Cracked ribs, how long should I stay off horses?
I was riding with an inexperienced rider last Saturday, and he came up behind my horse and spooked him. He reared up and then jumped to the right, and I went face first over his left shoulder. The CT scan at the hospital confirmed that I had two cracked ribs and the mirror confirms a nice shiner. The doc said 2 weeks or so, but a google search said about a month.
How long would you guys wait? Should I think about wearing a vest?
Having the week off, I youtubed as much as I could find about emergency dismounts. That probably would have saved me some pain. How much a part if normal horse training is spent on learning how to do it?
Riding with cracked ribs is painful, even with a rib bandage on. Don't ask me how I know this. :-( The real questions are how bad do you want to ride and how high is your pain tolerance?
The risk of riding with a cracked rib is that is you fall again before it's healed, you risk displacing the fracture and possibly puncturing a lung.
I think two weeks is a good recommendation.
Yes, learning an emergency dismount is a good idea. Beginners usually learn to do one at a walk and trot within the first 20 lessons, intermediates should learn to one at the canter. One learned, they should be practiced periodically.
The last time I cracked (or bruised) ribs I had to remount and ride back to the farm ~3 miles - it wasn't fun. It took me over a month before I could comfortably get back up on a horse without a lot of pain. I'm probably a lot older then you so it does take a little longer to mend but I couldn't conceive of riding after 2 weeks. That sounds to me like a Dr who does not know much about what is involved in riding and thinks that being on a horse is simply being a passenger. Heck - it took 2 weeks before I could laugh without pain - (and I dreaded sneezing)!
A friend's advice was to try a seat belt. I just replied, "Thanks for the advice.", and really tried to avoid laughing.
im the wrong person to ask as i've been on my horses while still ON crutches (hey who needs stirrups?) and ridden 2.5 mos after a knee surgery that was supposed to have me off from 4-6.
that said - do what feels right to YOU with regards to pain and risk. would i jump like that or do tons of trails if i were you? probably not the best idea. as for a vest, again that is up to you. i wear mine on hunter paces and xc. i know people that wear them any time they are jumping or on trails. again to me i think it is a matter of personal preference and comfort.
and all THAT aside - i hope you heal up soon!
I am another wrong person to ask...broke my leg and rode in a full length cast for almost two years and when I did a compression fracture on my t-9 vertebrae, I rode that same day...course that was STUPID and if I had know I had literally broke my back that day would not have gotten back on the horse.
It's totally up to you, get back on whenever you feel ready, there is no right or wrong answer.
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