I had an hour group lesson yesterday and we spent the majority of it in a two point. My position was good according to the instructor, but the pain in my ankles was terrible! I kept having to stop and take my feet out the stirrups to circle my ankles.
My right ankle gets the pain worse, and I think it's from where I ripped a ligament when I was young and it never healed properly.
What's the best way to strengthen my ankles to lessen the pain?
Is it just going to be a case of repetition?
I made a thread on this no so long ago. This is a very basic exercise - start out doing this for 5 minutes a day or so and work your way up. I try to sneak it in when doing something else.
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While sitting, "write" the alphabet with your feet. Just trace the shapes on the floor, no paper or pencil, just making the shapes. Without knowing what's going on inside your ankle that's the safest thing I can think of.
But, if your doctor says it's okay, you can also add a light resistance band around your foot while doing that. Or, you can stand on a step with your heels off the back and rise up on your toes. A friend of mine needed to strengthen his and took one of his daughter's old, small purses and put some nuts and bolts in it and, while sitting with the purse handle on his foot, raised and lowered his toes which strengthened the muscles of the ankle. He added more metal as his ankle got stronger.
If you have a staircase wih a railing you can also do calf raises. Stand with just the ball of your foot on the stairs and try raising and lowering yourself. Wear shoes so you don't slip and keep a hand loosely on the railing in case you tip.
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I agree with most of the things other people post. But practice helps! more riding better heel!
From what i heard, standing on one foot helps a lot. It works all the ankle muscles from trying to balance, and its great because you can do it whenever, or while your doing something else!
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.
I have ankle problems and flat feet. I pactice picking up marbles and pencils with my feet :)
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