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Knee pain and stirrups

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  • Knee pain and stirrups

    Which is better? A double jointed stirrup or a "fixed" one with a thick cushion and lots of room for the foot to move, like the EZ Ride Stirrups?
    I have the double jointed stirrups and, while for a long time they felt great and my old and creaky knees didn't seem to suffer, lately I hurt quite a bit. Yesterday I rode about 16 miles alternating walk, trot and canter and by the time I got off the horse both of my knees were screaming at me. I have a ride coming up in two weeks and the thought of being in awful pain for the majority of it is not making me all warm and fuzzy. suggestions are most welcome.

  • #2
    Try making your stirrups a hole longer. I just switched to the Herm Sprenger jointed stirrups with the blue pad from EZ stirrups and I feel better.
    There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


    • #3
      Pharmaceuticals work for me.

      Two Tylenol or Aleve prior to getting on and another two about two hours into the ride. I already ride with fairly long stirrups.


      • #4
        the easyride stirrups have helped a lot with my knee pain. it's not totally gone, but it's not as bad.


        • #5
          Toe caps are good, keep your foot in place and allow for steady knee movement. I've got them on my Ezy rides.
          And glucosamine helps too.


          • #6
            I see you call them CAGES up north - whatever.


            • #7
              I use the slanted stirrups combined with the Knee -Eez. That works very well for me.


              • #8
                I use the EZ ride stirrups too but have found when my knees hurt that it is because my stirrups are too short. Lengthen them just a bit. Sometimes even 1/4 inch can help. If lengthening a whole hole is too much try punching a new hole between the existing holes on your leathers.

                Moving your saddle to a different horse can have a similar effect, depending on the, ahem, roundness of the horse. I have found that I need to adjust my stirrups up or down on different horses.
                "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PRS View Post
                  Moving your saddle to a different horse can have a similar effect, depending on the, ahem, roundness of the horse. I have found that I need to adjust my stirrups up or down on different horses.
                  I have found this to be the case as well.
                  "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for the input.
                    I already ride with long stirrups but I'll try and lenghten a bit more.
                    And Advil is already my best friend but I hadn't thought about taking some prior to the ride. I'll try that as well.
                    I guess I'll give the Ez Ride stirrups a try as well.


                    • #11
                      I ride with Sprengers when I ride English and EZ ride when I ride in my Tucker, and always take 2-3 Advil before a ride. But if I don't get off and walk for a little bit every 60-90 minutes, my knees will scream when I'm done. So I do, and it's become a nice little break for me any my horse -- I take a swig of Gatorade and he gets a treat, and we walk for 5 minutes.

                      On big group rides, I just jump off whenever the group stops to have a conversation or someone needs to adjust something.
                      "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                      <>< I.I.


                      • #12
                        I love these:



                        • #13
                          IMO, knee pain is usually caused by the saddle, the horse's build and the position of the rider. Humans aren't anatomically suited to sit on a horse. If you climb onto a wide barreled horse and try to ride with your toes pointed forward you will put real stress on your knees which will try to bend around your horse (bowlegged!) and eventually you can damage your knees. Been there, done that! Saddles that put more bulk under your thigh and knee make this even worse. Treeless saddles on wide horses can make it worse. I love treeless saddles but unless you improve the twist of the saddle it will really bow your legs. Try turning you toes outward so you knee joints can bend normally (forward and back) and your leg can shape around your horse without stressing your knees. Do try varying the length of your stirrups. I find that shorter stirrups helps me as the cartilage damage to my knees is at the front inside corner of the meniscus and keeping my knees bent keeps my weight off that damaged area. Having enough bend in your ankles, knees and hips allows them to be shock absorbers but you need to think about allowing the joints to open and close.

                          I do prefer the EZ ride type stirrup and narrow stirrups straps, no fenders.

                          Bonnie S.


                          • #14
                            I thought I would add to this thread instead of starting a new one.... i just bought a used Tucker and the stirrups that came with it are terrible. I don't think they are the standard Tuckers, they are tiny. Anyway, I want to buy good comfy trail stirrups and I was thinking about the EZ Ride type. do you recommend the nylon or alum? Is that cage thing comfortable? Is the EZ Ride brand the best? thanks!


                            • #15
                              Hi peeps,

                              Based on my experience, which is recent (but I am better), I began to have horrible knee pain, many years ago though. I switched saddles, I played with the different stirrup lengths, stirrups from irons to easy rides, saddles pads thick to thin, different horses, ibp, ice, heat, cross training. In the end I was training my horse for an up and coming hilly, very hot ride, and a 50 miler (his first ride at that distance). My upper back also became a huge issue. The area where your bra would go. I was sleeping about 3 hours a night or less. Knee pain, back pain, oh my. Without getting into too many painful details, I just couldn't handle the pain any more. After my 50 miler ride and two weeks later, I went to the chiropractor. Bottom line is that my pelvis was "out". He has fixed it over time.

