View Full Version : Ankle Pain UPDATE*

Apr. 6, 2012, 04:27 PM
Hey guys so recently I've begun taking lessons after taking a year off after selling my mare. I started having this problem a few months before taking that year off as well.

When starting to work in two point my right ankle becomes really painful and super uncomfortable to ride around in. By the end of my ride, to go around a course in a two point feels horrible. it feels like my ankle is rolling out (which it is) and so it's as if you stand up and roll your feet out so your only on the outside edge of ur foot.
my trainer showed me where I want my foot to be so my ankle wont do that but it feels impossible.
I hate to blame it on my saddle/stirrups but i feel like there's something else besides me not riding correctly and my foots being pushed into that awkward position.
I have a BdH Original with royal rider flexible stirrups. Before that I had a oversized Michael Whittaker saddle lol and used the same stirrups and never remember havin a problem.I used to exercise some of the race horses in that saddle, cranked up stirrups and in a two point for half an hour -_- ..However then I remember when I first started having these problems I had tuo ride in my trainers tad coffin saddle with regular steel stirrups and I had the same pain.
it's annoying me so bad cause I'm so focused on how uncomfortable I am, I can't ride with full effort.

Anyone go through this or any advice? I want to figure it out! I have no pain in my ankle when I'm not in the saddle

Apr. 6, 2012, 05:05 PM
Concentrate on putting your weight on the inside of your heel. When I came back to riding after time off I had the same problem. Just needed to get my strength back.

Apr. 6, 2012, 05:22 PM
I know and that's what I'm hoping but I was havig this before I took a break..I had been riding for many many consecutive years then

Tha Ridge
Apr. 6, 2012, 05:35 PM
Have you ever had an ankle injury? I've had several and my ankles do the same thing.

For me, the flexible stirrups make it much worse since there's a lot more "give"—which means my ankle is free to roll out even more. I've had the best luck with these irons: http://www.smartpakequine.com/mdc-hunter-classic-stirrup-10325p.aspx The wide tread gives my ankle much, much more support, and in turn, creates a steadier leg. I know they're more expensive than regular irons (although actually not, if you're using flexible irons now), but they are well worth it.

Apr. 6, 2012, 06:11 PM
I experience the same problem, and I am not coming back from a break. I have found relief using a wedge pad on the stirrups but my trainer doesn't like where that puts my leg so I am eager to hear what responses you get.

Apr. 6, 2012, 06:24 PM
My assisatnt has had ankle issues due to an old gymnastics injury, maybe she will chimne in...

Just curious, your paddocks boots? tall boots? halfchaps? crooked stirrup leathers?

Apr. 6, 2012, 06:45 PM
I have sprain my ankle many times and had a lot of ankle pain. I Tried MDC stirrups up them at a 90 degree angle and -- NO PAIN. If you can try a pair to see if they help do it.

Apr. 6, 2012, 06:50 PM
I took a year off some time ago and had a similar problem. I found the flex stirrups to be a great relief. See if a friend at your stable will lend you a pair to try, maybe they will be a relief for your pain.

Apr. 6, 2012, 06:55 PM
I have the same problem & I think it might just be a strength thing; it's not that you're riding incorrectly, it's just that the muscles that normally would be holding your ankle straight aren't as strong right now. It's gotten a lot better since I started riding more than once a week. I've also found that it goes away if I drop my stirrups for a little bit; when it's giving me trouble, I get in the habit of dropping my stirrups any time I'm walking for more than a few seconds. If you need more time, I'm sure your trainer wouldn't complain if you requested to work without irons for a few minutes. :P

Apr. 6, 2012, 07:14 PM
for it, its def not a strength thing, its always there and has been since I had surgery 16 yrs ago. Its worse when Im crooked so Im constantly reminding myself to reposition and stay even in the saddle. I also second the flex stirrups actually making my ankles hurt more. I think it's b/c of the flex, im constantly feeling like i need to feel the support that they dont provide. I do way better in regular stirrups. Finally, I have come to the realization that if I ride a half a hole long, my ankles dont hurt so much. My heels are still down and I feel the support, but Im not in pain.

Apr. 6, 2012, 09:06 PM
okay thanks everyone this was awesome to read an know it's not just me. I was actually looking into the MDC stirrups because their thought process (watched the video) seems to make a lot more sense.

The flexible stirrup theory makes a lot of sense in that it's just too much. I don't think it's stregnth because as I said I had this before when I was riding multiple horses a day, 6 days a week.

mrsbradbury.. I ride in tall boots and my stirrup leather are perfect.. I've even tried putting them on wrong lol..obv made it worse. No injuries at all

I am definitely going to try the MDC stirrups, for those of you having the same problem I'll update as I go through the trial and error!

Apr. 6, 2012, 09:14 PM
I have exactly the same problem and no it's not a strength thing. Personally, I have benign hyper mobility syndrome in my ankles (as well as other joints) and they roll out. Without the stablity from the tendons and ligaments the task of keeping my ankle under me falls to the muscles, which fatigue within minutes.

I find more stability, rather than less, is what helps me ride without pain. Flex stirrups were the devil incarnate. I use wedge stirrup pads, the kind that wedge from side to side, rather than front to back, with the higher side on the outside of my foot. A google search of wedge stirrups will usually bring up a pair or two. They are a cheap enough option that I reccomend them to anyone with ankle pain. If they don't work you're only out around $5 and the cost of shipping. Much cheaper than trying flex stirrups, unless you can borrow a pair.

You could try an ankle brace or tape, that helped with stability, but I found them to be too bulky and annoying.

