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Re: [RC] weak ankle (on me) - Jen

The trouble with bad sprains is that the damage is to ligaments and tendons, which unlike muscles do not heal.  You need to strengthen the muscles around them to compensate for the stretched ligaments/tendons.  I sprained both of my ankles quite badly multiple times while doing gymnastics as an adolescent.  In the winter when I take a break from strengthing my ankles, I end up walking on the sides of my feet on any uneven ground because I can't keep my ankles straight.  I can almost completely eliminate this problem and the next day pain with strengthening. 
While sitting an watching tv, or any time where I have to sit and wait I write the entire alphabet in the air with my foot with just ankle movements.  Do this several time a day, now I catch myself doing this at times when I am not even thinking.  Then after you can write the alphabet 2 or 3 times without tiring fill a bucket with beans or anything inexpensive that will add resistance and write the alphabet against resistence, or write a story if your bored.
Do not stretch your ankle!  It is important for the muscles to get tight to add the support it is missing.  I would recommend not using extra support for short training rides.  For longer rides, I recommend a really good pair of hiking boots.  Hiking boots are made with ankle support specifically in mind unlike riding boots.  It is best if you buy a good pair from a store that specializes in that kind of thing.  Also let the sales clerk know that you are looking for the best ankle support; he will be able to help you find the best kind for your shape of ankle.  I know that have a strange ankle shape, my lateral and medial malleolus (the bumps on the inside and outside of my ankle) are low to the ground compared to other women with size 8 feet.
It is best to use a stirrup with a wide base like the EZ Ride, Bob Fosters, or the Cloud Stirrups.  I believe they all come in sizes that fit a 1" leather.  I don't think you need to change your leather size.  And as always you should continue to work on your position because a good riding position/posture will reduce the amount of jarring on your joints and your horse's.  Also continue to use the ace or vet wrap for long rides.  Be sure not to pull it too tight.  Then after the ride is over remember to (RICE) rest, ice, compress and elevate.  This will help prevent swelling. Good luck, Jen

Dawn Simas <dawnsimas67@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I went on my first ride (Amer. River 30) after being out of the sport for 11 years.  My new horse, a QH buckskin paint, did awesome, better than my arab used to.  I had forgotten how swept up horses (especially this new guy) get for the first few miles and we traveled at a much faster pace than any training rides.  He never gets that extended of a gait in training.  Within the first mile or two, my bad ankle started to give out.  :( 

I had a bad sprain in the 80's and when doing endurance in the 80's and 90's, my right ankle always starts "flopping" to the outside.  Eventually causing me to have absoluntely no strength to stand on, and riding crooked on the other foot.  Yesterday I wrapped it with vet wrap and that got me through the 30, but I doubt I could have done 50.  It's swollen today, like a sprain. 

Does anyone have this problem?  Solutions?  Strengthen it?  Support it?  Different stirrups (I love my stirrups, but am wondering if the 1" wide leathers allow for them to rotate too much?).

Thank you for any help!


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