Hip problems+ cantering= difficulty - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-06-2011, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: northeast Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,205
• Horses: 6
Hip problems+ cantering= difficulty

I had stopped riding when I got pregnant in 2006, when I was pregnant I had some pretty bad problems with my hips, I would be walking and all of a sudden I would take a step and get an intense pain shooting down my leg, It was so bad it would be hours before I could put full weight on the leg(it alternated sides from what I remember). The doctors never really thought anything of it, nor did they really investigate it at all. The hip pain got better after I had my son but every once in a while I'll get that pain again(mostly left hip). There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, sometimes I'll roll out of bed and I feel the pop before I can stop myself the pain comes, others I'll just be walking and it will happen, although the pain doesn't last as long. When I'm walking it will happen mid step before I can even put my foot on the ground, it's very strange. I wish I could go to the doctor for it but I don't have insurance.

I think this pain is interfering with my riding. It doesn't hurt while I'm riding but my hips are very stiff. A friend of mine who is a massage therapist commented once that when I walk I don't move my hips, I shift my whole body. When I am posting my instructor tells me I kind of stick my butt out, I can correct it but it is very very hard to stay that way. We have been cantering more lately and I notice the stiffness in my hips really effects me at the canter. Last week I rode a horse who's canter is so smooth you can barley tell it from when she is racking(she's s standardbred who sometimes racks instead of trots). So it wasn't really an issue last week, I wanted to ride her again today but she was being tough to catch so Val(BO) got Molly instead, I love Molly but her canter is heavy and I was having a lot of trouble not slamming my butt while cantering, I was trying to relax my hips and let them move with her but they wouldn't cooperate.
Does anyone have any exercises on or off the horses that I can work on stretching and loosening my hips? I don't know if my hips were stiff before I got pregnant, I rode western and was young so I didn't really pay attention. I do think it has been worse since my fall at the end of July, I landed hard on the left side of my butt. Thanks for any help and suggestions! I'm too young for all these problems! I'm only 25!
Rachel1786 is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 09-11-2011, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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I have had the same issue - nice to know I can blame it on childbirth - 30 years ago! It starts at the walk - feeling yourself relax into the gait - let your hips swing with the movement. I know "let" is such a subjective term - it has taken me a long time to "let". Then try at the trot - I used to (sometimes still do) post straight up and down - have been working on swinging my hips back and forth - from the pommel to the center of your saddle. Eventually, I found that I could do that while keeping my calf on my horse. I find that I totally lock up at the canter - so I am working on making my cue more subtle and relaxing my leg. Think you are a sack of flour - sit heavy, don't try to hold yourself up (my thing) - just go with it. Also, for me, the more I ride, the better it gets. Good luck!
justashowmom is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 09-12-2011, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Sounds like an SI joint problem. It is probably popping out and pinching the nerve when it does so. It normally starts because you have done something like lift something heavy and twist at the same time. Pregnancy seems like it could do that. I got mine from taking bottles out of a lift when I worked in a bar. Once it starts, it will continue, but physical therapy or a good chiropractor should be able to help you manage it. There are also stretches you can do to help keep the muscles aligned correctly.
PoohLP is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 09-12-2011, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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IF your doctor okays it, I would recommend that you take an adult ballet class. I took ballet, tap and acrobatics when I was a kid, and I continue to stretch and stay flexible. Most adults walk and stress their knees and hips bc they have not learned how to use their "butt" muscles and they have weak thighs. Ballet teaches you to stand straighter, make your legs work correctly, exercise your ankles by strengthening them, and, of course to stretch and bend pretty much your whole body. You know how we should ride weighted? Ballet will teach you to relax your body while doing a cardio workout.
ONLY if your doctor says it's okay, BUT, I believe that it will help you with your hips. Let us know what you do. =D
Corporal is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 09-21-2011, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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First find a GOOD chiropractor - sounds like your hips are out of whack. He'll pop them back into place BUT since it's been a while since they were in place your muscles will pull them out until you "retrain" your muscles. So Chiro 3x/first week or two, then twice a week for about 2 weeks, then you may be fine. My horse atriner had hers out for many years (injury from horse knocked it out and she didn't know of any good chiropractors until I introduced her to my horse chiro who does humans). Chiro had her wear a stretchy thing around her hips 24x7 except when showering for a few months - gradually weaned her off it and now she feels perfect (after years of having issues).
looks like this

If your hips are out (sounds like they are) this would contribute to making them tight since muscles are already compensating.

Some exercises before you mount to help stretch - I stand do one I call the "male dog peeing" exercise - works just like it sounds - lift your leg (one at a time while standing on the other leg) to open up hip.

Others I've found:
  • Stand with feet slightly apart and flat on the ground with weight evenly distributed. Knees are slightly bent and your hands on hips. Look forward. Rotate your hips in small circles in both directions.
  • Stand with feet slightly apart, knees slightly bent and your hands on hips with thumbs extending to rest on your lower back. Look forward. Rotate hips forward and backward without moving your upper body or legs. These are the movements your hips make when you ride.
Stretches to Open the Hips and to Prevent Hip Pain and Injury Video

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Valentina is offline  

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