Apr. 7, 2012, 12:24 AM
I am MrsBradbury's assistant that she mentioned earlier. And Twisting and I have the same problem. I used to have chronic ankle sprains due to hyper-flexive ankle joints. I had surgery to correct a rupture in my right ankle in December so I not only have experience with loose ligament pain but post surgery pain.

As far as the flex stirrups I can't use them because of my ankles, they cause me excruciating pain and I feel very unbalanced. Riding in tall boots is good but maybe try out a pair of half chaps if they are handy?You can also try a compression stocking or other compression sock though they are a bit bulky and can be difficult to slide into a boot; compression stocking rolls are cheap if you want to explore that as an option.

As far as what I do with my position when I ride and through the summer I often ride 3-5 a day is try to bring my heel up about a quarter inch. I know that sounds crazy because everyone wants a nice flexible heel but my ligaments are so flexible that the bones in my ankle will start to grind together if I allow my heel to lock all the way down. I don't feel the need to drop my stirrups that often, I just lift my heel if my ankles get tired.

The last thing I would suggest is that if pain persists to think about visiting your doctor, just for a quick tension check and maybe an x-ray. If they have nothing to tell you then at least you have piece of mind. I only say this because I have had a lot of chronic ankle pain and fatigue and if I could have avoided surgery by trying physical therapy or a corrective orthodic before my injuries I would definitely have chosen that path.

Good luck! I hope this gets sorted out for you

Apr. 7, 2012, 01:12 AM
I sprained my ankle and had the same issue. I'd be fine on the flat and when jumping around a course my ankle would " fall out". I had the problem initially when I had a sprain and didn't let it heal and ended up a year later with pain still in that ankle. Turned out I had a bone bruise in the joint. Went to the doc and got a brace and specific orthodics. Also went to the chiro to realign it after walking funny for a year. Now I get pain when Im bracing on my stirrups too much and wearing shoes I'm not supposed to ( flip-flops). I really liked the flex stirrups initially but now I get pain when I use ones that allow me to flex too much. I also found the best brace/wrap was co-flex/vetwrap. It was thin enough to fit in tall boots but also strong enough to keep my ankle from falling out.

Apr. 7, 2012, 10:21 AM
I had a similar problem many, many years ago where my left ankle would "roll out" & be quite painful.(I remember being on course once & thinking it might snap- ugh) I started using sports tape to support it which worked very well for me.

Apr. 16, 2012, 03:59 PM
I almost always have to vet wrap my ankles for the same reason. My legs are strong, but my knee and ankle joints are just a bit wonky and so they hurt sometimes.
Also, what's your foot position like? If you're trying to jam your toes forward at an unnatural angle, it can cause ankle pain. While you do want your toes to be somewhat forward, some people like me just aren't put together in a way that makes toes straight ahead possible.

Apr. 16, 2012, 09:56 PM
I couldnt ride in the black flexy stirrups, either! Too much give and my ankles would hurt in them. I actually did find some in the middle...not the prettiest things but they have a SLIGHT give to them. They have a grey rubber piece on the outside and they are a lot cheaper than the Flex stirrups. I'll check out brand name tomorrow when im around my saddle again. :P

Hunter Mom
Apr. 16, 2012, 10:08 PM
Having hurt my ankles multiple times, I cannot ride in flex stirrups. In fact, I sold mine last month. Plain, heavy Fillis irons are all I can stand to use any more. I have the Super Comfort Stirrup Pads, which I think help a lot in comfort as well. The other thing that I found with the non-flex stirrups is that my base of support is 100 times better.

Apr. 25, 2012, 02:55 PM

for those of you who this might help, I got the MDC Sport Classic stirrups which have nothing new from a traditional stirrup besides MDCs signature which has the rotating top.
I did a lot of research and decided on these because I did really like the idea and evidence brought to the table. I decided against getting their additional feature with and flex throughout the stirrup cause after thinkin about my problems I really dont need anymore flex through my ankle, just support.

So I had my first ride in them today. I started out with them both turned 90 degrees and I felt good! I was trotting around in my two point a little bit and felt great. About 10-15 minutes in I started to feel it again though! It was such a let down and so frustrating. Then I came up with the idea to turn the top of the stirrup an extra 45 degrees. They don't advertise this as something you can do but the stirrups aren't limited to only the 90. To try and give you a visual:
Top view of the stirrup..
No rotation: |
45 degrees: /
90 degrees: __
135 degrees \

Now the angle of 45 and 135 is not as dramatic but you get it.
Turning my stirrup that 135 degrees put the outside of my stirrup farther back on the ball of my foot really pulling the outside of my foot up and makin it harder for it to roll in which was my problem.
I did this and felt absolutely wonderful.. I was cantering in a two point with no pain! Now when my foot was not set up correctly in the stirrup the pain came right back but was easily fixed by adjusting the stirrup back to the ball of my foot.It was lovely and I felt that stability I used to have with my leg again! what a difference.

My ankle weirdly enough feels a bit sore, not a painful sore but more so like when u work a muscle that hasn't been worked in a while. Even when i was goig through painful rides I was never in pain once my feet were out of the stirrups. So I'm setting up some thoughts and I'm hoping that when the pain went away and my ankle was using itself properly those muscles were also working, becoming stronger. With time hopefully they'll gain strength and it will help me even more.

LOL don't know if anyone cares but just in case theres anyone out there suffering also, the money may be worth it with these stirrups.Im excited to play with them more!

Apr. 25, 2012, 05:54 PM
Glad to hear it. Continue to do the ankle strengthening exercises. If you didn't get an examples there's a lot online. BOT ankle brace work well too.