Get your knees ready for a horseback hunt

Discussion in 'Physical Training For Mountain Hunting And Backpac' started by Andy Backus, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor Staff Member

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    Over the years my knees have given me a hard time on Horseback hunts. I stay in very good shape and still they bother me.

    The last couple years I started to force myself to do more leg stretching throughout the year. I found that for me one stretch in particular has made the difference and I have much much less discomfort when riding now.

    The muscles and tendons that run on the outside of my legs and knees are what get sore. The stretch that has fixed this for me is to squat down like a duck and stay there a long time and just get my rear end lower and lower and stretch out my knees. When I first started I could only squat down about three-quarters of the way because my knees wouldn't allow me to go any lower. I've gotten to the point where I can squat all the way down with pretty much no discomfort.

    I was pretty amazed on our elk hunt a couple weeks ago how great my legs felt on the horse thanks to my improved flexibility.

    This stretch may or may not help you but my point is that having your legs and lower body be nice and stretched out before heading on a horseback hunt can make a huge difference in your comfort and enjoyment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  2. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    Could you post a couple of pictures to show what you are talking about
    I have the same problem when riding
     
  3. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor Staff Member

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    Here's a quick video.

     
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  4. THEIS

    THEIS Well-Known Member

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    Hello,
    Another great squat for stretching and strength is the weighted sumo squat as shown in picture below.
    sumo-squat.gif

    THEIS
     
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  5. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor Staff Member

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    That looks like a good one. I'll give that a try.
     
  6. hunternhunter

    hunternhunter Well-Known Member

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    this seems like a lot of fun
     
  7. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    Tag
     
  8. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    There's a few ways to help your knees.

    1. Buy a horse and ride 4 or 5 times a week. It's good for the horse and you'll stop hurting till he throws you.
    2. Ride a mule. They seem to sit skinnier through the sides than a horse.
    3. Turn your stirrups. If your stirrups don't hang facing forward, then there's always going to be slight pressure in your knees.
     
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  9. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    ........4) Don't think they're doing you a favor "giving" you the new saddle.
     
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  10. prohuntersmind

    prohuntersmind Well-Known Member

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    i will definitely give this a try.
     
  11. Antonio m

    Antonio m Well-Known Member

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    I do a lot of riding all year around and never have had knee problems and turning 60. I try to stay fit by running , hiking etc and I I rope steers regularily. I ride in oxbow stirrups no matter what I do, these stirrups fit into your instep and I find gives better alignment. They are bronc/ colt stirrups and not meant to kick out in a hurry. I like a slick fork saddle too.
     
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  12. Muddyboots

    Muddyboots Active Member

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    Maybe you are not getting your instep deep enough into stirrup which can easily cause this problem. I am 6'4" , 255 lbs and have 164E boots (ok stop laughing) and have used these stirrups for years and helps immensely. If you are a outside the 95% of population the saddle seat plays huge part in how well you can actually sit the saddle as well. Most saddles used by outfitters are not big enough (butt size!) for a lot of riders and coupled with standard stirrups it can be a rough go for anyone. I would ask for the largest saddle seat he has in his inventory at least 16" seat (saddles come in many sizes relative to the seat size) helps a lot if yo are a bigger guy to start with. I had a horse many years ago and rode a lot and can tell you tack can make or "break" you easily. My riding was bit rougher than most since I hooked up with a gal who's brother was into rodeo etc so dumas me decided that looked like fun. It was BUT dang bad **** does happen. AT least buy some bigger stirrups to bring and outfitter should not have any issue using them. I sold my Simco roping saddle years ago and all I can say is what a fool to do so. Bigger seat, clean fenders, bigger bull dogging stirrups was like riding in a Lazy Boy.
    Example bigger stirrups:
    https://www.amazon.com/Outfitters-Supply-TrailMax-Overshoe-Stirrups/dp/B00M8KIZ5M
     
  13. sedancowboy

    sedancowboy Well-Known Member

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    I ride well over 100 days a year and teach 12 students 7 weekends a year to ride for 3 days at a time. If someones knees are hurting then they either are putting too much weight in them or they are not adjusted correctly. The boot must go into the stirrup so your foot can rest on the ball comfortably.
    They make over sized stirrups for hunting boots and they are cheap. Your knees should be bent enough until when you stand up in the Saddle you can easily slide your hand under your crouch.
    the leather fenders should allow the stirrups to hang 90* to the horse. So there is no stress on your knees. Use your knees for balance not to carry your weight. Your butt is made for sitting so sit on it.
    I would suggest that relaxing while you ride and sitting on your butt will do more for your knees than anything else. I am in no way suggesting that exercise is not good for you and I encourage it at every lesson I teach.
    Henry