too many injuries, too heavy and too late for riding? - Page 2
 
 

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too many injuries, too heavy and too late for riding?

This is a discussion on too many injuries, too heavy and too late for riding? within the Plus Sized Riders forums, part of the The Horse Forum Community category

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        08-07-2013, 05:54 PM
      #11
    Showing
    I feel that you need these lessons. It makes you so happy to be riding a horse again (I can tell from how you're writing) and it's a lot different than just working with them on the ground (which is also amazing)

    However if you want to improve, you need to be fit and I bet that if you work even 10 lbs off, you will feel so much better not only in the saddle but overall.

    I don't mount from my ground.. not only is my knee shot from rugby and a boat propellar, but it's not good for the horse anwyay so I usually mount from a block or a stump or a picnic table or bench, etc.

    You can do this!
         
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        08-07-2013, 06:32 PM
      #12
    Foal
    I am 6'0" and 265 lbs (down from 300!). I ride a 1200 lb 15 HH appendix quarter horse mare. I have found that her back not too long to carry my weight, and that she is stocky enough and has the correct amount of bone in all the right places. We get from A to B without issue. If there was ever any discomfort expressed by her, I'd be off in a minute. ( I bought her around 900-950 lbs, and worked + fattened her up until her body had better muscle conditioning. )

    I had a terrible back injury that kept me nearly bedridden and on worker's comp for 6 months. Riding has strengthened the muscles in my back and core, has encouraged me to lose more weight, and generally keeps me happy.

    My thoughts? I think you should go for it.
    A note. It is courteous to the horse to use a mounting block/tailgate/picnic table etc regardless of your weight. Yes, if you do trail riding, it makes the most sense to be able to get on and off from the ground. For lessons in an arena right now, though?? I think they should worry about you learning fundamentals before worrying about your ground-mounting abilities.

    Also, your right knee is weak? Which side are you mounting on? I can mount my horse on either side, but the left is my preference. A well-trained horse should be able to be mounted from either side. :)

    I really hope that you will be able to continue riding. It's one of the best things in life, honestly!
         
        08-07-2013, 06:46 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Don't let your size stop you! There are a lot of myths out there about how much weight a horse can carry. I've been OK'd to ride my 22yo 15hh Paint by several people, including vets and trainers. I'm 225 and 5'5". Of course when I first got him and he was underweight and under muscled, I didn't ride him till we got a month of rehab under his belt. :) I mount from a 2-step block. My horse misbehaves and for a while I was afraid it was my weight but he acts the same when the 100# trainer rode him and when the 150# trainer rode him and when the 190# farrier rode him. ;)
         
        08-07-2013, 07:27 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    I am a beginner rider. Gained an extra ten, putting me at 202, and found out im pregnant. CRAP.

    I had a tumor in my left ankle which was wrapped around nerves and my tendon. They left some in my heel bones, because the doctor said he would have had to saw my shin bone in half and pull my leg apart like a wishbone to get thw tissue in my heel. Eh. It makes walking harder, and its hard as hell to put that heel down!

    Im a smidge over 5'2. And I can't mount from the ground. I use a bucket.

    OP....dont give up. I know you must know this, but your body will feel so much better if you take off a few of those extra pounds. At 200 plus, I HURT. My knees hurt, my ankle hurts worse....I can't imagine what an extra 25 of baby fats going to feel like. :/

    Start small. All that's in between you and your dream is a few pounds! You can do it! Your trainer prob doesn't mean to , make you feel bad or weird....she is prob worried about you AND her horse. Talk to her about how you feel and work on losing ten pounds. Continue with your lessons. You will feel good at your start. I imagine mountimg would start getting easier once you hit 20 ;)
         
        08-07-2013, 07:39 PM
      #15
    Trained
    I always mount from a block, two dodgy knees and an iffy back says this is good practice

    Op sounds like riding fills a need in you, so keep going. You have lots of company in the older and carrying battle scars club, so don't worry, be guided by what your body tells you.
    smrobs and Skyseternalangel like this.
         
        08-08-2013, 02:37 PM
      #16
    Foal
    NICE thread. Love the honesty and sincerity. Sounds like you have as much heart as most horses do, love my horses! I have 2 horses, 1 is a mustang X thatis 14.2 (maybe) and the other is a standardbred who is 15.2 solid. I ride both at different times. I am 45yo, 5'5 and 1/2,,,lol,, gotta get the one half in and I weigh 179 lbs, THAT is down from 245. I wear a size 12 jeans ans a size Large t-shirt (mens) if that helps give you and idea of how big I am. I was lucky when I started I was a strong woman use to hard work. It took me quite sometime to get to this weight. Im still losing slowly but sure and now I have an even better motive, my Standarbred can jump up to 3 feet! YES! I am meeting a new trainer in the next week to set up appointments to start english riding and jumping. I can mount form the ground on both horses, lol obviously the mustang is an easier mount than the Standardbred but im getting faster. I had a hard time a few months ago to get on from the ground but I can do it now that I have worked on it. BUT that's also with a western saddle, Im not so sure about mounting from the ground with an english saddle, we will have ot see. Pprobably wont be taking pictures of that though LOL. SO if riding and lessons is what someone who may be overweight wants I say go for it, love it, enjoy it and don't ever let anyone make you feel like you shouldnt be doing it. I know of men that weigh 240 and 280 that ride and the horse is ok with it. I will definitely have ot post some pics of me in some english apparel!!!! OH DEAR,,lol. Riding my STB,,,shes a doll, much more exoerienced than me. I can't wait to start jumping,,,but id like to get a little more weight off so I can have better balance.
         
