Riding and fibromyalgia
I've been doing equine assisted psychotherapy (all groundwork), and I've absolutely fallen in love with horses. I'm thinking of trying riding lessons, but I don't know if riding will be good or bad for my fibro. Anyone have fibromyalgia and ride?
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Hi! I say go for it. My mom has fibromyalgia, the worst case her doctor has seen. I also will probaby end up with it, if I don't already. She rides some, and mainly plays and grooms her gelding. She is always happy at the barn. Riding probably won't make you feel better, it might make you hurt for awhile afterwards, but if it makes you happy, that's what counts! If it doesn't work out, stick to just being with horses! I enjoy just being with them way more than riding. Go for it!!:-)
I have been riding for almost 16 years, the last 3 of those years with lupus. Riding that long, I don't let arthritis stop me unless it's really severe, and even then I tend to be able to bareback trail ride or ride around the ranch at least if I can't lift the saddle. If I end up permanently unable to ride, give ME the pink juice! :lol:
However, if you try riding and decide you aren't all that interested, there are LOTS of horses that aren't sound for riding, but could definitely be up to light-medium groundwork and would absolutely love to just be someone's grooming buddy!
Have you talked with your doctor? I'd probably start there (and, if you were going to ride with a therapeutic riding facility, you'd need a doc's assessment).
I think the biggest issue is just managing fatigue. You'd want to be sure you're working with a quiet horse with really steady movement (some horses just require more energy to ride if they have "big" movement), and be sure you were communicating with your instructor about when you needed a rest break or to change up the activities. You'll also want to talk about how much of the grooming/tacking up you want to take on prior to the riding portion of your lesson, as those prep activities can require a surprising amount of energy.
Every person is obviously different, but generally, therapeutic riding can certainly be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia.
Good luck! Glad you've enjoyed your horse adventures so much up to now.
I have a fairly advanced case of it. Your body needs you to exercise and build muscle to support it. I would take short rides, mount from a mounting block, and no horses that pull you. A quiet, lifted horse.
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I have hashimotos and suspected lupus (tests come back negative but I have lots of the symptoms) and I started really riding again back in May of 2012. At first it was the fatigue that was the worst. Even just lunging took a whole lot out of me. I would start getting stars in my vision and light headed. At that point Sky and I would go back to the barn and just hang until it passed. We did a lot of groundwork at first due to his various issues health wise and slowly worked up to more and more work. Today I have no problem with riding and grooming/tacking up then spending hours at the barn in the heat. Somedays are worse than others but Sky doesnt mind my bad days since it means lots of grooming and love for him with no work :) all that to say-it's a long process to build up to, but it's so worth it. OH and naps are my friend. All I need is an hour to rest on barn days and I'm good to go. I honestly have never been so healthy in my life!
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