leg pain after riding without stirrups - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-22-2013, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 954
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leg pain after riding without stirrups

hey all,

i was hoping you might be able to help me figure out what i'm doing wrong! lol.

i do a lot of riding without stirrups, probably more than i should, but i'm trying to improve my riding form and feel like i sit a horse much better without using stirrups. i am not gripping with the backs of my calves, and keep my leg in the same position as if my foot was in the stirrup. i ride in an older wintec dressage saddle.

i'd say my rides are at least 2/3 stirrup-less, and i ride for about an hour each time. a lot of it is walking and teaching my lease horse to flex/carry himself properly, lateral movements, and some slow sitting trot. a little bit of cantering.

my outer right leg, the muscle running from about mid thigh to just below my knee, hurts and is stiff after i ride. my left leg is not affected at all. i don't feel my right leg being in an incorrect position at all, and it only hurts after i dismount. it will hurt and be stiff for days afterwards.

what am i doing wrong???
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-29-2013, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: BC
Posts: 452
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I'll take a stab at this and suggest it is your iliotibial band that is tight or is sore from trying to stabilize your leg from the hip to the knee.
You might not be doing anything wrong, if you are right legged perhaps its just strong/tight from being dominant.

Try rolling the entire length of the side of your leg where its sore (go from just below the hip as well) to just above the knee, with a foam roller or a massage ball. No need to really go below the knee as its a tendinous connection there.
Back off on the stirrup less work for a bit. I admire you. That takes stamina!
livelovelaughride is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 06-29-2013, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 954
• Horses: 1
last night was better! i once again rode for about an hour, and 10 minutes into my ride i got rid of my stirrups. my goal this ride was to be very aware of what my hip, seat, and leg were doing at all times and this morning i don't have the same pain. woo hoo! i was doing something wrong, i just don't know what!
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