uncomfortable and I have to dismount and give my knee(s) a break.

No medical conditions and I ride in anything ranging from jeans and rubber rain boots (when I don't have my riding boots) to breeches with riding boots. Are my stirrups too high? Too pointed forward? What could be the cause?
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-24-2011, 01:17 AM
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if you're using a western saddle, your fenders are probably too stiff and not turned properly. Or they could be hung at a funny angle.

The fenders should be soft and supple; able to be easily bent, rolled or folded. When your saddle sits on a horse, the stirrups should naturally turn out as if feet were already in them.

If your saddle doesn't do these things, it may be one of the more economical leathers used in mass production that may always hurt your knees. You can help it some, but it will never be as comfortable as one of a higher quality.

Turn Western Stirrups For Safety and Comfort
this was one of the first sites I found with a photo explanation of how to do it.

Another consideration is the type of stirrup you use and where you place your foot. I personally only ride in oxbows, but other members of my family prefer flat-bottoms. There are several other slight variations available that you can check out.

Depending upon your specific event the stirrup is acceptable to be placed anywhere from the ball of your foot to the beginning of the boot heel. I personally find it more comfortable to have a slight angle from the ball across to my pinky toe.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-24-2011, 01:21 AM
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Oh just saw "breeches" so if you're riding english, I'm really not much help. Sorry.

If you haven't found relief from adjusting the stirrups up or down, it may simply be the width of your horse :( I think you should experiment with foot placement and if you can try someone else's saddle or horse to see if that it makes any difference.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-24-2011, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCH View Post
if you're using a western saddle, your fenders are probably too stiff and not turned properly. Or they could be hung at a funny angle.

The fenders should be soft and supple; able to be easily bent, rolled or folded. When your saddle sits on a horse, the stirrups should naturally turn out as if feet were already in them.

If your saddle doesn't do these things, it may be one of the more economical leathers used in mass production that may always hurt your knees. You can help it some, but it will never be as comfortable as one of a higher quality.

Turn Western Stirrups For Safety and Comfort
this was one of the first sites I found with a photo explanation of how to do it.

Another consideration is the type of stirrup you use and where you place your foot. I personally only ride in oxbows, but other members of my family prefer flat-bottoms. There are several other slight variations available that you can check out.

Depending upon your specific event the stirrup is acceptable to be placed anywhere from the ball of your foot to the beginning of the boot heel. I personally find it more comfortable to have a slight angle from the ball across to my pinky toe.
Thanks! To provide more info: I ride in a Fabtron synthetic saddle (only seat and pommel are leather) and there is no turning of the stirrups. I'm 5'1 and this is where they fall. I ride in a Western saddle but prefer to ride in breeches rather than jeans (more flexible, IMO) I do no eventing. Just pleasure.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-24-2011, 01:30 AM
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I get this too, so I'm subscribing and see if anyone says anything.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-24-2011, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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It's annoying as hell. And kills those long trail rides I love so much :(
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-24-2011, 01:43 AM
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You have adjusted those stirrups so short that they don't have room to turn much on their own. You can tell this because they are almost touching the bottom of the fender and there is no more shaped area left at the bottom to provide the flex you need.

From the photo I am 100% confident that unturned stirrups are your issue. It may be possible to turn the stirrups on a synthetic saddle, though I'm not really sure. I suggest storing it with the broomstick as the website describes every night for the next several weeks. You may also greatly benefit from this product:

Stirrup Rotator - Horse.com
or
Stirrup Straight - Horse.com
or
Cashel E-Z Knees (Equine - Supplies Tack - Saddle Accessories - Stirrup Accessories)

All basically the same idea, just slightly different in manufacture.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-24-2011, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCH View Post
You have adjusted those stirrups so short that they don't have room to turn much on their own. You can tell this because they are almost touching the bottom of the fender and there is no more shaped area left at the bottom to provide the flex you need.
To get more room at the bottom, you need to pull the back strap of the fender down, which should pull the front of the fender up, so you can lower your stirrup and therefore you'll have a little bit at the bottom. Does that make sense?

Iridehorses also has an awesome tutorial in the Tack section for turning leather fenders that apparently works overnight. I actually just did it because my wonky knee is killing me after riding for 2 hours today and the saddle is new, so I have my saddle just sitting in my living room.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-26-2011, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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I'm too short...any lower and I feel like I'm gonna fall out.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-26-2011, 02:39 AM
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I don't mean just lower your stirrups. Take the back leather strap that the Blevin buckle is on and pull it down while pushing the fender up. Your entire fender is just through a D ring up inside your saddle. You'll pull the front of your fender up, then you can lower your stirrups and they'll be at the same length.
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