Knee Problems When Riding English

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Knee Problems When Riding English

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  • Can riding english hurt your knees
  • Is western riding easier on bad knees

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    10-30-2008, 03:41 PM
Knee Problems When Riding English

I really love english riding, but whenever I ride English, my knees hurt for days afterward when I walk uphill, walk up stairs, or just basically move around. I am only 18 years old! This problem started when I was about 12 and so I had to make a switch to western riding (no posting!) which helped a lot.

Does anyone else have this problem or know how to fix it? I had special inserts made for my shoes that are supposed to correct my knee alignment, but they don't seem to help much when I'm riding. Also, I've been to a physical therapist who said that I needed to strengthen the muscles around my knee. It is so frustrating! I would really like to resume english riding.
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    10-30-2008, 04:45 PM
I have knee problems also. It started when I was young and has remained with me (I'm 21 now)
When I was riding my horse, I wouldn't be able to last very long. I would be in a lot of pain and would get off (I could only ride for around 20 min)

I started to research different stirrups thinking it might help.
I found these Herm Sprenger Bow Balance Stirrups.
I went from barely being able to go 20 min to going out on 4 hour trail rides.
I know they are expensive, but I would pay anything to ride and not be in pain. (you can also shop around for a lower price. I believe I got mind for around $200)
    10-30-2008, 08:10 PM
I have the same problem from time to time when I ride English. For me, it is getting the stirrup length correct. Too high or too low and I have knee pain.

Appy, those are neat! I've never seen them before!
    10-30-2008, 10:18 PM
I have stirrups kind of like with the bendy black bit but I got mine for around 60 -80. I like them more than normal ones. I have horrible joint problems and whenever I start riding my right knee and ankle goes really bad and I can't walk for a bit after at all. I've sort of developed a way of riding without using my knees much. I think its the extra weight put on your knees when you ride english because of the seat, but if you drop your stirrups a couple of holes it should help.

I can do rising trot really well without stirrups which takes the pushing weight a bit away from the knees, and I sort of ride with stirrups but rising like that all the time. Its sort of hard to explain. I also spend a fair of time with only one foot in the stirrup to save my right knee and ankle but that's not really good as far as proper riding goes.

I've only ever ridden english, I just deal with it. I have a high pain threshold though, so I can ride with my bad knee even when I can't walk on it.

If its not a joint problem you could try and build your muscles up there or maybe you are not sitting correctly which is throwing your weight off? I don't know.
    10-30-2008, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the advice! Those stirrups are really expensive! Maybe I should practice posting without stirrups. Also, thanks for the tip about stirrup length. I noticed that my knees are more affected when the stirrups are shorter.

Do any of your guy's problems happen off the horse as well (Andi I know yours does)?
    10-31-2008, 12:07 AM
My knees ache when I ride, but it's not going to keep me off. I've never looked into it I just figured that more excersice would help, gotta try that sometime ;)
    10-31-2008, 01:37 AM
You know I had knee problems to but before I got back into riding. And my dude actually taped my knees and then wrapped it and I would go home after that.
With my knees my knee cap was actually pointing towards the outside instead of the inside like it should. So after I did my workouts I got taped and rapped and leave it for a couple days or so. It worked like a wonder and I havent had any problems since then (exept I grip with my knees while riding)...
I could explain more about it if you think that could be whats happening with you.
    10-31-2008, 02:02 PM
I know they're expensive, but they've really helped me. There are other stirrups out there that bend and stuff for a lot less. I can't comment on those because I don't have them.

I do have knee problems when I'm not riding. I can't run for long because my knees will hurt (so bad that I start limping) I also can't have my legs straight for a long time (like laying down or standing) as it gets really painful. So when I'm standing I have to keep shifting weight, and when I'm laying down I either need a pillow under my knees, or I need to keep them bent.

My grandfather had bad knees and I was told I got his knees. I've dealt with it for so long, I don't really pay it any attention anymore. I just know what I can and cannot do anymore. I never went to a doctor to look at my knees.. figure he would say there were bad and would want me to either get knee surgery, stop riding , or have them in a brace.. none of which I wanted to do.

I have found when I ride bareback they don't hurt at all.

Here's a pair for $80 that's said to alleviate knee pain
Intec UMS 6-Way Stirrup Irons - Dover Saddlery.

This one has a double joint so it flexes. This one's $45
Horse-S Jointed Irons - Dover Saddlery...
    10-31-2008, 03:26 PM
Thanks so much for your replies!

Appylover, I'm sorry your knees hurt you, but I am glad that you have learned to cope. I will look into those irons!
    10-31-2008, 06:47 PM
I have horrible, horrible knees ! Thankfully they haven't affected me much when riding, but sometimes afterwards they ache !
The hardest thing for me is mounting, my knees feel like they're crumbeling then..
And I can't really move, I had to quit soccer, I can't go to PE, heck I can barely walk long distances

Bad knees are the worst thing

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