too many injuries, too heavy and too late for riding? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 47 Old 08-08-2013, 07:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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If I were you, I would stick around this site and ask for help and encouragement where needed as well as just reading threads and learning more about every aspect of horse care and riding. It is a great place to learn and there are all types of people at all different levels of riding on the forum.
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post #22 of 47 Old 08-09-2013, 12:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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yay, great job!! dont give up!

Originally Posted by Jareth, the Goblin King
I move the stars for no one.
RIP Pumpkin: 2012-8/26/13
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post #23 of 47 Old 08-09-2013, 08:02 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Some times Llanelian - North wales, sometimes Hull in East Yorkshire (UK)
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I've done a lot of work with para dressage and Riding for the disabled association. Compared to some of the people I've met in those roles your disabilitys are minor and should not Stop you riding, if it makes you happy go for it.

Whilst yes I would agree that losing weight would help your situation, it is not the be all and end all.

Mounting from the ground is not something I can do on my current horse because he will try and kill me if I do (and I'm fully able bodied), I always mount from a block if I have the option on any horse as moutning from the ground can twist the tree of a saddle.

Finaly I think your instructor is being very good about it. There is no way she can know if you are physically able to do something with your disability, only you can know that and instructors who insist otherwise are often the ones that have accidents. Very experianced Para instructors will be able to say, physically you should be able to do this, but they will never say you can do this.
A good friend of mine has a girdlestone hip, this means that she physically cannot sit a canter, doesnt matter what horse, how it canters or the speed of the canter, she cannot sit it. One instructor insisted on her cantering and she ended up taking quite a bad fall from it.
I know her well enough to say "yes/no you can/cant do this" but she still suprises me occasionaly.
she however puts me to shame when it comes to walk and trot.

She picks her horses very carefully for thier temprement, ability and for the size/type of walk and trot they have. A huge moving warmblood is no good for her as the movement is too big and her hip cant cope, but a short cobby choppy stride is also bad for her.

She gets on and off from a hydraulic mounting block that raises to half way up the horses side so that she can swing a leg over (as in physically pick up the leg with her hands and throw it over to be caught by an assistant on the other side) and then once in the saddle she sorts out her stirrups afterwards. To get off the horse takes 2 assistants) 1 holds the horse, the other takes her feet out of the stirrups and then she hoiks her leg (again phycially picks it up and throws it) over the horses neck (so she is sitting sideways on the horse) she then uses assistant number 2's shoulder to enable her to slide back onto the block and get her crutch.

Do not give up and it could be that you are your current instructors first disabled rider and she is unsure of how much she can push you. Build up that relationship, if something hurts tell her, if oyu cant do something discuss it with her, but you will never know if you can or cant do something untill you try it
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RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #24 of 47 Old 08-09-2013, 10:23 AM
Green Broke
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Location: AZ
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Hey, seven pounds IS a big deal! You did great-it is much harder to get it off than put it on. I've had over a 50 pound fluctuation over my riding life, & at my heaviest, I could barely mount, had to have DH help me. Now, in my 6th decade,& arthritis setting in, I will get up anyway I can & do my darndest to stay up. Keep a positive attitude & don't give up your dreams.
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post #25 of 47 Old 08-11-2013, 03:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Don't you dare give it up!!!! You are not too big, and while only you can determine whether your injuries will hold you back, I think your love of the horses should outweigh any of the effects. And as for the mounting block, there are lots of us who can't mount from the ground, and also lots of fit riders who use blocks anyway because it's easier on the horse! The thought of someone that in love with horses letting anything stand between her and them breaks my heart!

I gave up riding for 8 years, and the last 5 or so I've missed riding desperately but didn't think I could even show my face at a barn at my size. Well, after years of telling myself I could ride after I lost weight, I decided I'd had enough and started taking lessons (at a barn whose owner specifically welcomes riders who think they're too big or too old or too sick or too whatever).

While I only share your size issue, not the injuries, I have to say that getting back into riding is the best decision I've ever made.

As for your teacher, frankly I would find another. I am about your size (though an inch shorter and 10 pounds heavier), and everyone around me has been nothing but supportive and encouraging. If I had felt discouraged by a trainer, I probably would have abandoned the whole effort with my tail between my legs. So I'm impressed with you for keeping it up. If you really think your trainer isn't on board, ditch her.

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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post #26 of 47 Old 08-12-2013, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Thank you, SammysMom, for your directness and encouragement - and all of you. So many of you have succeeded where I've feared to tred, it's undeniable that there's a way, if there's a will. And there is.

Yesterday, I went to a wine tasting event in the countryside, and beside it, incidentally, was a paddock with 2 beautiful horses grazing and enjoying each other and the sunshine. As everyone buzzed on enraptured about wine, cheese, yatta, yatta, all I could do was gaze over at the horses and dream of "what ifs". My husband said that had they been male humans, we'd have a big problem!

After a few hours of this, I could stand it no longer and finally got up and walked over, as I'd spotted their owner in her garden. She allowed me to visit and snuggle to my heart's content, just for the asking!

She asked me if I rode, so I gave her the social version of my situation - where I try not to sound devastated, lovelorn and pathetic. She told me she knows many people who have similar tales, but, quite simply, if you love them and your soul needs this, you find a way. I'm not a big believer in coincidence, but I think I was meant to hear that message, unadorned.

Today I went to the beginning of this thread I started in some despair and re-read the whole thing. I thought about how much time I'm spending on what makes me sad, as opposed to pursuing what makes me happy. I need to do everything you've all said: yes, lose the weight, do strengthening exercises and tell (not ask) the trainer I need to mount from a block -at least for now.
But also, pursue what I love, with confidence, as you do.

I'm going to sign up for that introductory lesson and ride with another trainer and seek an objective evaluation, and if my own trainer can't see her way clear to work with me as I am, right now, I must find another who will. The only way I will stop is if the horse tells me to, not my own insecurity - and not anyone else.

If you love them and your soul needs this, you find a way. Full stop.
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post #27 of 47 Old 08-12-2013, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by adarkhorse View Post
I thought about how much time I'm spending on what makes me sad, as opposed to pursuing what makes me happy.
We all need to have that written up somewhere I'm sure, it is a great little thought for life.
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post #28 of 47 Old 08-12-2013, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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Have you considered taking up driving? I don't mean with a dinky little easy entry cart but a nice meadowbrook style, a lady's cart. Taffy could probably help you with this.
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post #29 of 47 Old 08-13-2013, 12:26 PM
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Location: Baytown, TX Close to Houston
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You are sort of in the same position I'm in. Multiple injuries, plus being overweight, bad pain in my knees, so there's no way I could mount from the ground. I have checked out 3 step mounting blocks online, but they're $90 and more. Mounting from a tailgate sounds simple enough, if I could manage to get up on the tailgate, lol.
I am in no hurry, because I was given my mare almost a month ago, and she's very thin. Right now, I'm happy just to be able to groom and help feed.
But, I do want to ride again, someday. I'm 5'2" inches and weigh 205, which I am down 30 lbs. after my gall bladder surgery 4 months ago. Good luck to you. My middle daughter and I used to love to ride together, and it would make us both happy to ride together again.
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post #30 of 47 Old 08-13-2013, 12:55 PM
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What a great story, OP. I know exactly that feeling where you are at a party with humans, but you'd rather be out in that field with the horses.

YOu aren't as far from being able to ride as you think. not everyone can ride like a cowboy, but we DO ride, in our own fashion. YOu'll do it!
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