• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Spinoff on the heels down thread: Anyone who just can't get their heels down?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Spinoff on the heels down thread: Anyone who just can't get their heels down?

    So the heels down thread got me thinking. Is there anyone on here who just can't physically get their heels down when riding?

    I truely can not get there! I can get them even.... that's about it. My OS and physical therapist were just about shocked when they saw how poor my flexability and range of motion in my ankles are. I broke my ankle in June, and when I was in for a follow up a few weeks ago he was checking to see how much I could bring my heel down (um... not happening) and was disappointed in my progess until he saw how far I could go in my other ankle- they are almost even now.


    Seriously, I've tried stretching exercises, riding exercises etc.. it just doesn't happen for me. My previous trainer (that I worked for at the time) couldn't grasp the idea that I just couldn't get them down no matter how hard I tried and said that until I could get my heels down, I wasn't allowed to ride. My current trainer realizes that I at least try to get them down.

    I do find it easier to get them 'down' (ok, barely) if my stirrups are longer than if they are shorter (like jumping length).


    So is there anyone else on here who struggles with this?
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

  • #2
    Raises hand!

    I can definitely get my weight into my heel, but I can't get much below level...without really trying to jam 'em down. And when I do that, my leg goes forward.

    I've tried stretching and such....probably my biggest problem is that I wear heels or heeled boots to work all the time. This summer, I tried to only wear flats or tennis shoes as much as possible to see if that was contributing. It may have helped some. Not sure.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment


    • #3
      I posted on the other thread too, but will add a couple of things here....
      I find if my stirrups are too long, my leg becomes insecure and messes up my position badly....but maybe I am doing something wrong!
      One thing I do to stretch out the backs of my legs and drop my heel is to stand in the stirrups at either the halt or the walk for a few strides, and then lower myself slowly into the saddle. I find it reminds me, and if my heels creep up, I do it again.
      Dee
      Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
      Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
      http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

      Comment


      • #4
        Its a problem for me because I have a magnesium deficiency, which really affects muscle flexibility. I take supplements, but my calves are like rocks. The worst part is I feel like I have my heels down, but find out that they are just barely flat.

        However, for those of you who do have flexiblility problems, I highly recommend you get your mag levels checked. Amazingly enough, once I went on supplements, it also helped my really bad PMS!
        Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
        Witherun Farm
        http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          I absolutely cannot get my heels down. My ankles click whenever I walk anywhere and oftentimes, after riding, are swollen and painful. I can't ride in flex or jointed stirrups, as my heels "fall through" and shoot a burning pain up my calf if I do. On some horses, my ankle will just roll, while in the stirrup and I lose control of the ankle for the rest of the ride: its hard to explain but it just gets floppy.

          I have had Xrays taken which show nothing, the foot & ankle guy just says I have scar tissue down there which limits my range of mobility.
          CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
          Serving North GA with high quality clips.
          --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
          --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

          Comment


          • #6
            At least I'm not alone in my little world of inflexibility. I was doing stretching exercises & seeing a massage therapist twice a week for almost a year and saw almost NO improvement in my ankles. Other places, yes; ankles no. Makes me crazy when I see pictures of myself.

            Interesting about the mag levels...I've had just about every piece of bloodwork known to man done over the last few years for them to try to figure out some chronic pain problems with no luck. I'm going to have to go dig out my tests and see what it says for mag. Should I be looking at levels after fasting or at 'normal'? I have plenty of both tests!

            Comment


            • #7
              Do I ever hear you. I've never been able to get my achilles tendons to stretch, but I'm not even sure that's the problem. It's as if there is a block of wood at the front of my ankle that prevents the angle from closing past a certain point. I feel that pull from behind as I stretch, but then I hit a block in the front that is solid.

              Where most people can squat and sit on their heels, at least on tiptoe--I will roll backwards before I can get all the way down.

              Been that way since birth apparently. All the baloney about stretching on the stairs, etc; useless.

