Okay, I know this is a bit strange, but does anyone suffer with numbness is their foot while riding? It is actually only the outside of my foot, and more often the right foot. I try to remember to take my foot out of the stirrups every once in awhile and rotate my ankles, which helps. I wonder if hinged stirrups might help with this, but I'm not sure. Am I the only one who experiences this?! If not, any ideas to improve the situation?

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you're not the only one. i have twisted my right ankle over a couple times in the past doing a fair bit of damage. when i ride that foot will get sore or tingling, sometimes both. for me it's a matter of the angle of the stirrup. steady pressure in the stirrups will bring it on quickly. i try to ride with as relaxed a seat as i can to keep alot of pressure off my feet and try to keep the stirrup turned for the least amount of tension.
I found I used to suffer from this while riding in my old Passier which had a seat that was rock hard. I have ridden in many saddle but my current Balance Zenith is the most comfortable of all. I no longer have this problem.
Jen, you should message this question to Claire Moscone Biafore on our site. She is an osteopath and I'm sure she'll be able to help you - and she's really nice too!
How do your riding boots fit? Do they rest on a nerve somewhere around your ankle area? I badly sprained my ankle attempting to get on my horse a couple of years ago (don't ask!!!) and went to a chiropractor (not a neck cracker but one who uses an Activator) and he worked absolute magic -- I have no lingering problems and my foot/ankle is fully healed. Part of the chiropractic philosophy, as I understand it, revolves around freeing up the nervous system so energy can flow more freely and the body can properly heal itself. Problems occur when there is a blockage. When you say you have numbness in a foot, it makes me think that you may have a nerve blockage somewhere. I hope you find the answer ...
I also experience this... my right foot stays quite numb for days after certain rides. The numbness is to the TOP of my foot & I can feel the nerve that is affected... it's right at the ankle fold on the front of my foot and the nerve goes right OVER one of my tendons (so left unprotected)... when I rub that spot, I get pins & needles 'jingle' over the top of my numb foot.

What I found has improved this is a CHANGE in my riding boots and LONGER stirrups. I had bought new paddock boots that fit, but were VERY stiff across my ankle. That in combination with the increased use of my all purpose saddle (shorter stirrups). I stay in my dressage saddle mostly now & went back to my old ugly soft paddock boots... it's improved, but it is still there & can be irritated at any time.

And remember to RELAX your ankles. Don't let your toes turn outwards. Nerve damage/irritation takes a LONG time to heal, so be patient. =)
Who knew there were others suffering too?? I think I can rule out saddle or boot trouble, as it has happened with various saddles and I usually wear comfy paddock boots and chaps. The pinched nerve or circulation cut off theories make sense. My right foot seems to naturally turn in more than my left, which is where it gets into trouble I think. I am working on my "base of support", as I am riding a youngster, and the more wound up he is, the more numb my foot gets! Probably because a) I am clinging to my base of support for dear life and; b) I am too focussed on him to remember to take my foot out of the stirrup periodically to rotate my ankles.
I sometimes get it in both feet. Usually when I am having a long ride, but I have back problems and have always put it down to that
Go to Apple Saddlery and they have just the fix for it, its called a stirrup straight. Read up on it and that should help I am not sure if you use them in a English.
I'd like to get these for my western saddle, as I anticipate soreness with it. The english stirrups don't have that twist on the knees like the westerns.

As for english though (my main discipline), it's more the ankle angle when I point my toes up... so I'd suspect that would happen western too.
You know, it might be the way your sitting. If your sitting your seatbones weird, they could be resting on important veins, therefore cutting off the circulation down to that area of your foot. Also make sure your
not trying to put your to to far down because then your ankle joints and tendons can also cut off veins. I know both my feet used to go numb until my coach helped me adjust my seat and Posture, so I hope this helps.
Good luck
It's interesting to discover that others have this problem too! I had it years ago when I was jumping and fitting event horses; galloping position and 2 point made my feet go numb to the point that I could not feel the stirrups at all. The problem was eventually traced to a back injury, and became serious enough that I had to give up jumping and galloping. Dressage, on the other hand, seems to keep my back healthy and I don't have a problem with my feet.

I do think it would be worth borrowing a pair of MDC stirrups to see if (a) the springs help and (b) the change in stirrup angle helps. They cost the earth, so don't invest until you know whether or not they help. They've made a world of difference to my septuagenarian mother's knees and hips in trot work.

I also agree with some of the others who've comments - boots can make a difference. I have one client who cannot find a pair of warm winter boots in which to ride - the padding all creases at the ankle in just the wrong spot on one (left) foot, and she loses the feeling and is afterwards left with intense pain. It might be worth raiding your friends' tack lockers and trying out some different boots.
I had this same problem happening to me and brought it up during a visit to my physio who suggested stretching out the calves as my muslces were tight in that area. Once I started doing that I started to notice a difference and after a few weeks was no longer suffering numbness. Now I can get through an hour and a half ride with no numbness (unless it's freezing cold out)


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