I can't put my left heel down, since I shattered that ankle 21 years ago. It has only 20-30% mobility even off a horse. Right one still flexes normally. However, I've never had a problem with any competent instructor. They can see my weight is in the heel even if the ankle doesn't flex.
I don't like it (when I see it in pictures) but I live with it.
Add me. High arches, tight tendons, who knows why, but they've never sunk down the way they should. I cheated and scooted my heel up in the boot and then put the boot heel down back in the day. However I think that for me thinking of having a relaxed ankle works the best, rather than toes up or heels down, otherwise I jam the heel down and have no flexion or shock absorbency. Just like the other poster, I stuck on through the strength of youth, not a good seat, and since youth is long gone I need a new method.
My knee issues limit what I can do with my lower legs I have found. As a kiddo I could flex with the best. now my knees just don't bend like they used to and it changed my seat and lower leg, including getting heels down.
My DH is worse: he had a shattered ankle, had lower back vertebra fused and his right leg was almost severed in an accident, reattached its a smidge shorter then the left and WILL NOT bend.
We look funny in the saddle, but we love to go.
Crayola posse ~ Lazer Lemon yellow Take time to give...it is too short a day to be selfish. - Ben Franklin
"for me thinking of having a relaxed ankle works the best, rather than toes up or heels down, otherwise I jam the heel down and have no flexion or shock absorbency"
I have to say that as a rider who started riding again after a 25 yr hiatus, it took a long time for the leg to flex and the heel to go down but now I too try to mentally think long and relaxed and balanced as opposed to heel down.. I recently was riding in Wyoming and there was a novice with us and despite having her heels ridiculously low and riding all day long in that position, I felt she was so stiff without any shock absorbancy, it hurt rather than help her position and balance.
I think that thinking "heel down" is wrong and messes up your position anyway- people shove their leg forward into chair position when told to force their heels down. Thinking kneel on the horse with long relaxed legs with toes up gets the correct muscles engaged and working.
Nope, I can't. I was born with bilateral clubbed feet, so my range of motion in both ankles is almost non-existent. I can't stand on my toes, wear heels, or put my heels down. I've had lots of bad experiences with trainers because of it, but I've also had some really helpful trainers that work around it.
When I ride with a new trainer for the first time, I always tell them about it upfront, just so they're aware. Most of the time, they don't care; the worst ever was when a woman wouldn't teach me. She "refuses to teach a little crippled girl." It's not like I hobble around on crutches, I just can't get my heels down! It's been just a tiny hinderence when I ride, but I've gotten used to dealing with it, and I just make up for it my securing my seat even more with my legs.
The best help I've ever got was actually fairly recently, my trainer told me to put my lower leg out in front of me just a hair, so I could still sink my weight into my lower leg/heel. Now, I've ALWAYS been taught that lower legs that far forward is a big no-no, but I've found it really helps.
At least I'm not alone in my little world of inflexibility. I was doing stretching exercises & seeing a massage therapist twice a week for almost a year and saw almost NO improvement in my ankles. Other places, yes; ankles no. Makes me crazy when I see pictures of myself.
Interesting about the mag levels...I've had just about every piece of bloodwork known to man done over the last few years for them to try to figure out some chronic pain problems with no luck. I'm going to have to go dig out my tests and see what it says for mag. Should I be looking at levels after fasting or at 'normal'? I have plenty of both tests!
Mine were done after fasting. Problem is, I have NO idea what the levels are supposed to be at, I just do what the doc says because it works! I think mine are going down now though, because I'm starting to get cramps in the calf muscles again... I've probably not been taking enough.
I thought I was the only one! I'm so glade I'm not alone.
I have very tight tendons, calf muscles, and hamstrings. I also have high arches.
I have no idea why I'm so stiff. Until the age of 8 I was very flexible, but then I started growing insane amounts 3inch a year. One year I grew 5inchs. I've always thought that my tendons just couldn't keep up with my growing.
The best I've ever been able to get is 1/2 an inch below level. The only way I achieved this was 20min of two point every day, yoga for over an hour every day, and stretching on the stairs.
I don't have time to do that now and my heels are up.It's very discouraging for me because everyone I know doesn't even stretch and their heels go down.
Also trainers just do not understand that I just can't get my heels down. My last trainer wouldn't let me jump anything over 2'6 until my heels came down. I was jumping 3'3 before I started with her. Also this trainer would go on and on about how I needed to switch to dressage because my heels wouldn't go down.
Originally Posted by ReSomething
I cheated and scooted my heel up in the boot and then put the boot heel down back in the day. .
I'd do that at shows all the time!!! My last trainer had a fit when she found out I did that. According to her I was cheating.
Add me to the club that cannot get my heels down (years & years of gymnasticts & ballet have given me incredible flexibility the other way though!). I've tried the "standing on the stairs", but all for naught! I can get my heels "just" past the straight line BUT my leg stays nice & still so my trainer is happy with that!
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
I have the highest arches I've ever seen on any human...so, it's like my heels were WAY down, and if my foot had been flat, my toes would have been up. But, because of the arch, the ball of my foot had curved back down, and the overall look was flat-footed.
To make it worse: the foot would be a normal length if flat, but all the length is used up in the arch, so foot measures tiny. Can't get that arch around the corner of the ankle in boots, and boots the size of my foot are too small in the calf and short, so...get BIGGER boots, maybe 2 1/2 sizes bigger! And my foot looks a normal size! Except in the stirrup - there's no foot (barely any toes) in the part of the boot that should contact the stirrup!
I finally gave up. Even custom boots wouldn't have made my heels look down.
Another person born with a clubfoot here, sigh. I finally now can get my lower leg tight enough for me to feel secure, and my heel is level, but sinking down into it is really hard because all the tendons/whatever in my foot and ankle are twisted and tight... Luckily, I've only had good experiences with the instructors I've worked with.
I just realized, I always sit in a chair with just my toes touching the ground. I'm probably tight through the calves and hamstrings as a result. I'm trying to correct myself and sit with my feet flat on the floor. However it's not as comfortable to sit with my feet flat on the ground. Anyone else sit this way?