              I did get some tiny incremental improvement from about 2 years of going around and around in two-point, just taking my whole weight in my heels, bounce bounce bounce. That got me to level anyway.

              If I try to put my heels down it just tenses my whole leg. So I figure it becomes counter productive. Lucky for me I ride dressage so level is acceptable to my trainer. I have concentrated on keeping my toes forward which is doable.
              Ring the bells that still can ring
              Forget your perfect offering
              There is a crack in everything
              That's how the light gets in.

              Comment


              • #8
                Inflexible ankles aren't uncommon...either due to injuries, deficiencies or just genetics. My husband literally can NOT flex his ankles hardly at all and he's never had a single injury or issue. He also can't wiggle his toes. Our older daughter seems to have inherited some of that immobility from him but has tempered it over the years with dance. But she could never stick with ballet because of the extensions required that she can't do.
                My niece had a catastrophic ankle/lower leg injury 6 months ago, she stopped over on Friday and she still can't really walk. That ankle, despite PT 3x a week for 6 months, still doesn't really bend. And she rides...she's going to have a harder time compensating for that because I don't think she'll ever get full range of motion back..her ankle is now about 60% metal plates.
                So don't feel awful if you can't get those heels way down. Some people just can't do it despite trying and stretching. Not everyone's built the same way and I'm sure there are ways to compensate that bring the balance and shock absorbtion you need. I happen to have freakishly bendy ankles...I don't have to jam them down or even think about flexing them...they drop a *lot* when I'm riding. But I pay a price for that flexibility...from years of riding with an extremely low heel my ankles have arthritis. Not bad thank goodness...but I can't imagine it's going to improve with time. I used to be pretty flexible in all my joints...that's slowly going away with the years, LOL! So even if you have it...you will lose it over time.
                You jump in the saddle,
                Hold onto the bridle!
                Jump in the line!
                ...Belefonte

                Comment


                • #9
                  As has been mentioned, some people are just naturally less flexible, or have more of a limited range of motion, in the ankle. Jamming your heel down won't help and usually results in more stiffness and/or push your lower leg forward. Along with checking the magnesium levels in the blood, look at potassium levels also.

                  Have you tried simple foot circles in an attempt to increase your flexibility? You can sit in a chair, or do this horseback in your warmup. Simply rotate your foot around in a circle, without moving the rest of your leg. Try to get a good point when the rotation gets to the bottom of the circle and as much flexion as you can when the toes are at the top of the circle. Work both directions. This exercise works the ankle joint and the front and back of the calf. Walking is also good on stiff ankles, especially if you concentrate on the "heel-toe" motion.

                  My ankle was shattered in a riding accident (horse's barrel landed right on my ankle when she slipped and fell) and was very stiff after eight weeks in a cast. The foot circles helped the most in my recovery.
                  “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Heels down isn't too bad, but getting my toes to stop pointing out like duck feet is a challenge

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Me....

                      I'm actually pretty flexible overall - I danced as a kid, and can still nearly do that thing where you stretch your leg up beside you holding onto your heel (clearly, in the intervening years the terminology has left my brain - I mean like so).

                      But I've also sprained my ankles more times than I care to count (dancing...softball...riding...skiing...hiking...) , and my heels just don't go down as far as many instructors seem to think they should. They are DOWN, not just level, and I put my weight there (well, OK, not always - I certainly need reminders! ), but they aren't "all the way" down. And I have had SO many people who just DON'T GET IT. I had one instructor who was sure I just wasn't listening to him, and no matter how many times I told him I was doing my best, he simply wouldn't believe me.

                      I have the same problem with my shoulders - I can NOT put my shoulders back (all the way) and hold them there without causing myself a great deal of pain. I'm sitting up straight, but my shoulders will always be slightly rounded. It's how my back is built (and, yes, I have an honest-to-god medical diagnosis of this). And again, instructors just can't understand.

