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Am I mad ...?

Discussion in 'Older Riders' started by Sjl62, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Sjl62

    Sjl62 New Member

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    Hello to all, I' m new to this site. Having had horses most of my adult life, I stopped riding over 10 yrs ago. Now at the age of 55 I've got the opportunity to share a 14yo mare - she's not a complete plod, but is kind and sensible.
    I suffer with anxiety & depression and the only time I've felt calm is in a horsey environment - it's like therapy.
    I' m somewhat heavier than I used to be, and nowhere near as flexible - I had a spinal decompression a couple of years ago, and still get lower back pain.
    I had difficulty getting on her because of my back, even with a mounting block, and felt very unstable just in walk. She's quite wide to sit on but there's nothing in front ! I've clearly lost my confidence !

    Are there any aids or different types of saddle that might give me more support and stability ?
    Am I mad to even consider this ?
     
  2. KP nut

    KP nut Horsey problems: caused by ego; solved by gravity

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    Mad? No of course not! Assuming you have permission to ride from a medical point of view. I don't know about saddles or aids but you could contact hippotherapy UK and ask them perhaps.

    Good luck. Sounds like a share mare is a great idea.
     
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  3. Sjl62

    Sjl62 New Member

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    Thanks
     
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  5. Skib

    Skib Well-Known Member

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    To be honest yes, probably with your spinal condition and this particular horse. My lower back is degenerated and like many older people I cant sit a wide horse - You described her as wide and you were feeling unstalbe on her - That could be because though you are astride her, you are not able to spread yours hips wide enough to sit at right angles straight across the horse. because of your back, you may be sitting with one knee further forward than the other, plus your weight to one side of he horse. These are all natural adjustment we make to spare our lower back - and avoid pain.
    Riding is wonderfully therapeutic and rising in trot I find very good for my lower back - but you need to find a horse of the right shape. Then you wil be able to sit back on your two seat bones and get your balance. It isnt so much a matter of confidence being lost, but the flexibility of youth. In my case that wont come back.
     
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  6. newforest

    newforest Opinion, a view not always based on knowledge.

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    There are things out there that offer more support yes. We use Flex stirrups which helps with lower back and knee issues.
    http://www.treefree-saddles.co.uk/_p/prd1/191375301/product/flex-ride

    You can also do lots of things on the ground. It's not about the riding for me.
    With your depression just being able to help look after her will benefit you.
     
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  7. Sjl62

    Sjl62 New Member

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    Thanks for all your replies, and taking your comments on board, I have to be realistic and sadly I don't think my flexibility of youth is ever likely to come back ! And I am concerned about about being injured.
    But I agree Newforest, just being in a horsey environment with like minded people, and looking after her will be just as enjoyable and beneficial.
    And my (younger !) friend is happy to do the riding. So I'm going to make the most of what I can do, and enjoy it !!
     
  8. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    Nah not mad :p welcome to NR :D wide horses do offer some challenges to our bodies, but they are not always impossible to overcome, as @newforest said there are various options, I'm not sure if the HM 'hip-saver' that treeless folks use can be used with a tree'd saddle, Newforest might know?
    There is also a bit of a re-education period for your body, it can take a while for those muscles that give you stability to remember what they need to do, I'd probably try and do little and often until you decide, perhaps you cool her down after your friend has given her the main workout initially :)
    A taller mounting block can certainly make mounting easier, and one with a large flat top can make getting off onto the block an option too.
     
  9. Skib

    Skib Well-Known Member

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    The hip saver is advertised for both treed and untreed saddles.
    I have not tried one - tho the seat saver and fleecy pads I have ridden with tend to increase the width of the horse.
    Dont forget that horses change shape too. One mare on which I first learned got very round and too wide for me but she has now lost weight and if I didnt already have two nice horses to ride, I would try her again.
    What I was trying to say to OP was that if you get involved with horses again, just look out for a suitable narrow horse and try that.It is the reality of life that as one's body ages and deteriorates, it is never going to be "cured". Riding is possible and beneficial but one has to adjust.
    And that will vary from person to person. Francis has a seriously bad back and cant ride to the trot so she sits to the Icelandic tolt. But I need to rise, and a ride all in walk (suggested above) leaves me in pain the next day. Useful knowledge as one can stand in the stirrups in walk.
     
  10. Frances144

    Frances144 Remember me?

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    Skib is right. I can't sit to any trot. My horses dont trot, ever. Just tolt, which is fine.

    If you want horse therapy and are feeling wobbly about riding, what about finding a Shetland pony stud and offering your grooming/helping services. Just being around these little ponies is wonderful therapy. I adore mine and spend many hours with them, just talking to them and having fun.
     
  11. Lollykay

    Lollykay Member

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    Hello and welcome:). I have high level Grade II Spondoliothiliosis (sp?)

    I have been riding 58 years and riding gaited horses (Tennessee Walkers) for the last 26 years in order to keep riding. I have to be able to "step onto" my horse, so I use the horse trailer fender, lol. Getting off is just ugly to behold and I'm thankful my horses accept my inadequacies and just stand there, lol

    I wear pain patches with lidoderm in them and I see a chiropractor once a week.

    I have read that a lot of folks learn mobility, and to lessen their fear/tenseness by doing yoga. That might be something to consider, if there is a yoga instructor near you.
     
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