Pain in ankle whilst riding?

Joined
14 December 2016
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Hi there, asking for my other half, who's currently stuck in the UK with the COVID19 pandemic but is a US citizen without access to our healthcare except for emergencies, hence why I thought I might ask here for advice first. She's been learning to ride on a horse we're loaning for her, for the last three rides she's had excruciating pain in her left ankle, that spreads up to her knee. It was so bad, we had to turn around and head home halfway through a hack, and she loves hacking with me. She says it's not muscle, more joint pain, and it's on the outside of the ankle around that sticky out bit of the joint, and it eases up when she's taken her foot out the stirrup, and she doesn't think she's ever sprained that ankle before. I usually ride with Flexi stirrups, I'm wondering if I should get some for her, since I have a spare pair and only would need extra stirrup leathers.

Just as a side note, she's only walking and trotting right now

Any advice is much appreciated as neither of us want her to have to stop because of the pain
 

equi

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Is it both ankles or just one? Is she trying to stick her toes in too much and gripping with her calf/knee and causing strain? Try the flexi stirrups but also look at how she is riding. If she is only learning to ride she might be straining to be correct without the actual ability to be yet.
 

cobgoblin

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There are two tendons that run around the lateral malleolus ( the sticky out bit of the ankle).. It's possible that she has peroneal tendonitis.
 

Shay

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DD can get this - she is hypermobile. We use sprenger stirrups to address the issue. Your other half does have access to healthcase BTW - she just has to pay for it.
 

Midlifecrisis

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Stirrup leathers could be too short creating a stiff ankle.....not sitting centrally and balanced can put too much weight and force onto the ankle...forcing heel down and forward to stay on.. not riding very often and just having natural stiffness after exercise...
so many possible scenarios.
 
Joined
14 December 2016
Messages
7
Is it both ankles or just one? Is she trying to stick her toes in too much and gripping with her calf/knee and causing strain? Try the flexi stirrups but also look at how she is riding. If she is only learning to ride she might be straining to be correct without the actual ability to be yet.
Just 1 - the left one. She's got weird looking semi Flexi stirrups with the horse, but I'll definitely try my Flexi stirrups on her then and see if it helps. I'm going to put her on the lunge next time we ride so I can see what's going on too, thank you!
 

cobgoblin

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I might have a look at that. Do you think strapping her ankle when she rides might help?
An ankle support may help to make her feel more comfortable, it may also help to prevent any exaggerated ankle movements that are irritating it.
In addition to the suggestions above check if her stirrups are keeping the sole of her feet level and not tilting them to the outside or the inside.
.
 

Skib

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6 March 2011
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If she is nervous or in pain she may be clenching her feet.
My RI told us to relax all the joints in our legs and feet. One step in that was spreading out and wriggling our toes to loosen the ankle.
But if the horse is too wide and the upper leg and knee is stretched or rigid, or the stirrups too short (shortened perhaps to help someone sit on a wide horse), it can be hard to relax the feet and ankles. We learned to ride by breathing and relaxing and sitting easy.
If you give a lunge lesson in walk with no stirrups you should be able to halt and use the toe spreading with other relaxation techniques, and see if that helps.
 
Joined
14 December 2016
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7
An ankle support may help to make her feel more comfortable, it may also help to prevent any exaggerated ankle movements that are irritating it.
In addition to the suggestions above check if her stirrups are keeping the sole of her feet level and not tilting them to the outside or the inside.
.
Will do! She naturally holds her feet in a 'duck feet' way, do you think that might be affecting it?
 
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