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Phyllis 11-05-2012 01:49 AM

Beginning Riding Lessons After Complete Spinal Fusion and at Age 52
I am new to everything horses except for the fact that I have thought they are the most beautiful animal since I was a child. Took riding lessons for a short time when I was around 12. Rode for fun with friends as a teen. Two years ago, just before turning 50, I had a complete spinal fusion and my pelvis straighted in another surgery two days after the fusion (to correct scoliosis, degenerative disk disease, cysts, spurs, and arthritis). I am so happy and grateful that the surgery was a success. Now that the long healing and recovery processes are over, I'm testing myself and my abilities. First, I was thrilled when I realized I could ride a bicycle; I've walked in several organized walks for breast cancer; gone back to work of course; enjoying my pool in the summer; drive; passenger on my husband's motorcycle; yard work; most everything that had halted before the surgery due to my back pain; and now horseback riding. It's always been a dream of mine since I was a child, and I'm finally financially able to afford lessons. I've had three lessons so far and was so nervous for the first two, but I made out fine. My instructor kept a watchful eye on me and is comfortable with having me as a student. I explained my situation to her while considering the possibility of riding. I couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity and second chance at a good quality of life after such a major surgery. I don't know if it will keep me from progressing beyond a certain level of riding, but I would so love, and as of right now, I hope the possibility to be very good does exist for me!! I read a thread where several older and new riders became discouraged. I hope my story can inspire others. I would even post pics of my X-rays that show the two rods and approx 25 screws that run from the top of my spine to the bottom and into my hips, but I wanted to check with you first to see if it would be okay. I also have a couple of pics of me riding. I am a very positive, determined person, and I know that is a huge part of my successful recovery and why I am able to conquer most of my quests. What I have found most difficult to do after my full recovery is reaching my feet to tie my shoes/boots! :lol: Pretty good considering, I'd say! Oh, can't lay down in a tub for a good hot bath anymore either, so I bought a hot tub ~ PERFECT!! I have found that my back is good and tired after an hour of riding and a total hour of before and after care of the horse but my back feels so much STRONGER the next day ~ seems great for strengthening the core! Thanks for allowing me to take up your time, and if it's okay to tell my story (including 2 pics of X-rays), I will see if I can figure out how to do it. Take Care, and I look forward to enjoying this new Forum!!

TerrieL 11-05-2012 08:04 AM

Wow you are an inspiration to those of us now longer in our 30s or 40s starting to ride again. I applaud you for your courage

Cacowgirl 11-05-2012 02:37 PM

Yes, pictures , X-rays are posted on this forum all the time. Horse back riding will strengthen your back & your core. My sister will be having some back surgery to repair some issues in her back later this month. I hope her recovery is as good as yours. Thank you for sharing & hope you continue to enjoy the riding & being around these magnificent animals.

Phyllis 11-05-2012 03:55 PM


Originally Posted by TerrieL (Post 1744806)
Wow you are an inspiration to those of us now longer in our 30s or 40s starting to ride again. I applaud you for your courage

Thank you!

Phyllis 11-05-2012 04:11 PM

Complete Spinal Fusion Before/After
4 Attachment(s)
Attached are a few pics of my back after surgery. X-rays are not very clear, but there are two rods and approx 25 or so screws. Then me with Nemo where I recently started riding lesssons 2 years after my surgery. I would be happy to answer any questions, CACOWGIRL, if I can. Best wishes to your sister with her future back surgery.

HorseLovinLady 11-07-2012 08:07 PM


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