Friday, February 17, 2012

The Importance of Saddle Fitting for the Rider

I've been going on and on about how well the trial saddle fits the pony, but I only briefly mentioned how it didn't quite fit me.  My trainer, especially, hated what it did to my legs.  A lot of dressage saddles have seats designed to help open your hips and put your hips and seat in the 'ideal' position.  The trouble with this, is that we're not all built the same.  The trial saddle may have helped 'open my hips' but it pushed my legs out and away from the pony's sides, making it a challenge to keep my stirrups and keep my legs long and on her sides.

It also did something much more destructive.  It gave me an injury and now I have to take at least three days off of riding, possibly more.  Basically, it stressed my hips out so much that I injured my IT band.  This is a common injury for runners, but it also can be common in riders.  I noticed that near the outside of my knee, it hurt whenever I bent my leg or went up and down stairs.  The pain got worse after working out this morning (do not do squats and jumping jacks when injured) so I actually stopped and looked it up.
You can see how this band runs all the way from the hips to the knee.

I have chronically tight hips so in the future I will make sure to do some stretching, but in the meantime I don't need my saddle to injure me!  I'm now resting my leg, icing, taking anti inflammatories and feeling cranky about not being able to ride until the pain goes away, lest I create a 'chronic' situation.  I'm having NONE of that.

Have any of you ever had an IT band injury?  How long did it take to heal?  If walking wasn't painful I would go out and at least take the pony for a walk down the road, but at the moment my comfortable spot is on the couch with my leg out straight and an ice pack on it.


  1. I had that pain in the back of me knee for ages when I rode, sat for too long or climbed stairs. I bought some really good shoes for the barn and it went away, it was my crappy footwear causing the problem!

  2. i was going through that on the weekend my hip and knee were in extreme pain, it was worse walking uphill or up stairs being on flat ground was bearable. I didnt know what had caused it i never even thought it may have been my saddle... thanks for posting this.. i will have to keep an eye on that.
    It went away within 2 days for me thankfully and it didnt hurt when i was in the saddle...