I'll start by saying I never ride english at home. Never. I can't remember the last time I used my english saddle off the show grounds... it's probably been years. While the main reason is because I've been focusing more on western with Lilly, there's nothing saying I couldn't ride english here and there, just to practice the essentials we need to place well in the english classes, so what's the real reason I don't ride english at home?
I guess it's because I find it very uncomfortable.
I have a wonderful saddle that is really comfortable, and more importantly it fits Lilly, but I'm always having trouble with my knees and ankles. When I'm at the show, and it's finally time to hop off and switch over to western, I'm SO thankful! I get off as often as I can to stretch my legs, but by the end of the day, my ankles are screaming. I don't know if I'm compensating for my knees and my ankles suffer, but I feel like my legs are all sorts of wonky and they just don't "hang" right.
This is a picture from several years ago, but it still feels the same way today. My ankles roll to the outside and they don't really sit flat on the bottom of my irons. I'm constantly having to take my feet out and stretch them just to get some relief.
|My ankle is jacked...|
|Stirrup length look ok?|
I've been having this problem for a while now, so several years ago I looked into getting a new pair of irons. I ended up buying the MDC Sport Classic Irons because I thought my knees ankles were being tweaked due to having to hold the irons in the correct spot.
|The MDC Sport irons.|
|Irons sit nice and straight.|
So this makes me wonder if I need to take them one step further and get something else. The MDC irons were about $185, and it took all I had to stomach spending that kind of money on irons, and I'm not fond of the though of spending even MORE money on another similar pair, but I'm really tired of having the ankle pain all the time. I've been browsing what other kind of stirrups are out there, and I came across several that have piqued my interest.
|Stubben Double Offset Stirrup Irons ($70)|
|Herm Sprenger System 4-F Stirrups With or Without Offset Eye ($230 or $245)|
|Herm Sprenger 4-F Bow Balance Stirrup Irons ($230)|
When I initially did some research, I got the impression that people think these things are "gimmicky" and good old fashioned irons are where it's at. I just want something that's going to help my ankle pain, assuming there's something that can help with that. I'm also open to any other possibilities (like my position, or my fat horse, or whatever).
So I'm reaching out to see if any of you have had luck with any of these irons, or found a way to relieve your ankle pain in some other way. I would appreciate any thoughts or ideas.