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View Full Version : sore ankle from riding - any ideas?



Toni L
Jun. 2, 2008, 02:41 PM
Hi!

I have been lurking and learning from the messages for awhile and finally registered today so I could post.

I got my first horse the end of January - a 10 year old Tennessee Walking Horse. I got her for trail riding and I am having a blast with her. She has never been shown. She is the perfect first horse for me and she is teaching me a lot!

I am currently riding in a Trailmaster Aussie saddle from Downunder. Overall the saddle in very comfortable and fits her very well. We went to Eminence MO last month and rode over 100 miles - wow what a trip!!! But, since I have been back, now even if I go on shorter rides my left ankle just kills me and I can hardly walk when I get off. Any ideas on what I might try to fix this problem? The saddle currently has brass 4 bar stirrups on it. Since I am new to horses and all that goes with them, I am not sure how to better describe the stirrups – sorry.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!

Toni

jazzrider
Jun. 2, 2008, 03:01 PM
Well, if you're new to the saddle as well as the horse, you'll probably have some aches and pains as you adjust. Particularly if you're going to ride out for 100 miles. I would hurt after that regardless of the saddle or horse -- though it would more likely be my knees, not my ankles! How broken in is the saddle? I don't know much about Aussie saddles, but maybe you need to do the old oil and broom handle trick so that the stirrups are positioned better.

Congrats on your new horse! I'm also a relatively new TWH rider. Aren't they great? :D

Toni L
Jun. 2, 2008, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the message, but that is what is stange. When I went on the trip that we rode 100 miles over the week, I was not very sore. Sure I was a little stiff here and there, but nothing that was really uncomfortable. But, now since I have returned home the last few rides have been short ones - only a couple of hours, and about a hour into the ride my ankle starts to ache and keeps getting worse. I will take my foot out of the stirrup and move it around, but that doesn't help.

Can you tell me about the oil and broom handle trick? The Saddle I got new in January. One thing I have thought of is that the stirrup leathers did get wet several times when I was in MO doing a lot of water crossings. I did condition the leather after I got home, but maybe something changed due to the leather getting wet???

And yes, the TWH's are great. I had been ridng friends non gaited horses for several years and last year rode my first gaited horse and I feel in love with them and knew that that was what I wanted!

Toni

JetsBuddy
Jun. 2, 2008, 04:25 PM
You could try EZ Ride stirrups which are cushioned and have a wide foot base to alleviate strain. They come in different size necks and should accomodate Aussie leathers.

carp
Jun. 3, 2008, 12:14 AM
Can you tell me about the oil and broom handle trick? The Saddle I got new in January. One thing I have thought of is that the stirrup leathers did get wet several times when I was in MO doing a lot of water crossings. I did condition the leather after I got home, but maybe something changed due to the leather getting wet???



The broom handle method is for saddles with fenders: western saddles and western influenced hybrid Aussie saddles. It's probably not relevant for you if you've got a traditional Aussie saddle with English style leathers. A problem with western saddles is that the stirrups want to lie flat against the horse's sides. Fighting a stiff, eight inch wide fender to get the stirrup into proper riding position can be pretty painful. You can shorten the breaking in period by rubbing oil or water on the fenders, twisting them around, and then running a broom handle through the stirrups to hold them in place while the leather dries.

jazzrider
Jun. 3, 2008, 11:13 AM
Thanks carp, for explaining it -- you did a better job than I would have! :yes:

Toni -- I didn't realize that your saddle would have English style stirrups. Sound like you've injured or strained your ankle some how -- either on the 100 mile ride or after. Now riding is aggravating it. No way to know if it's from riding unless you give yourself some time to heal and then see. Advil is your friend. :winkgrin:

If it is from riding, Jetsbuddy's suggestion for EZ ride stirrups (there's another thread here with a link) is a good one. You could also look at Sprengers if you do have English rigging.

