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Anyone else have perpetually sore legs from riding?

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  • Anyone else have perpetually sore legs from riding?

    This is such an odd thing. i feel like nearly every day after I do arena work, my legs and especially inner thighs are so sore. This has been going on for years, and I ride my one horse at least 4 times a week. I am in pretty good shape; i run about three days a week and I do core work in the gym. Even when I was at my fittest, my legs would still get sore. I do a fair amount of squeezing to get my horse's hind end moving but it just seems by now that my legs would have more of a muscle memory. They just feel like they constantly need to be stretched.

    Anyone deal with this? Any remedy? or just more and more riding?

  • #2
    wow. no advice..just sounds odd. sorry you are sore.. that stinks

    Comment


    • #3
      check saddle fit
      Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

      The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

      Comment


      • #4
        soreness isn't necessarily a bad thing. I always feel like my muscles have been "worked" after riding and they're sore, but not to the point where I can't walk or anything like that. I think some people just get more sore than others. If you can stand it, you can try icing the sore muscles after riding.

        Also, light stretching, rolling on a foam roller and doing something active the day after usually helps me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, check saddle fit. Even with the arthritis, my legs themselves aren't sore. It's just the knee and sacro-illiac joints that are giving me trouble. The muscles strengthened up quite awhile ago.

          You might even want to ask the doctor if something's going on somewhere that's causing you to hold your body in a stressful position when riding.
          I loff my Quarter horse clique

          I kill threads dead!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Some good ideas here. I think I will ask the doc or at least my chiro who I see tomorrow (for my back - a whole other issue!). I don't think it's my saddle..this is my second saddle in about three years. The one I use now is a comfy County stabilizer and the one before was a Prix de Nations pancake and I kind of felt the same after-affects with both. I was even contemplating sitting on one of those blow up balls at work instead of my chair to get more of a stretch. Fallin' apart at 39!!

            Comment


            • #7
              oh, and if you have a desk job the soreness issue is even worse! I think the big fitness ball is a good idea, either that or standing as much as possible.

              I do CrossFit, so there have been days after working out where I feel great in the morning and after sitting all day and not moving blood through my muscles it hurts to walk!

              And wanted to add that the horse I rode previously made me a lot more sore than my current one. He was a total kick ride who took a TON of leg. My horse now takes a lot of leg too, but in a different way so its not as muscularly exhausting (because she's actually a little torpedo, it takes a lot of leg to contain her). Does the soreness even happen to you on a more forward horse?

              Comment


              • #8
                after you check saddle fit, you may be just one of those unfortunate individuals with tight ligaments in your hips and legs. My hubby has that and he is very athletic but has to religously stretch his lower half or else.

                Yoga!!
                ...don't sh** where you eat...

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you go to the doc, have your magnesium levels checked as well, as mag deficiency can cause tight muscles, although mine presented as stiffness, soreness in the calf muscles. It was like night and day once I went on mag supplements. And this may be TMI, but it also helped with PMS.
                  Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                  Witherun Farm
                  http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How tight are your hips? Or, how wide is your horse?

                    I had this problem until I got my hips sufficiently opened up... But then I got a bulldog for a horse and tight hips for the rider.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Interesting...I was thinking it could be a deficiency of some sort so I'll definitely check the magnesium levels.
                      I do think i have super tight ligaments. My hamstrings are pretty crazy and I know my hips are very tight. Definitely sitting in a desk chair for 8 hours a day does not help.
                      Gloria - how did you get your hips to open up (ok that sounds weird!) lol. I ride hunt seat.

                      My horse is a TB --so -- not too wide but not slab sided either. He's not a real push ride, but to get him in a frame does require leg. I don't use spurs on him, it would be too much, although the presence of a whip he totally responds too.

                      i am one of those types that can get super bad charlie horses in my calves in the middle of the night too. So maybe it is a nutrition/vitamin that i'm lacking.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Many runners have tight hamstrings and tight hips so I will wager a great part of your problem is there. I also had very very tight hamstrings and hips (I biked and walked a lot) and and it was literally a torture riding.

                        Yoga will help you tremendously in stretching those muscles. Google Yoga pose "Pigeon" and you should see tons of examples. There are other poses that help but I like these the best for hip stretch. Just remember it takes time, and it looks easy but isn't, so don't get frustrated if you don't see result immediately. Have faith You Will Get There. And if you are not experienced in Yoga, it is a good idea to find a good instructor to lead you. You can hurt yourself easily if you don't warm up sufficiently and/or attempt deeper poses too quickly. I think it took me two years of biweekly Yoga sessions to get where I am now. I am still doing Yoga, three times a week now, but the third one is Power Yoga, which is more cardio/strength than stretches.

