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This is a discussion on Failure. within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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        04-11-2011, 10:03 PM
    Unhappy Failure.

    Ok, so I'm still having problems with my heels and ankles. I just don't know what to do! I stretch like crazy-whenever I have the chance. But whenever I'm riding my ankles hurt really bad, it feels like a burning sensation. I feel like I'm trying too hard, but it makes no sense! I'm not pushing in my stirrups at all, I constantly think toes up, my posture is mostly good, yet my heels and ankles are awful. I'm always in pain during and after riding (unless I ride without stirrups, can't do that all the time though). I'm pretty much desperate, it never gets better and I'm thinking about giving up. I've been riding for 9 years and have barely improved in the past 4... I'd really appreciate some help, and sorry for the little rant.
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        04-11-2011, 10:10 PM
    Do you know why you are experiencing pain? As in, have you talked to a doctor about it? My right ankle kills me sometimes when I'm in the saddle so I can relate. I know why though - it's from an old soccer injury. I got those herm springer stirrups and it helps a lot! I didnt get the brand name ones because they are too darn expensive but you can find cheaper ones just like them. Have you tried that yet? Might be worth a shot! I also take an aleve before I ride.
        04-11-2011, 10:14 PM
    It's not any injury, I'm pretty sure it's just stiffness..but I still don't know what to do about that. It's never happened before, just in the past couple months.
        04-11-2011, 10:24 PM
    I would go to an orthopedic doctor to see if he can give some insight. If the pain is that disabling perhaps there is something going on that can be fixed.
        04-12-2011, 01:28 PM
    Maybe it is because you are approaching it wrong? Instead of thinking "Heels down or toes up" think - weight must flow naturally. Let me explain what I mean...

    Our bodies natural weight flow must be allowed to occur, for our heels to do their job - which is anchor us in our tack. If we grip or pinch anywhere in our lower body, we block that flow from occuring.

    When we think "allow that weight to naturally flow" or "weight in heels" we learn to open up our lower extremeties for that to occur. Our knee's pinch, our calves grip - instead of having even, light pressure from our thighs to our calves.

    So instead of FORCING your heels to get deep - allow it to happen naturally. They do not have to be at a 50 degree angle, nor a 45 degree angle or a 30 degree angle - just so long, as they are being permitted to do their job, which is anchor you and solidify you in your tack.

    It's not about forcing. It's about allowing.
        04-12-2011, 02:48 PM
    Green Broke
    As an alternative to what MIE explained the method tha realy fixed my heel problem was not thinking heel down or even weight down it was my instructor shouting "knees down" at me. This made you push your knees down which in turn prevents you gripping with your knee and will drop your weight down into your heel without you even thinking about it.

    Forcing your heel to an unnatural angle will hurt.
        04-12-2011, 04:06 PM
    Thanks guys! I'm kind of confused though. I don't pinch with my knees at all, sometimes I find myself gripping too much with my calf but other than that it's fine.. I'll try that "knees down", seems like it may work. Also, when I'm posting or in 2 point or anything related, your weight is on your stirrups a bit at least, right? I find it painful still..although I'm not pushing or anything.
        04-12-2011, 05:18 PM
    Hmm is it possible to post pictures or video it may give some insight? Just a thought, other than that I like the advice given already, go to a doctor and see if its something physical and try riding without thinking heels down but just letting yourself balance naturally
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        04-12-2011, 05:20 PM
    I wonder if you have the same problem I do. No matter what I do, I cannot turn my left ankle out. It's always parallel or even facing into the horse's body. The result is always a nice burn on the outside of that ankle. I'm going to try an equi-yoga lesson to see what can be done to fix it, but I think it has something to do with the hips. Do you by chance have a curve in your spine?

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