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Voodoo, Gypsy Vanner weanling; Malmsey, 15 yo arabxwelsh
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Hello everyone. I am a rider with issues with my knees and ankles. Long story there, but its affected me my whole life and I've been in and out of physical therapy since I was about 19.

Anywho, I have never been able to afford nicer irons, but now that I am getting older (29) and I am getting back into shape after 3 years out of the saddle...I need to take care of my body. I have had my fair share of launches, tumbles, drags...you name it. I also am unable to ride in any saddle that has knee blocks, as it puts pressure on my knees and I am down and out for DAYS with the worst possible flare.

I have struggled to really get my heel down, and my trainer/second mom agrees that as long as my heel is just a tiny bit down that I am pretty stable in the saddle. It's just my body's physical limitations.

I am looking into getting a pair of Herm Sprenger irons in the coming months, as I have heard that they do WONDERS for those with knee and ankle pain. Can anyone attest to this, or suggest other brands that may be a bit cheaper than two arms? Maybe just one arm? :ROFLMAO:
 

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I bought a pair of korsteel flex on sale and love them. Just the right angle for me. If that is all you need could make the difference without losing so many body parts.
 

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I got sprengers as broken my ankles 9 times across both. I'm 31. I understand heel down just enough for safety but it doesn't have to be exaggerated as a lot of past instructors insisted to me. On a cold morning I'm a cripple and dismounting was 50/50 if I landed wonky off a 17hh and broke them again. I think if you are hyper-flexible these stirrups would be terrible. But if you are stiff and need more give they are. AMAZING. I also have to ride longer length for comfort and on a bouncy horse means more likely to lose them so I got grippy ones. So, when my sprengers got stolen eventually, I got some cheap £40 flexi stirrups with a wide, grippy tread. They ALSO make all the difference but weren't as "buttery" if you get my meaning. I feel more secure so can relax more. In fact for leisure I'm thinking just getting cages for my stirrups so I can wear whatever footwear. When my knees and ankles ache I guard my position too much or just become spaghetti-seat. It was so bad that before one lesson lol between nerves and KNOWING I was gonna ache in my cheap irons before I knew that other stirrups were an option I maybe did or did not down a stiff one before getting on! It was a pretty happy ride :p

I think the biggest thing that helped me get my heel down - an impossible task it felt - was a wider tread (surface area) and that shock absorption. Vigilant ankle massages and exercises to keep them supple ofc. Also ankle boots did me no service. I have to wear full knee length boots that provide stability. The difference in ANY stirrups is huge for me, personally. Sprengers are really really amazing but you can also shop around for a cheaper brand second-hand and go from there?

Good luck ! ^>^
 
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