Side-Walking/Horse Leading Boots/Shoes for Therapeutic Riding Center
I'm cross-posting this here from a different category (equipment) because I wondered if any of you have experienced Plantar Fasciitis or something similar to it, as it is often common with those of us with weight management problems.
Hello all, I'm new and I LOVE horses. I found this website while attempting to Google footwear appropriate to my situation. I'm going to post this here, and I may cross-post it to a different forum section because I'm not quite sure where it belongs.
I'm a volunteer at a therapeutic horseback riding organization and I have to walk (mostly, some occasionally running/"trotting") in several inches of sand for periods of about 45 minutes at a time. I'm currently using some North Face hiking boots that I picked up on sale several years back, but am looking for an upgrade because my feet are KILLING me. I only do this a few times a week right now but I'd like to go more often and for longer periods of time.
I may have plantar fasciitis, as my feet cramp often and for several days after volunteering they hurt - mostly in the morning but the stretched muscle feeling does continue for several hours if not longer. I'm also quite a bit overweight :oops:, but it's difficult to exercise a lot with this kind of pain.
If anyone knows of any shoes that are themselves somewhat therapeutic and also can hold up to this kind of activity I would be overjoyed if you could help me out. The sand is somewhat deep so I think it would be best if the shoe were a boot, it's very hot most of the time here in Oklahoma and my feet usually feel hot even if it isn't, and I think that too much tread, like on my North Face, actually makes it more difficult because the sand clumps up in the treads and bogs me down even further.
Read more: http://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack...#ixzz24ATH2mXc
When I was volunteering at a therapeutic riding center I used shoes designed for skateboarding. They have decent arch supports and had enough padding on the ankle that clutzy me didn't do too much damage when I'd inevitably role my ankles. I found that boots made it much more difficult to do my duties since the bottom is uneven and I'd sink into the sand much more so.
Even when I'm doing groundwork with my horse I tend to pick tennis shoes instead of my boots. My muck boots, which have a more or less flat bottom, don't bend enough to run comfortably in and they're freakishy hot even in below zero temperatures my feet would be sweaty. My paddock boots, which have about an inch and a quarter heal, seem to sink further into the sand due to funny weight distribution.
I suggest tennis shoes with a high arch support and padding around the ankle.
And, I also want to say the volunteering you're doing changes lives. Thanks.
It's really just a matter of trying different types of footwear. If I wore skateboarding shoes, my feet would protest something intense. I stick to Nike's with Zoom Air or Max Air. I also found my paddock boots to be VERY comfortable. That little bit of lift in the feel worked for me, I wore those boots comfortably for 6+ years until they finally just died. I'll also point out I wore those boots for six years while volunteering at a therapy barn. Good on you for doing it, it's so rewarding.
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I volunteer at a sanctuary and we actually do a few days of week of therapeutic riding lessons. I wear a pair of hiking boots, the brand is merrell, for sure footing around the arena and the grounds. They come right up to my ankle but aren't uncomfortable and I feel the provide the support I need. but I have also seen a podiatrist and have inserts to correct my arch and a slight lift on one foot.
I would highly suggest seeing a podiatrist, it's really changed the way I walk, and once I got used to having the inserts in my shoes (the ones you can get a the stores, all suck; the ones prescribed and made specifically for you are so much better) I feel 10 times better in the feet, legs, and back.
Also drink a lot of water, and stretch your feet before and after you are on them for long periods of time and that should help too.
I can't suggest a specific shoe though, that is all personal preference. I stay FAR away from any kind of riding boot though, I know a lot of people wear them all around the bar and such, but I just can't do it.
Thank you also for your time spent volunteering! :-)
I have purchased some Brooks sneakers (Ariel, the female version of the Beast) and they are made for heavyweight-ers and prevent over and under pronation, which can help prevent ankle rolling, and I'm usually prone to doing that even though I seem to have a "normal" walking pattern/gait. Walking alongside a horse, trying to keep up and stay balanced/hold a child up in a saddle and/or lead is quite different from walking around a grocery store, though!
I decided not to wear those sneakers though because they cost so much (about $120) and I decided they would be best put to use as actual exercise (non-horse/sand) shoes. I also thought that something with a bit of an ankle would better prevent sand from getting flung into my shoe, which is why I originally thought a boot would be best.
I have many pairs of shoes, some for each different "need" - ie. sitting, standing, walking/exercising, as my feet seem to have different complaints with each of these actions. It would seem to be a lot nicer to just have one set of inserts to put into every pair of shoe.
Also, thank YOU trvlingheart for your volunteer work! :-)
My inserts from my podiatrist were expensive. The inserts them selves were not covered by my insurance, I paid about $350 for them out of pocket. They should be replaced every few years. I've had mine since 2009 I think. So in my opinion they are worth the cost if you can afford it. And I do remove them and place them in other shoes too, which helps a lot.
As for my insurance, I can't remember the co-pays. I guess it all depends on what your insurance co-pays are and if you need a referral or what not. I would be that if you called your insurance you can get an idea of the costs from them for such an appointment. Or if you call a podiatrist that is in your network then they could probably tell you how much to expect. My specific podiatrist required xrays, so I would make sure to find out if they do them in house or not and if that is an additional cost. Sorry I can't help you more.
Just a side thought, but also see if the podiatrist will accept payments for the inserts and/or bills. Mine let me make payments, which helped a lot.
I love the volunteer work I do!! I spend many many hours at the barn with and without students.
We have one of those medical expense cards where you pay so much every week pre-tax and get to use that on medical expenses, but I've already used it up for the year. Having only one income is definitely not fun, especially when you want to be very horsey and health is an issue, but I think we'll be heading in the right direction next year.
Thanks again for your help! It's good to hear that it was worth the money, and for something that costs $350 to last 3 years and alleviate so much pain is definitely reassuring and good to hear. I'm glad that it was able to help you so much! :-)
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