08-15-2013, 12:35 PM
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Every day I do a series of stretches. This is what I do for my ankles/tendons:
Lay flat on your back and lift your leg up straight, perpendicular like you're creating a capital L.
Try to hold it straight up and not bend your knee.
Support your leg by holding at around the knees, whatever feels comfortable. Don't be stiff, but try to be straight. If you're not straight, it's not the end of the world.
Now flatten your foot so that it looks like it's about to walk on the ceiling above you. That's the first stretch. Hold that for a few seconds.
Relax, exhale. Then do a series of circles at the ankle, first in one direction. Then the other.
Your leg does not move, only your foot - rotating from the ankle. I point my toes but it's not necessary.
Start with ten in one direction, then 10 in the opposite direction. Then repeat with the other leg.
Start slow - you're stretching muscles and tendons that may be a little stiff. Don't over do and only increase the number when you're comfortable after you've completed the stretches a few times.
One last thing - when you first mount and you're walking your horse and warming up, drop your stirrups and stretch your legs and your ankles - rotating your foot at the ankles. You should take this time to warm up too. Twist and turn your body, your arms, your legs, raise your knees to saddle height, one at a time, drop your foot and stretch DOWN with your heels. Then take your stirrups again.