        08-08-2013, 03:02 PM
      #17
    Foal
    It is never too late to pursue your passions in life.

    I don't think you are too heavy to ride, as long as you are riding an appropriate horse.

    I also don't think that your instructor is being fair in insisting that you mount from the ground. As has already been stated, most of us mount from whatever support we can find, simply for the sake of the horse's back.

    Riding is a risk, no matter what. I would be scared for you, but I also know that when you are passionate about something, the risk is worth it.

    I recently had this type of conversation with one of my children. The main point of it was "Riding should be fun. And you should be free to ride as you wish, even if it's on a leadline at a dead walk".

    Do what makes you happy and find support in its pursuit.
         
        08-08-2013, 03:30 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    I would say do not give up! Will loosing a few lbs make you feel a bit better in the saddle? Yes, it will, but keep riding as you loose them. So long as you are on a healthy horse with a good amount of muscle, your horse and you will be fine.

    As far as having to mount from the ground... hogwash! My trainer would not allow me to mount from the ground on any of her horses because of the way it pulls on their back and this was when I was between 10-15 years old and a skinny child! I still try not to mount from the ground if I can help it and I'm 5'8 130lbs getting on a 17hh draft cross. It's always better to get up on something when you can, so I wouldn't worry about it one bit!

    Find a trainer who is willing to teach you the way you are and continue working with you as you progress in every way.

    And, if you find that after too much riding your old injuries become very painful, you should look into driving. You still get to have that connection and teamwork with the horse, without the strain on your legs.

    Best of luck and stick with it!
    luv2ride2012 likes this.
         
        08-08-2013, 04:31 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    Personally I think that you should continue riding. How often are you riding? I should think that the riding in itself will help with the weight loss. It is an excellent exercise and good for the soul, as you already found out.

    As far as mounting from the ground, I think that one should be able to but not that they have to. I suspect your trainers concern is that you are not overly flexible or balanced but... keep riding and working at it and that will improve, if you quit now, it won't.

    When I got Cancer, I gained 70 pounds and started feeling pretty bad about myself. I was extremely thin prior so even 70 pound more I wasn't THAT heavy but more then I wanted to be. I too struggle with my weight now but have managed to drop some of that weight off again. If you are dedicated to weight loss for your health and safety, horses can be a large motivator.

    I find that bribing myself helps. "If I lose 5 pounds, I buy this" "If I can get down to this weight, I will buy this for myself" etc... My goal is to get down to my pre-sick weight of 115 pounds but I would be happy with 125 now that I too am older. Ha ha I am 5' 6" and prefer a taller horse so... getting on from the ground has posed a challenge for me as well in the past. If you get yourself one of those step arobic steps and practice stepping up and down off that to strengthen your legs, maybe that will help. One step at a time but whatever you do... do NOT give up on this dream. You will always regret it if you do, just work hard to get the weight off so you feel more comfortable and have fun every step of the way. God Bless you for finding your happiness in this life and for hanging onto it.
         
        08-08-2013, 06:16 PM
      #20
    Foal
    Thank you all so much for your input. I have been feeling, privately, very sad about all of this, and the sense of so many understanding people out there willing to advise a stranger is heartening.

    I am soon travelling on vacation to Nova Scotia, Canada, where I've located a well-established horse farm offering a 1hr lesson followed by a 1hr guided trail ride. I'm thinking to sign up, and use that experience to gain additional, objective perspective on my abilities (or lack thereof). Does that strike you as a good idea?

    I am trying to be satisfied with learning to groom the wonderful horses at my teacher's barn, watching others complete their lessons and drills, and making myself generally useful on the farm in order to spend time with the horses. If indeed I have to face the fact that it's the best I can do, then I will live it - and gratefully, too. I often drive for hours in the countryside near my home just to catch a glimpse of horses in their paddocks. When no one can comfort me, the sight of the grace, majesty, perfection and humility of horses just being horses does.

    It's because of my strong affection and affinity for them, though, that I would never want to cause a horse a moment's unnecessary discomfort or confusion by my ineptitude. Golden Horse said in an earlier post once you must be honest with yourself, and this strikes a deep chord with me. I want to, but I simply don't have enough information to do that, as my teacher seems hesitant to explore and evaluate my abilities (or disabilities), but she's too kind to simply send me away, either. This is why I think I'd better try for a separate, objective assessment from those with whom I have no relationship.

    I hesitate to mention that, as so many have suggested, it's obvious to me that everything would be easier without the added burden of being significantly overweight. It's true that over the past 3 weeks, while trying to resolve all of this, I've intensified my exercising and dieting efforts, and am now actually 243lbs instead of 250, as of today. It's such a drop in the bucket, and I've traipsed up and down the scale so many times that I don't breathe a sigh of relief until at least 25lbs or so have come off. My policy is normally not to mention anything less than a 10% bodyweight loss, but I don't want you to think I haven't welcomed all of your advice.
         

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