                      Thank God for my most recent instructor, who understood BOTH issues and didn't have a problem with either as long as I was doing the best I could and being effective. Now, why did I have to go and move an hour and a half away from her?!
                      Proud member of the EDRF

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by MelantheLLC View Post
                        Do I ever hear you. I've never been able to get my achilles tendons to stretch, but I'm not even sure that's the problem. It's as if there is a block of wood at the front of my ankle that prevents the angle from closing past a certain point. I feel that pull from behind as I stretch, but then I hit a block in the front that is solid.

                        Where most people can squat and sit on their heels, at least on tiptoe--I will roll backwards before I can get all the way down.

                        Been that way since birth apparently. All the baloney about stretching on the stairs, etc; useless.

                        I get the same thing! It feels like there is just something blocking it from going any further. I don't feel much pull at all from behind my leg... but it feels like something is there stopping me from flexing my ankle past a certain point.


                        If I try to force my heel down, it just pushes me into a chair seat and is worse than just letting them be almost level.
                        "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I bet all the heels down challenged people would dance beautifully en Pointe
                          "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mistyblue, I'm with you!!! had surgery for bonespurs and had lots of scaring removed. But my heels fall to the floor.

                            For those of you who can't get your heels down...I do understand. Try this, instead of pushing or trying to get the heels down try to push the knee down the flap of the saddle and to lengthen your thigh. I have been able to have that help many kids who just can't bend.
                            Proud Mama of a BOY rider

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by eventchic33 View Post
                              Try this, instead of pushing or trying to get the heels down try to push the knee down the flap of the saddle and to lengthen your thigh. I have been able to have that help many kids who just can't bend.
                              This is definitely more useful for stabilizing and strengthening the seat, at least for dressage. The "kneeling" position helps turn the toes in too.
                              Ring the bells that still can ring
                              Forget your perfect offering
                              There is a crack in everything
                              That's how the light gets in.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Erm, nope. I wouldn't be able to dance en Pointe either -- my toes don't point.
                                CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
                                Serving North GA with high quality clips.
                                --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
                                --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MelantheLLC View Post
                                  This is definitely more useful for stabilizing and strengthening the seat, at least for dressage. The "kneeling" position helps turn the toes in too.
                                  My horse is really wide and I have all kinds of problems getting the hip angles right. Any special ideas on that?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    yep I cant put my heels down, because the muscle on the top of my foot doesnt work properly(and yes i dont walk normally either) putting my heels downs is almost physically impossible for me i strive for a level heel.

                                    physio didnt help much
                                    Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching
                                    www.facebook.com/btrparadressage

                                    Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have a lot of ankle problems from past injuries and cannot get my heels very far down. If they're level, that's often as good as it gets. My weight is still properly in my heels, it's just that they physically do not flex. I use a pair of jointed stirrups and I do foot circles from the saddle while the horse is walking around to warm up. After I'm well warmed up and have done some trotting, they may be a little better at the trot/canter/and two point, but are never going to be perfect!
                                      Flickr

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by MelantheLLC View Post
                                        This is definitely more useful for stabilizing and strengthening the seat, at least for dressage. The "kneeling" position helps turn the toes in too.
                                        You know, I *used* to think I couldn't get my heels down properly. My hunter trainers would always admonish me for it. Then I started taking dressage lessons and my trainer would tell me that my heel was too deep! When I started to learn to get my toes up instead while "kneeling", I found I could lengthen my leg more and bring my lower leg back. Whereas thinking "heels down" would make me jam my foot forward, tighten my hip flexors, and lift my thighs up--making me lose my stirrups and get off balance, especially at the canter. Now on days when I ride hunt-seat, I feel that my leg is in a more appropriate position and that my legs can move more fluidly than when I'm constantly worrying about "heels down".
                                        Last edited by linquest; Oct. 29, 2008, 08:47 PM. Reason: missed a word
                                        Snobbington Hunt clique - Whoopee Wagon Fieldmaster
                                        Bostonians, join us at- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Boston_Equestrian
                                        NYC Equestrians- http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/urbanequestrian/

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X