Mendin Fences
Jun. 3, 2008, 12:24 PM
I only have an English saddle, and if I go out for a trail ride (even a short 30min) I get sharp pains in my right knee and both ankles. Both knees if it's a longer ride.
My husband is a resident (doctor) and he said the best cure is... stop riding :rolleyes: Yeah right. He has me take aleves if I complain too much. He's not sympathetic when I use that excuse to tell him I need a trail saddle.

Halcyon Days
Jun. 3, 2008, 12:36 PM
I find that I'm in agony if I do a walking trail ride for an hour, but I can GAIT for hours on end and not get sore. I feel fabulous after a 50 mile endurance ride if I mix it up a lot, walking, flat walking, running walk, some racking, a canter, etc--gotta move those joints around. I have rheumatoid arthritis and trust me, am used to joint pain--take painkillers BEFORE you get on, will keep the inflamation down and make your ride a whole lot more fun. Also check to make sure you're riding balanced, a lot of people tend to brace with one knee without being aware of it--sit up very straight, even weight in both seat bones and think about light feet contact in stirrups and even bend in both knees. You can also try dropping your stirrups one hole and see if that helps.

joe21
Jun. 3, 2008, 01:59 PM
Turning the stirrup leathers (broom trick) can help on a western saddle. For me, that usually has helped knee discomfort.

In my experience, ankle issues are stirrup related. I have a saddle I ride all the time that worked great. Recently, a stirrup broke and I had to go back to my old stirrups. Now, I get ankle pain after long rides.

See if there are stirrups you can borrow and test out. You need to find something that is comfortable for you.

Another think to try is stirrup length. Up or down one hole can sometimes help quite a bit.

BaileyTW
Jun. 3, 2008, 03:55 PM
are your stirrups too short? I had the problem for a while that I had my stirrups too short for my weak ankles and by the time I was done riding (even a shorter ride) the whole muscle that goes from my ankle to knee on ym calf was cramped... could hardly walk for days after. I put my stirrups down a hole or 2 and it solved the problem. When I ride out in my jumping saddle I have to keep the stirrups short, but I try and kick my feet out of the stirrups fairly regularly if we are just walking or jogging so I can stretch my legs.

DickHertz
Jun. 3, 2008, 04:01 PM
Hi!

I have been lurking and learning from the messages for awhile and finally registered today so I could post.

I got my first horse the end of January - a 10 year old Tennessee Walking Horse. I got her for trail riding and I am having a blast with her. She has never been shown. She is the perfect first horse for me and she is teaching me a lot!

I am currently riding in a Trailmaster Aussie saddle from Downunder. Overall the saddle in very comfortable and fits her very well. We went to Eminence MO last month and rode over 100 miles - wow what a trip!!! But, since I have been back, now even if I go on shorter rides my left ankle just kills me and I can hardly walk when I get off. Any ideas on what I might try to fix this problem? The saddle currently has brass 4 bar stirrups on it. Since I am new to horses and all that goes with them, I am not sure how to better describe the stirrups – sorry.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!

Toni

Stand next to something you can hold and push to stand on your tip toes then back down. Do this 100 times per night for a few weeks. You'll make your ankle and calves stronger which may prevent you from getting sore. This helped me riding and I also did the same exercise when I started playing hockey - you need strong ankles to play or else you will get really sore.

BaileyTW
Jun. 3, 2008, 04:03 PM
Stand next to something you can hold and push to stand on your tip toes then back down. Do this 100 times per night for a few weeks. You'll make your ankle and calves stronger which may prevent you from getting sore. This helped me riding and I also did the same exercise when I started playing hockey - you need strong ankles to play or else you will get really sore.

This is a good exercise. My trainer had me stand on a staircase, facing up the stairs, with just the balls of my feet on the step, hold the railing and lower my heels then raise them up. Definitely helped too.

RebelLover
Jun. 5, 2008, 04:57 PM
Maybe longer stirrups? (I have a walker/mountain horse, aren't they just lovies!)