Help for foot pain in western saddle
 
 

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Help for foot pain in western saddle

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  • Install stirrup straightener western saddle
  • Western stirrup for ankle pain

 
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    09-27-2013, 11:42 PM
  #1
Started
Help for foot pain in western saddle

The bottoms of my feet always hurt and go numb after I spend about an hour trail ride in a western saddle. I can ride all day in the arena in an English saddle with no problems. Why, and what can I do?
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    09-28-2013, 12:40 AM
  #2
Trained
Can you post a picture? At a guess, I'd say you are either having the fenders twist your feet in so they are not level (side to side) on the bottom of the stirrup, or you are bracing and pushing down hard in the western saddle. I've done both, and both hurt my feet but in somewhat different ways. But a photo would make it much easier for folks to give you better advice. BTW - I rarely ride western anymore, because our saddle puts my leg in a weird position and I lose all contact below the knee. So take my analysis with, well...

     
    09-28-2013, 01:28 AM
  #3
Showing
I only have a problem with my feet hurting/going numb when I brace in western stirrups. I don't know I'm doing it most of the time until my feet start to hurt.
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    09-28-2013, 03:52 PM
  #4
Started
My guess would be bracing (as suggested above). If I brace I have an issue. I just remind myself to relax the legs and let them be loose along the side of the horse. You can get stirrup straighteners for your western saddle that take all pressure off legs due to keeping the fenders bent.
     
    09-28-2013, 03:55 PM
  #5
Foal
More info would be needed to better answer your question. First off, I am not an expert by any means as I have just taken up riding again after a 20 year hiatus. I too had some problems right away with pain and discomfort riding western, first issue was my foot position in the stirrup. Many will say for safety you have to have toes straight ahead, heals down and the stirrup on the ball of your foot. While it sounds logical, this is not a great position for people as they age and it seems of the many opinions I have found, until I did some research on the history and evolution of tack did I find my solution and answer. For starters I started to oil my fenders and use a broom stick to help my new tack conform on its own rather than at the force of how my legs want to sit naturally. This stopped the ankle and calf burn almost completely but my feet would ache and I could never get comfortable in the saddle as it was hard to relax. With my research I found a very important piece of tack that sometime between 1930 and 1950 disappeared from the tack line of things and became assumed as a fashion thing and I am talking cowboy boots. They were never invented as a thing of fashion actually they were created as they are as a tool and a very important safety device. The heels are exaggerated to keep the stirrup seated firmly under your arch (for comfort and control) and to prevent your foot from slipping through the stirrup. The pointed toe and slick bottom was to aid in mounting the stirrup and release from the stirrup. The laceless riser was made so if you fell off the horse and your boot were to hang in the stirrup, your foot could dislodge and slip from the boot. Now knowing its design, it made me think about it and change how I placed my foot. When I started running my foot home in the stirrup, all of my pain ceased and I was quickly comfortable in the saddle, slightly forward of the cantle and relaxed. I found less tendency to grab the horn and more encouragement to go with the flow and movement of my horse. I know my reply is a little drawn out and I am sure you will get some to argue the points but facts are what they are and this helped me greatly. Good luck to you and your quest for comfort.
     
    09-28-2013, 04:04 PM
  #6
Trained
Because you ride English I would guess that you may be trying to ride your western stirrups the same length as your English stirrups.

Just yesterday I had my stirrups adjusted farther up from riding my colts and forgot to let them down when we went to go push cows off the mountain. After a couple of hours my feet were going numb. I had hop off let my stirrups back out and they were fine for the rest of the day.
I agree with posting a picture so you can get a better answer.
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    09-28-2013, 04:44 PM
  #7
Weanling
I had my feet go a bit sore one day when I took my Eddie up into a field that we hadn't ridden in previously and he was being VERY forward and it felt like he would bolt if given the chance. I was not aware that I was bracing on my stirrups the whole time, but when I got back to the yard and got off, hoo boy, were my feet tingling. This was in an english saddle.

What I would do is take your feet out of the stirrups if you are comfortable doing that, and your horse is not likely to spook or bolt on you on a trail ride. When you are walking or jogging/trotting, just let your leg hang there while using your thigh muscles to keep you balanced and positioned. Then after a while put your feet back in the stirrups and do the same gaits. If your feet get sore then you are bracing, I bet.
     
    09-28-2013, 10:22 PM
  #8
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
Because you ride English I would guess that you may be trying to ride your western stirrups the same length as your English stirrups.

Just yesterday I had my stirrups adjusted farther up from riding my colts and forgot to let them down when we went to go push cows off the mountain. After a couple of hours my feet were going numb. I had hop off let my stirrups back out and they were fine for the rest of the day.
I agree with posting a picture so you can get a better answer.
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I think this could be the problem. I do tend to keep them short for western,
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