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Charlie Horse in feet while riding in western saddle

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  • #21
    Sacred P, good description- my wider/flatter McCall fits my horse well (which is why I bought it, hard to fit horse) but does require use of Advil after lunch on all day rides.

    Another difference maker for me over the past decade or so is also shape of horse, regardless of western or English or saddle type. Wider-barreled horses like my warmblood and my now-late tb just lead to knee or hip discomfort after more than a couple of hours in the saddle. Narrower horses, no problem. Thankfully though my appendix qh gelding grew to 16h he has remained on the narrower tb-ish side.


    • #22
      Wider-backed horses make my short legs go numb from the knee down so I stay with the smaller and thinner breeds myself.

      How about adding a little swimming or yoga type exercises to help with the Charlie Horse pain?


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Sacred_Petra View Post
        What kind of western saddle are you riding in? I have this problem in some roping saddles (flatter, wider seat). I have a trail saddle with a narrower twist (more rock in the bars) that I never have this problem in. My wade (wide twist, but with more upward curve in the seat so I have more even pressure along my pelvis and down my thighs. I don't think I'm explaining this well, so I dont' know if that makes sense.) has only given me this problem on one horse, and that was a horse that set the balance point of my saddle very far back. If I'd ridden that horse more than one or twice I would have needed a back riser. I've noticed the same thing in various reining saddles, the ones with flatter seats tweaked my legs funny. I could sometimes fix the problem by shortening my stirrups, but in my wade if I shorten my stirrups too much then I cause the same problem.
        I am riding in a Billy Cook show saddle. It has a fairly narrow twist. I am trying to turn the stirrups right now in hopes that maybe it will fix the problem. Its not every ride that I have this issue either, training rides I get more pain than long trail rides. I can only figure its because I am moving my legs/feet more when I am doing a training ride.
        Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
        The Blog


        • #24
          I do a lot of conditioning on the trails, and have found that if I wear good orthotics in my boots, it definitely helps. (I have flat feet and in recent years also plantar fasciitis, so orthotics are becoming a way of life for me! )


          • #25
            Smart Alex, just want to thank you for the tip about the hot water! I was on the couch doing nothing and my foot cramped like never before, nothing I could do... so I soaked it in very hot water in the bathtub and it did go away in about 20 mins. I don't know what I would have done otherwise, it was agony! I am also taking a cal-mag supplement now and I have a Dr. appt this week, maybe they can find out what I am missing. I will prob start the banana a day as well.
            Impossible is nothing.


            • #26
              Originally posted by Beverley View Post
              Sacred P, good description- my wider/flatter McCall fits my horse well (which is why I bought it, hard to fit horse) but does require use of Advil after lunch on all day rides.

              Another difference maker for me over the past decade or so is also shape of horse, regardless of western or English or saddle type. Wider-barreled horses like my warmblood and my now-late tb just lead to knee or hip discomfort after more than a couple of hours in the saddle. Narrower horses, no problem. Thankfully though my appendix qh gelding grew to 16h he has remained on the narrower tb-ish side.
              I noticed the same thing in the McCalls! My coworker rides in a McCall sometimes, and my saddle (a JC Martin) definitly has more curve to the seat.

              I think you may be on to something in regards to the width of the horse. I ride a wide variety of horses, and I am much more comfortable if I lengthen my stirrups one whole and sit more on my pockets on wider horses.

              Skyedragon, do you tie your cinch or buckle it? You might be able to eliminate some bulk underneath your leg by buckling your cinch, or by riding in a saddle wth dropped rigging. It might also help to really oil your fenders, and get them to curve more around the horse. Stiffer fenders may cause increased resistance against your legs that you only notice when you're doing training rides and using yoru legs more. I try a lot of different equipment, and I also notice a difference in my comfort level depending upon the shape of my spurs, so if you're wearing (or not wearing) spurs that could also be a contributing factor. There's a lot more fitting concerns when it comes to western spurs than I ever imagined until my internship, and it can be very counterintuitive (at least it was to me).


              • Original Poster

                I tie my cinch, I can't figure out how people buckle it. I don't currently wear spurs.
                Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                The Blog


                • #28
                  Potassium (bananas) helps. I also stretch before I ride (English or western) to help loosen up my muscles and joints.
                  We could all take a lesson from crayons some are sharp, some are beautiful, some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they still learn to live in the same box. Unknown.


                  • #29
                    well i have had this happen for two reasons 1. the stirrups were stiff it was a newer saddle and not well broke in 2. you could be leaning a slight bit forward stressing your feet trying to keep your heels down i only had that problem in winter boots with too much padding around the ankles hope this helps