                              I was sitting on my right butt. Which in turn caused lots of other problems, such as my spine starting to curve (upper back pain, which was basically like having a butcher knife in my back) and the first clue was knee pain, which of course I ignored. For me it was not the tack, or how I was riding, it was my body out of alignment.

                              Now I have no knee issues when I ride. Same saddle, same horse, same tack, same trails.

                              On my arabian I prefer plain irons. On my gaited horse I prefer easy rides. Just because of the squishy foam pad. Stirrup length had no bearing on whether it helped my knee pain or not. Although on my gaited horse, I like a really long leg. Really long because there is no posting, and when she gaits I get this fabulous squishy feeling from the easy rides.

                              So maybe it isn't your tack, maybe it has something to do with your body being out of alignment?

                              If you check the endurance net archives, lots of people have knee problems, and it turns out to be out of aligned pelvis's. Mine sure was.

                              Just a thought . . . . . .
                              Last edited by rmh_rider; Oct. 2, 2009, 10:27 AM. Reason: spelling errors whoops!


                              • #16
                                rmh rider, I'm in the same boat as far as alignment problems go, but mine won't stay aligned due to an injury combined with a later C section. I can attest to how painful numerous areas of the body become when the pelvis is out of kilter. There are exercises you can do to help align your pelvis, but you have to know which side is higher and forward.
                                "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                                • #17

                                  Yes, my pelvis won't stay aligned either it seems, it is WAY better though. My right side is the bad side. So the chiro pushes from my left to my right to fix. My one leg is usually longer than the other. Even though they are the exact same length. My right side is further down, thus the knee problem, thus the little bit longer leg. IOW I was sitting on my right butt.

                                  So what are some exercises? I am all for more exercise, and more importantly getting better.

                                  But for the knee pain, I think that is pretty much gone. If my knee hurts, I am out of alignment. Sometimes I can push it over back into place.


                                  • #18
                                    I hurt my knee in Jujitsu 30 years ago - I heard the ligaments screech and for years after that my knee would just give away sometimes when walking - forget sitting Indian style on the floor.

                                    I didn't think I would ever be able to ride again. Right after I got my horse the owner of the local tack and feed store told me about "Crooked Stirrups". http://crookedstirrups.com/He said his wife swore by them. My knees were hurting from riding already and I had only had my horse a few days. I bought them....they were pricey but they turned out to be worth every penny. They are metal and slanted and keep my foot straight and take the pressure off of my knees.

                                    My husband hated them and would switch the Crooked Stirrups for the original to the saddle stirrups when he would ride. Now that he has his own horse, my original stirrups live in the tack closet at the barn! I went to my cousin's house one day and he had about 5 saddles - they all had Crooked Stirrups. LOL Must be a family thing to have cranky knees. He swears by them too. He ropes and rounds up cattle all the time so he spends hours in the saddle. My Crooked Stirrups allow me to ride for more miles and I highly recommend them.
                                    Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                                    • #19
                                      rmh_rider, I'll write it here, but I can move it to a PM if anybody objects. Let's see, my right hip gets high and forward, so I put my left foot up on a step (or my tailgate, or a log, or whatever is around when I need to do this). I then lean forward a bit with my arm to the inside of the knee. I stretch my torso down and turn my shoulders in the direction of the bad hip as far as I can.

                                      Believe it or not, this simple exercise works. It's much better than dragging a chiropractor around with you everywhere you go.

                                      I always worry that my inability to sit straight in the saddle is going to cause my horse back problems. Sometimes I'll get off and realign myself during a ride if it gets too painful. For me, knee pain is secondary to hip pain. I've noticed that horses I ride whose manes fall to the right eventually have their manes fall to the left when I ride them much, so I know I'm affecting them in some way. I'm also left handed.

                                      I use dog collars to turn the stirrups on my endurance saddle so that they point straight forward and have some give. Still, on a wide horse, I need the stirrups longer than on a narrow horse. I have no problem with knee pain when riding in an English style saddle.
                                      "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                                      • Original Poster

                                        So maybe it isn't your tack, maybe it has something to do with your body being out of alignment?
                                        I think you hit the nail in the head. I do have back and neck issues and have for a long time. I hadn't thought about the fact they could very well translate into knee pain issues as well. Dang. I had a bad experience with a chiropractor and haven't been to see one since. Perhaps it's time I reconsider.
                                        The upcoming ride is next weekend. It's only 30 miles since is the first one for the horse I'm taking but, if he does well, I fully plan to do regular 50 miles rides with him starting next Spring. I'm pretty sure I can pull this 30 miles (dismount, walk it off, remount, etc. etc) especially since I'm not planning to "race" on the first ride but I need to be in better shape for the longer rides.