Knee pain/ankle discomfort - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 4 Old 03-30-2014, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Knee pain/ankle discomfort

During my trail ride, I found it a lot harder to keep my toes up, heels down while riding. Part of it is needing to get back in the habit. But, as I was riding, I remember that part of it might also be that I need to strengthen up those muscles in my ankles again after not riding for long periods for some time.

As I was riding, I was getting some knee pain when I put my left heel down as well. I had a hip injury some years ago as a young kid, and I'm not as flexible in my left hip as I am in my right. So I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I had minor knee ache in my right, but nothing compared to my left.
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-30-2014, 10:12 PM
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When trail riding, you need to be more comfortable, and if you are mostly just walking for a long time, you'll have to find a comfy position. Unless you are posting, or jumping, you don't have to be overly worried about ankle down. As long as you are not pointing your toe down so that you have your foot going too far into the stirrup, or, in the case of long stirrups, losing your stirrup with the downward pointing toe. One can also end up with an upward gripping calf in such a position.

Really, if your feet are more or less parallel to the ground, that is plenty. Overly focussing on heels down often makes people push INTO the stirrup and brace the knee, which makes them pop up and out of the saddle if the horse should stop suddenly.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-30-2014, 10:17 PM
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-30-2014, 11:05 PM
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Interesting related reading here:

Weak/Rolling Ankles as an English Rider

Injuries to one side tend to make us asymmetrical, and it affects the way we ride. Things like Yoga and Pilates are really helpful for countering such tendencies, especially if you can do them three times a week or more - it's ideal complementary exercise to horse riding, if you can fit it in your schedule. It will not only make you more comfortable riding, but more limber and flexible and comfortable in general, and prevent back injuries and lots of physical issues. For me, I have to actually go to a class - solitary with DVD or music doesn't do it for me!
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