If my bones heal properly, I am going to be cleared by the doctor to start riding in September. Before my accident, I was having trouble "holding" my stirrups. I have idiopathic small fiber peripheral neuropathy which causes my feet to be numb. I cannot fully feel my stirrups. Actually, I can barely feel them and have to use my hands to put my feet in the stirrups. I have tried the Herm Sprenger System 4 stirrups with regular stirrup pads, cheese grater pads, and the "Super Comfort" pads. The HS stirrups are a definite no. I have also used regular stirrup irons with all the aforementioned pads.
Are there any of you out there with numb feet? If so, have any of you tried the MDC stirrups? I really don't know if the MDC's might help me keep my stirrups or if this would just be a dumb idea. Any opinions out there?
There is an FEI rider out there who has a waiver to ride without stirrups. There was an article in DT about her. Her problem was pain related, not numbness, but I would think the numbness would be putting you at risk.
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
I can get numbness in one foot due to sciatica. The offset eye *can* help keep the stirrup in place... but I wonder if something that swivelled freely, like a spanish stirrup might be better?
I'm not sure. Maybe someone with more therapuetic riding experience than me can help. I really like endurance type wide-tread stirrups for some of my Special Olympians. You can get them in 'english' stirrups... even the four bar polo or Aussie saddle irons might help? I'm not sure the angle of the leather is the issue, so much as the iron staying more stable and more in one place???
I don't have any answers, but I am watching what others have to say with keen interest.
I have numbness in both feet, due to a spinal cord injury, and have had a huge amount of trouble keeping my stirrups. I can't pick my stirrups up once I lose them, and have to stop and either have someone else place my foot back in or I have to reach down and place my foot back by hand myself.
Becoming more stable with my seat helped a lot, but it seems I have hit a wall in recent weeks.
I am looking for the same thing because of spinal cord problems. The USEF president's office is willing to give requests for special dispensation, but wants us (the riders) to come up with the stirrup modification. There isn't anything in the rule book trhat I have found that governs the shape and demensions of the stirrup.
Pintopiaffe, how about a link to the stirrup you like that looks english? I can ask some endurance tean riders for their thoughts. So far the answers tend to run towards cages in the front of the stirrup to keep the foot from coming through. I like all the extra padding under the foot and the width, less shock up through the back.
I'm a para equestrian classified as Grade III and I am in the middle of writing a dispensation to allow for On Tyte Stirrups, instead on the rubber bands listed on my dispensation. http://www.ontyte.com/index.html
I sat next to Ashley (owner of OnTyte) on a flight to Wellington this winter. Really nice, interesting product.
I think there is a really good niche market for it in para community, in fact, Bob McDonald, Debbie McDonald's husband is the one who came up with the idea for me to ride in them. As a fellow para rider pointed out to me at the nationals at lamplight this year, it is really nice because it aids in greater independence, you don't have have someone adjust your stirrups when you get on and off. I'm very recently from the hunter world getting fitted for a new pair of dress boots with the magnets from Anne Hubbard Tack at the Hunter/Jumper show in August.
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
Whicker, I'm off to get the swim team for a mare right now, when I get home I'll browse around. The ones I like *are* safety stirrups too, but Arete saddlery has them. Used to have them in silver as well as colours but discontinued some, not sure if they're still available in silver.
There are one or two other endurance ones that the name escapes me right at this moment, but I'll find them for you later today!
I had no idea that so many others suffered from a similar lack of independence! If I ride without stirrups, I do fine for the most part. When I am riding with stirrups and my foot slips out, I lose my balance and get all off kilter. Actually, the reason I am out of the saddle at the moment is that I lost a stirrup while cantering and was foolishly attempting to get it back by leaning over (I stupidly remained at the canter for this), my horse spooked just as I was starting to get back "in place" and I hit the dirt. I have numbness all over, not just in my feet, so I lack some body control. According to the person who saw me said I just flew like a ragdoll. I managed to shatter my ring finger and had to have it surgically repaired. Because the finger was so bad, the surgeon had to cut me open and use little mini screws to hold the bones in place. This has left me with a 3 month riding hiatus. I am hoping to avoid another stupid accident.
Thank you all for your wonderful ideas. My seat is good...when it is in the saddle rather then hanging out to get a stirrup...so stirrup-less might be my best plan. Due to my muscle weakness, I have to rely on balance and I have found that I don't improperly grip like I sometimes used to. In some ways, the neuropathy and yet to be diagnosed muscle weakness is working to my advantange.
I truly appreciate all of your support. I have been wanting to post this for some time, but I was a little embarassed. Thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone in my journey!
I ride with MDC stirrups, which I got when I badly sprained my ankle...no other physical considerations.
I felt it helped when riding with the sprain as I could adjust the angle so that my ankle flexed in a more straight ahead rather than 30 degrees to the side, which was much less painful.
My ankle has long since recovered. I do use the MDC stirrups adjusted at a slight angle for my upper level horse and enjoy the feeling of using more precise aids. However, with my big moving youngster, I use them as a regular stirrup (no angle in the top piece) as I feel the slight wrap of the stirrup leather across the front of my lower leg helps to keep my lower leg in place and also the stirrup on. Just my experience, but I can't see how these stirrups would help you.
There is only one problem with the MDC stirrups with adjustable tops: if you lose them, they are hard to pick up. Probably even more so if you can't feel your feet. Whereas with traditional stirrups, you just point your toe at your horse and scoop them back up. Hmm.
Don't the jumpers have magnetic stirrups that help keep your feet in the stirrups? Try posting over there, I bet they have some new ideas. I don't know much about them, I just remember a friend talking about them.
When I suggested it might be putting you at risk to ride with stirrups, I was thinking about when I'm unbalanced or nervous and my leg curls up, my left foot tends to go home in the stirrup. I have fallen off so many times, that I have a big fear of falling and having my foot get caught in the stirrup. So I was thinking if a rider couldn't feel when this had happened, this would increase that risk. Does that sound logical, or am I just being overly cautious?
The ontite website addresses that problem of letting go in a fall. It is designed to let go. The magnet is in the stirrup, not the boot. The list of riders using it for eventing and jumping is quite impressive. I will see if I can ask the owner to talk to us about it.
I can't find the ones I used to have linked something like "Cloud 9?" or similar? Cloud... something... anyone? (perhaps on the endurance forum they'd know)
The Kedron comfort Iron is another, wider, (though not AS wide) I do not like that it has a subtle slant too--I force my heels down too much. That might be super for some people though! http://www.chicksaddlery.com/page/CDS/PROD/3099/KCT246 Again--no dispensation needed for these at all.