                        Also, you say you do core work at gym. Is that Pilates or abs? The reasono I'm asking is, Pilates works different muscle from most abs works, and for riding, what is really important is the deeper core works that Pilates excels but most abs works lack. I have had coworkers that have amazing 6 packs but can barely go throuh a quarter session of the Pilates classes I go to. Just one thing to consider...

                        Last thing, riding uses a lot of inner thighs, which are rarely trained in most gym works so you may be a very fit person overall but lacks inner thigh strengths. If this is the casse, again Pilates should help in that regard.

                        Good Luck!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Whistler View Post
                          Interesting...I was thinking it could be a deficiency of some sort so I'll definitely check the magnesium levels.

                          i am one of those types that can get super bad charlie horses in my calves in the middle of the night too. So maybe it is a nutrition/vitamin that i'm lacking.
                          Definitely have your mag levels checked. The charlie horse in the calves is very common. I get them when my levels start to drop. Although that can also be a sign of dehydration.
                          Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                          Witherun Farm
                          http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Its not your saddle its Medical!

                            Im not sure if you are still having this issue?

                            I have the same problem. I ride my three dressage horses daily. Well not all three every day but with switching up their schedule I ride three horses a day which are first level youngsters. My workouts are from 30-55 minutes each. I do my own stalls, take care of my two children, clean my house etc. so I am extremely active. I am not overweight and eat pretty healthy and drink plenty of water. BUT, I am never NOT sore! I have stiffened up even though I stretch a couple times a day. Ive ridden at this level since I was about 10 and I am now 47 so for me this is a very scary thing!

                            I did recently have blood work done and I found out I am positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis and have previously been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (which I just don't want to believe). Three years ago I could almost do the splits and now - not even close! My hamstrings and inner thighs have knots and are sore to touch - they feel torn. I have seen a massage therapist to help relieve the tightness but that hasn't helped and she said I have something called DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). DOMS also goes along with RA and Fibro! Ugh. At one point I saw a Orthopedist and he put me in physical therapy for a while and honestly it didn't really help anyway.

                            It is not your saddle. It is your health. Im not sure how old you are but I would start there - although there is no remedy except to stop whatever is causing you the discomfort. For me, it is anything I do physically - really. I could hammer a few nails and be so sore the next day that I can hardly hold a coffee cup! Im not willing to give in to this though! So I keep going through the pain.

                            Keep us posted - I am curious how you are doing.

                            Denise

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do you stretch before and after each ride? I stretch my hamstrings, adductors and quads at the mounting block ( I have a patient horse!) before each ride and this helps tremendously.

                              A few years back I was having leg pain after every ride, especially my quads, and after my annual physical it turned out my thyroid replacement level needed to be upped. Within three days of increasing my dose, that leg pain disappeared. My Doc explained to me that the thyroid function was to help oxygenate all the muscle groups and with inadequate thyroid function, the large muscle groups would be the first to suffer from a lack of oxygen. Just a thought.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Seconding the foam roller suggestion. Do that daily, either as part of your morning or evening routine, and you should find the pain decreasing over time.
                                Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                                No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  A connective tissue disorder will cause that as well (stretchy tissues don't want to be stretchy). I struggle with it now: I find being warmed up (physically warm) helps.
                                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Whistler View Post
                                    Interesting...I was thinking it could be a deficiency of some sort so I'll definitely check the magnesium levels.
                                    I do think i have super tight ligaments. My hamstrings are pretty crazy and I know my hips are very tight. Definitely sitting in a desk chair for 8 hours a day does not help.
                                    Gloria - how did you get your hips to open up (ok that sounds weird!) lol. I ride hunt seat.

                                    My horse is a TB --so -- not too wide but not slab sided either. He's not a real push ride, but to get him in a frame does require leg. I don't use spurs on him, it would be too much, although the presence of a whip he totally responds too.

                                    i am one of those types that can get super bad charlie horses in my calves in the middle of the night too. So maybe it is a nutrition/vitamin that i'm lacking.
                                    Definitely check with your doc during a physical. I don't think it's normal to be sore every single day. After a while your body gets used to that level of exercise and only gets sore after more intense workouts. I can often tell the muscles I was focusing on in the past few days, but it's not painfully sore all the time. I do end up potassium deficient somewhat regularly, and eating a banana helps with my insteps.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      You are not alone! I am the exact same way. It's getting worse the older I get (AND IM ONLY 21).
                                      www.thetexasequestrian.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Related to the Mag level - I have a very similar problem to what OP describes - if I'm drinking diet coke. I get up from sitting and my legs are very tight for the first half dozen steps, as if I've done a lot of increased level exercise when I've actually done the same level as normal. Drinking gatorade helps reduce this, magnesium pills also help. Avoiding diet coke helps the most.
                                        If I'm doing no exercise/riding, I have no stiffness, but light to moderate levels can feel like heavy/new exercise levels

                                        Comment

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