View Full Version : Adaptations for stiff ankles and hands?

gully's pilot
Dec. 2, 2009, 12:52 PM
Hi all--

I'm a regular on the event board. My 11-year-old daughter, Katie, is just starting to event. She has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis--it just flared again this summer, after being in remission for a few years. Right now her ankles, wrists, and fingers all have limited mobility--it's very hard for her to tighten a girth, for example, because she can't easily close her fingers around the billet. She's doing alright with rubber reins. I thought of getting her some of those flexible stirrup irons, but I've never tried them, and I honestly don't know if they'd be better or worse for her. Any suggestions? Any other ideas that might help her? Note that nothing she does will make her arthritis worse--it might hurt, but won't damage her--so there's no harm in trying, except that I hate to spend the money for the stirrups if it's a stupid idea.

Natalie A
Dec. 2, 2009, 01:34 PM
I have a very, very stiff ankle from club foot surgery as a young child and really notice a difference when I ride with jointed stirrups as opposed to with "normal" stirrups. I've been riding in a saddle with the ridiculously (IMO) expensive Herm Sprenger 4-F Bow Balance Irons and totally love them for helping me to keep my foot positioned correctly in the stirrup. I've also ridden with the knock-off jointed irons, and liked them too.

Dec. 2, 2009, 01:37 PM
I use these - they are not jointed but they are turned which makes it easier on my ankle and easier for this beginner to pick up her stirrups when she loses them http://www.dressage-ext.com/ProductDetail.asp?KEY=13061

There is also a good review of high-tech stirrups at http://www.myhorse.com/gear/tack/high-tech_stirrups.aspx#top

Dec. 2, 2009, 02:24 PM
I love my MDC Ultimate Stirrups. I find them flexible enough to help with my back issues, but more stable than some others so that may be a benefit. I also like that you can adjust the angle of the stirrup leather to normal, 45 or 90 degrees.

For girth tightening, I thought someone posted a link on another thread to a gadget that helped with that. I believe it was on Dressage Extensions website?

Dec. 3, 2009, 11:17 AM
I feel her pain, quite literally. I am going to get some Icelandic stirrups from National Bridle Shop (41 bucks) and see if that helps with the stiff ankle/lost stirrup problem. I just got a new saddle and it took the better part of an HOUR and many cuss words to put my Webbers on it....that's how feeble my hands are, especially when its coolish. Next will be the move to Western converters when I cant buckle a girth anymore...as the foundress of the Gray Panthers famously said, Old age is not for wimps.