Solutions for ankle pain when riding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-29-2011, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Solutions for ankle pain when riding?

I've been riding once a week for almost a year now, and my ankle has only sort of bothered me- but now it's hurting when I'm in saddle almost all the time, especially at the trot. It's very distracting. xP

I've always had weak ankles (I remember randomly having my ankle flop over when I was small), so I was wondering if this is something that could be fixed with more regular exercise...? It feels like it's in the tendons on the outside.

As for correct posture in the saddle, I've had problems keeping my heels down (I have a tendency to bring them up before take-off). I can pick up my stirrups again during the trot- maybe I'm doing it wrong and it messes me up...?

Any advice or exercise ideas is appreciated. :)
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-29-2011, 09:54 PM
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Hmm. Maybe its time to take a trip to the Doc? Have you ever had it checked out?

Are you riding english or western? Sometimes stirrup length can affect how your ankles feel, such as them being way too short.

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-29-2011, 10:04 PM
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I stand on a step that has a rail to balance my self and left up and drop down as far as I can. It helps to strech down for me. Also do you feel like you also have a hard time keeping your knees on your horse. If so try standing up in your sturps and rolling your hips in. I find when my hips are not pointing forward and winged out some my knees come off and turn out my feet and it is hard to rape my legs around the horse wicht causes my ankles to hurt after the ride.

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post #4 of 9 Old 04-29-2011, 10:27 PM
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I also wonder if you are riding english or western. I can't help much with english but I know that if my stirrups are too short or I put too much weight on my feet in my western saddle, that makes my knees and ankles hurt quite a bit.

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post #5 of 9 Old 04-29-2011, 11:11 PM
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My bf deals with a small amount of knee and ankle pain when riding for more than 1/2 hr.
He recently bought a pair of stirrups whose bottoms are angled slightly.. about 2 inches higher on the inside (ie higher on the side of your foot where the big toe is).
He says they provide some relief.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-29-2011, 11:19 PM
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I have the same thing. My tendons are streched. I have not found a cure as of yet. IF you find one let me know!

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post #7 of 9 Old 04-29-2011, 11:48 PM
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If you have weak ankles, you need a good pair of supportive boots. I have horribly weak ankles. On good days I ride with Ariat lace up western boots.

On bad days, I vet wrap my ankle for added stability.

You also need to reevaluate your stirrup situation. If you ride Western you need to look into either stirrup turners or turning your stirrups yourself. English, look into a hinged stirrup. I hear that padded stirrups help with ankle pain but haven't given it a try.

If you are riding western, remember that while your heel should be lower than your stirrup, it need not be *jammed* that way. I ride with ridiculously long stirrups for comfort. If you are riding English, try hard to post from your core and not so much your lower leg.

Hope this helps!
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-30-2011, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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I've ridden in english and western, and it's about the same in both saddles.

I'm working on strengthening my ankles, but I wonder if my boots are part of it (they're pretty cheap cowboy boots :p). I'll try to invest in some better ones.

Thank-you everyone!
It helps. :)
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-30-2011, 10:31 PM
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Since you only ride once a weak, it is hard fore your body to really build up the muscles you use in riding and not in walking or other daily activities.

It is important to have decently strong ankles for reasons other than riding. As you get older, if you don't have good strength in your ankle, foot and calf, you will lack stability and are more likely to fall down.

Work on building this stability. Stand on one foot, like a stork, for as long as you can. really work on balancing using your core muscles and the many small muscles that surround your ankle. You can look down and you will see your ankle/lower calf making many small and constant adjustments to maintain your balance. Try to stand on one leg for a full minute at least without touching down, tho if you need to momentarily touch down, go right back to balancing.
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