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Uneven weight distribution across stirrup?

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  • Uneven weight distribution across stirrup?

    I have another "this never happened to be when I rode when I was young!" question - does anyone have any tips on how I can get myself to keep my weight distributed across the ball of my foot? I seem to end up w/ all my weight on the outside of my foot, right on my pinky toe. I'm sure that getting my ankle more flexible will help, which I am working on, but when I'm riding now, I have a hard time even visualizing how to get my weight more even across the stirrup. Any tips?

  • #2
    I have two students with this problem and its frustrating for me as the trainer and them as the riders. Make sure the stirrup length is right. We're trying a slightly exaggerated toe-out now to force more weight onto the inside of the foot. I constantly remind them to "push the inside of your ankle down to the ground" and we're doing a lot of posting and two point without stirrups because if you're leaning on the outside of the foot its impossible to have enough contact with the leg to be secure without the irons. Its very tough to come up with solutions for this because its difficult for me to imagine riding like they do...it seems totally unnatural and painful even.


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by JinxyFish313 View Post
      I have two students with this problem and its frustrating for me as the trainer and them as the riders. Make sure the stirrup length is right. We're trying a slightly exaggerated toe-out now to force more weight onto the inside of the foot. I constantly remind them to "push the inside of your ankle down to the ground" and we're doing a lot of posting and two point without stirrups because if you're leaning on the outside of the foot its impossible to have enough contact with the leg to be secure without the irons. Its very tough to come up with solutions for this because its difficult for me to imagine riding like they do...it seems totally unnatural and painful even.
      Well, I'm kinda glad it's not just me! And it IS painful - my ankles hurt like heck after a lesson. The strange thing is, my leg is actually fine, so I'm not sure how I'm managing it. We have started to do a lot of no stirrups work at the w/t, so maybe that will help. My mother (who does ride, so this isn't totally out of the blue) just suggested that maybe my stirrups are a bit to short, so I'm trying to compensate my leaning on my pinky toe, so maybe at this week's lesson I'll go down a hole or two to see if that helps.

      It's mainly annoying because I never did this in the past!! It's so strange - issues I had before have vanished, and new ones have popped up! I guess the moral is: never take a 10+ year break from riding!!!


      • #4
        I used to have this problem, and it would cause the muscle on the outside of my calf (the one that runs kind of parallel to the shin) to ache after riding. I think what my particular problem was was that I was pinching with my knee which caused my toes to be rotated too far forward, instead of having the correct angle outward. Relaxing my upper thigh and really focusing on having my lower leg be the contact resulted in the problem going away.


        • #5
          alter your stirrups to the correct lenght - as this effects your position if not correct
          go to dressage forum and look at the sticky - find my helpful links pages on there i explain how to alter your stirrups correctly


          • Original Poster

            Just an update - I lowered my stirrups a hole and a half, and whoa!! I was like 75% better w/ keeping my weight across the whole ball of my foot! No weird pains up my leg/ankle tonight! Here's hoping it wasn't just a fluke!


            • #7

              In general as we widen our stance, the center of pressure of your foot shifts BACK and outside.

              If your pressure is over the pinky toe, my guess would be some combination of foot turn in/toe up.

              The dropping the stirrup (assuming now the stirrups are the same length by measuring) should allow the foot to come down and flatten out (think stepping on a stair) so what you describe is not surprising....

              NOW.......what you described is coupled to the knee and hip so....
              Are you using knee blocks?
              Do you ride a wide horse?
              are you strong enough to do at least 10 single leg heel raises without compensation?

              Medical Mike
              equestrian medical researcher


              • #8
                KateKat - thank you so much for your post on this as I had the same problem, but only on the right side. After reading your post, I made sure my tilt was to the big toe, open knee, relaxed thigh - and voila - no more cramping right leg muscle. Thanks so much.
                And nothing bad happened!


                • #9
                  I agree with checking your stirrup length. This isn't normal for me, but will happen occasionally if I try to focus on turning my toe in too far (I often have it pointing out too much so I over compensate). My suggestion would be to just relax your leg a little more.
                  Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


                  • #10
                    I have an issue too with one side only. My left stirrup (which is my weak leg and where my back pain/referred disc issues are) bar on the inside tends to creep forward so it appears that the stirrup is twisted though it actually isn't. It drives my trainer wild and I am slowly correcting it but it makes me nuts too.


                    • #11
                      My only other thought is to make sure you're not "breaking" at the ankles.