For once it’s not one of my horses that is lame. It’s me.
I have posterior tibial tendonitis. Which means I have swelling under my ankle bone and pain in my arch and ankle. It hurts when I walk. But even worse, it hurts when I ride.
Part of the problem is that the stirrup causes my foot to pronate. And that during hunting season I was riding short, with a lot of weight in my stirrups. Long rides with a lot of two point and jumping.
Last week I knew I was in trouble. I was out riding Zelda and experienced shooting pain through my ankle and foot.
So, what’s the cure? If it was my horse that was lame it would be simple: Rest, ice and support. I’d give my horse two weeks off.
But it’s hard to rest your feet when you have chores to do, places to go and horses to ride. Ice helps with the inflammation and I’ve been trying orthotic insoles to give more support to my arch. My doctor told me to wear them in all my shoes, including my riding boots. Now, there’s a product that’s hit or miss. I’ve tried five different kinds so far and only one doesn’t make my foot feel worse. The craziest experience with them was at a store where they tried to sell me a “system” of insoles — three different kinds that cost, get this, $300 each! You’d think that they were products for horses.
Right now I’ve settled on a plan. I’m wearing Birkenstocks or Haflinger clogs 24/7. The best inserts I’ve found are also Birks . . . and are “only” about $50. And I think I’m going to spend the month of December riding without stirrups.