Leg pain in rising trot? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-07-2020, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Leg pain in rising trot?

So I've been riding about 2 years now, and do weekly treks, where I've learned to walk, trot and I'm working on cantering. Up until last December, everything was fine, and I was really working on improving my posture in particular.
I got on my favourite lesson horse, an older gelding, and while we were leaving the yard, he put his head down for grass while going down a hill. I pulled him back up, but in doing so I think I strained my thigh muscles while trying to maintain my balance.

When we got out on the road (me, instructor and another rider) we went for a trot. I noticed that I struggled to push myself out of the saddle when rising, and during this particular lesson, we did a lot of trotting. I felt like I couldn't really ask to slow down, because the other rider has a lot more stamina and experience than I do, and if we didn't go quicker we'd be late coming back to the yard. I ended up having to use my hands to balance on my horse's neck, my legs were so sore. It was like my legs couldn't hold my weight.

Over the course of the past few months, the pain sometimes eased off, especially when I went riding with less experienced riders instead. I mentioned it after a lesson one time to my instructor, but I said I didn't want to quit riding. We've done a lot of liberty lessons in the arena since January which I worry has stopped me getting back my strength in a consistent, gradual way(since at one point it was almost 6 weeks before I did a proper hack again). Some weeks I can trot for ages without feeling sore, but other weeks are agonizing. Today was one of the worst, I wasn't feeling great to start, and by the end of the trek, I was exhausted, in pain(in both my ankle and thighs) and nauseous. I think the incident on the hill might've caused my problems, but I don't really know how to build back up my muscles to how they were before? Sometimes if I'm in bad pain I'll try sitting trot, but since my horse is older, it doesn't feel fair on him. Any advice on this?
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-07-2020, 11:42 AM
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Pain that has persisted this long is something that should be checked by a doctor. That said and with the understanding that "seeing a doctor" if you're in the US can be a tall order:

What have you tried that makes it better? Stretching, ice, heat, going for a walk? Does anything non-riding related exacerbate it?
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-07-2020, 02:27 PM
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Sounds like more than a pull or strain.sounds like a tear. Time to have it professionally evaluated where ever you are. And as much as I hate to say it you probably need to alter your riding style around your injury as well as give it some time to heal.
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Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-07-2020, 02:59 PM
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I agree that professional evaluation is needed.


Are you active in other ways? appoximate age?
Does anything else make it hurt? How about your back? is anything changed there?


If it were a torn muscle, one would think you would have felt that happen, when you pulled the horse's head up. I've torn muscles before, And there was avery distinct feeling of a large rubber band sort of exploding/breaking, and immediate strong pain. No mistaking it at all. But, a small tear in the bursa, say where your leg bone fits into the hip socket, might not be so radical.


Really, you should see a doc.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-07-2020, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm 17, and the pain is only there during maybe 2 out of 3 lessons- I don't think it affects any other form of exercise. I can walk and run normally (apart from straight after a bad ride of course), and I even did a Pilates lesson for the first time in months on Thursday and it was fine.
It only hurts while riding, and it's like my legs are too weak to support me. Walking and cantering are generally fine, it's just trotting that brings it up.
I don't really remember any major details about the head-pulling, but I suppose I'd say that when he put his head down I felt a kind of "stretch" in my leg? The fact that we usually do really long periods of rising trot multiple times probably doesn't help, and I can say it to my instructor, but it's hard to get a less intense private session that suits. I don't know if I'll get a chance to see a doctor, but I'll think about it, I didn't realize it could be anything serious.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-07-2020, 05:57 PM
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h m m . weakness can mean that a nerve is being impinged in some way. Like Sciatica, the nerve gets pinched, and it functions less well. Then the leg gets 'weak' and just won't work as your brain tells it too. Then other muscles start to compensate for that, and they get tired out fast.


some inflammation in the groin area could be putting pressure on a nerve that serves your lower leg.



have you tried taking an antiimflammatory medicine before a tough lesson? like ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium?
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