Midfoot Degeneration: Adaptive Stirrups?

I am in my late 30’s and have a rare midfoot deformity that has caused my navicular bone to become necrotic and break apart. Daily pain is normal for me now and I use a cane and a prosthetic to help me walk on bad days.

I’m a few years into this condition and am feeling very frustrated with my limitations in the saddle. I was previously riding hunter jumper but had to transition to dressage because I can’t stand in my stirrups or maintain a low heel without nerve, tendon, and arthritic pain. I ride in regular fillis irons; flexible stirrups make my pain worse.

Has anyone had experience with midfoot pain and what stirrups did you ride with? Having the “break over” right behind the ball of my foot seems to really increase my difficulties. Are there full foot stirrups? Should I strap endurance stirrups on my dressage saddle? I would like to ride in two point once in a while and be able to walk the next day. Tips?

I do not have your condition.

However I ended up suffering from intense pain in the balls of my feet, especially dismounting, for several months. It got so bad that I was wondering if I would have to give up riding horses just so I could walk.

I finally realized it was from the Fillis stirrups, even with the pad the knife edge at the top of the bottom of the stirrup ended up causing me a LOT of foot pain.

The simple solution for me was to get a pair of “Prussian sided” stirrups, like the stirrups most English riders used before the Fillis irons became popular.

Now I ride in the Tech Venice Slope safety stirrups without any foot pain. The slope of these stirrups is very mild, with the outside of the foot bed marginally higher than the inside, and the slope for the heels down is also very mild.

When I switched to the Prussian sided stirrups my foot pain WENT AWAY.

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Thank you! I have been looking for guidance and didn’t want to randomly test different stirrups! I will check it out.

Stubben makes Prussian sided stirrups so they can be found new. Sometimes I see a pair of the old, old, old Eldonian stainless steel Prussian sided stirrups on E-bay. I treasure the pair I got even though I do not use them any more.

The Tech Venice Slope safety stirrups are MUCH more expensive, and, at least for me, fix some of the problems of the Prussian sided stirrups. The subtle slope is enough so that the balls of my feet get even pressure across, and the slight rearward slope is enough so that I do not feel the back border of the foot bed digging into the balls of my feet. Plus they are safety stirrups.

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I do not have your condition but I have end-stage arthritis in the ankle. I have found that a wider footbed provides more stability for the foot. I ride in Jins or Herm Sprenger Bow Balance stirrups depending on what mobility is available to me in my joint. If my joint is stiff and sore the Jins if I am feeling good and have some flexibility the bow balance.

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I haven’t used them, but I recalled seeing these stirrups in my internet ramblings and thought you might be interested in researching them: https://www.etrierkvall.com/en/

The pictures on their website don’t seem very illustrative, so here’s another example:


@AnonMoss I am almost in tears because this sort of thing is what I’ve been searching for for two years! I would only need it on my bum foot (my right foot is fine with normal stirrups) but the force put on my midfoot by the downward force on my leg pressing down and my toe in the stirrup is very painful and leaves me unable to walk the next day. Thank you!

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