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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2006

    Default ankle pain when riding

    I am a 31 year old dressage rider, who is recently getting back into jumping after many years of riding in a dressage saddle. I am really having trouble adjusting to the shorter stirrup length. My ankles are killing me! I find that I can only ride for a few minutes before I have to stop and kick my feet out of the stirrups for a bit. I don't remember this happening when I used to jump in my early 20s. Will this pain go away once I get used to the shorter stirrups again? Is there anything I can do reduce the pressure on my ankles? Special stirrup irons? Stretching? Any advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2007


    Try The Herm Sprenger Bow Balance irons. I have very weak stiff ankles with the right one getting injured a year ago and I would not be able to ride without them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2008


    Don't try to force your body into a position it's not ready for. Go back to your dressage length, and then go half a hole shorter. Ride like that for a week or so, then shorten them another half hole. The gradual shortening gives your body time to adjust. I'm sure you wouldn't expect your horse to make such a sudden adjustment, go just as easy on yourself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2008
    the back of my horse


    Like the above poster said, don't try to force yourself into a position. I am naturally duck footed (it sucks lol) and for the longest time, I had trainers always telling me to stick my feet forward. Well, when I did that I buckled with my ankles and almost All of my weight was on my ankles/tendons in that area. I had Super inflamed tendons for the longest time. Now I have finally figured out how to point my toes somewhat forward without pain. Maybe that's it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2010


    I agree with everyone about slowly adjusting to the new length. I did the same thing when getting used to longer stirrups. I was working in France for a couple weeks and everyone at the farm rode more dressage style and I've been a hunter/eq rider my whole life, and I ride short as it is, so on the first ride I tried putting my stirrups all the way down as long as theirs, and I was so uncomfortable the whole ride and so sore the next day, so then I went back to my own stirrup length and every few days I'd go one hole lower. By the end I was riding almost as long as everyone else.

    Also make sure you're keeping your weight on the ball of your foot. I have double jointed ankles so sometimes I get my heel too far down and end up pushing more weight into my heel rather than on the ball.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2010


    i have really bad ankles and use the jointed stirrups.. whenever i try to use regular stirrups my ankles lock and end up really sore for at least a week

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Black Forest, CO


    My ankle pain resolved when I switched to a set of double offset irons.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2006

    Default need more data..........

    Where is it hurting, how long, etc....
    what type of strengthening have you been doing.

    Would also like you to check out this video on riding with ankle pain. Some basic suggestions until root problem can be found and addressed.

    Medical Mike
    equestrian medical researcher

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010


    I agree with PP about the jointed irons. I am 30 and (though I am sure some folks here will laugh at this) I am starting to notice my body doesn't bounce back like it used to! When I started jumping after several years off I had a mild amount of knee pain and discomfort- and I have never had knee problems in my life! The jointed irons aleviated that immediately.

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