Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Down in Alabama
I had never fallen off a horse until last year, then again this past March. The fall in March really scared the crap out of me. In fact, the horse's owner pushed me to get back on, and ride again...fell again. I was shook up, but, kept calm. It was later that night when I felt the full effects from the two falls. Let's just say that I was very bruised and sore, my tailbone isn't the same yet. The owner admitted that to me after finding out for herself that he didn't have the correct fitting saddle on each time he had been ridden.
So, I stopped riding english because I just had too much pain in my back and ankle. Somehow, I resprained my ankle in the two falls. So, I went back to riding western pleasure in a comfortable synthetic saddle, and eased back into riding. I also bought a horse and moved her to a more positive environment, hired a trainer to work with me and my horse. This has helped me and my horse tremendulosly!
Since I'm getting older, I need to try and keep good leg strength and balance in my seat position. I do simple one legged strengthening exercises, especially for my weaker leg. I also do warm pool therapy to help reduce stress on my joints and get some cardio with swimming, simple water exercises. It helps to stretch my muscles while in the warm water so that I can keep my heels down and keep better balance. I stretch my calves on a short step and do some simple exercises for inner thighs.
Having a L1 fracture, you should consider wearing a lumbar support or a safety vest that eventers wear. Protecting your back is very important while riding, especially after an injury such as yours. Since you are having SI joint pain, you may have a possible bulging disk in your L5-S1 joint. It is one of the most common places to have bulging or ruptured disks. I use Lidoderm patches for my pain, helps alot. Also, I would keep your riding to 10-15 mins at first, and would recommend that you start walking on a flat surface to help build your back and leg strengths up. Walk a half mile if you can at first, then build up to a mile. When you feel stronger and have less pain, then try walking up and down gentle hill or use a treadmill.
Just take it one day at a time and enjoy the time you can spend with your horse. That's what I've had to do, and am not as afraid of falling as I was, but, it is still in the back of my mind alot of times.