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Michelle and Mr B 05-16-2011 02:30 PM

Rider with a weakness, what do you do?
I was born with hip displaysia and in Aug of last year i had an op where the surgeons broke my pelvis in 3 places and shaved some bone to make a 'better' hip socket.

The op went as well as could be expected but unfortunately the femoral nerve was stretched during the op leaving me with significant weakness and numbness in the right leg, in particular my knee will on occasion 'give way' with no warning.

I have had an EEG/EMG test to see if there is nerve function, thankfully there is and it will just be a matter of time for it to heal. The specialist said a nerve will grow at 1mm per day, so i have potentially just over a year worth of recovery from the date of my op.

I am now onto one crutch and feel very positive that it will not be too long before i can walk, albeit with quite a limp (never wanted to be a catwalk model anyway :lol:). Anyway the reason for this long winded post is to hear from others that have any physical weakness, preferably experiences of leg weakness and how it affects (if at all) how they ride and any examples of exercises etc that they feel help improve their leg aids.

I look forward to hearing from you, cookies if you got to the end! :-P

Stillstandin 05-16-2011 04:16 PM

A year ago I suffered nerve damage in both wrists and both legs. This results in partial paralysis and or numbness/loss of feeling. I not only continued to ride with my doctor's approval but also compete in Team Penning and Sorting. I do ride two very well trained horses that are capable of basically taking over and doing their job in the event my not being able to give the correct cues during a competition run. I have had to really develop my core strength to be able to ride and compete successfully since the injuries. Talk to your doctor before riding though and be prepared to take it slow as you and your horse get used to the weakness in your leg.

tinyliny 05-16-2011 04:28 PM

I bet you will be able to ride with greater ease than walk. Good luck!

myhorsesonador 05-16-2011 04:30 PM

Hello, First thing is become good friends with a cyrpopractor in your area! I have steched tyndons in my ankles, my spine is twisted, AND I have numerous injerys to my wrists. Also I recomend a good glucosamin suplament as well as calcium.

Do you ride english or western?

Michelle and Mr B 05-17-2011 06:37 AM

Thanks for all the replies. It's english riding i do, im based in the Scotland, UK. I have my own horse but i also work for a riding school that also does schooling and we have a selection of horses for sale that i would be schooling too. I ideally don't want to give up the riding part of my job.

I am now at the stage where i feel i could potentially sit on something sensible just to get the feel of being on board again. I have an appointment with my physio on wednesday so hopefully he will give me a better idea of where i need to be at to get back in the saddle. I won't just get on i will make sure i've spoken to doctor etc.

Have any of you found any exercises in particular that are useful in maintaining or building up strength. I have significant muscle wastage and this is difficult to build at the moment with the nerve palsy but hoping as i become more mobile i will get some of that back?

CJ82Sky 05-17-2011 12:14 PM

i have awful knees, tore ACL MCL and LCL in both. one has been fully repaired in one surgery and is fine. the other still has severe damage and 2 scopes didn't clean it up enough and it needs to be rebuilt like my right one was.

i find that i do a lot of work both without stirrups as well as - and more importantly for me as i find it strengthens the knee the most - lots of two point. sometimes i'll take my trail horse out and just ride along in two point for an hour or more. it took me quite a while to build up to that, and it started with two point then sit, then repeat until my legs were strong enough to help the knee be stable.

like someone else said riding will be easier than walking and i would agree there. if you have a solid trustworthy mount that you can get on from time to time, i find that the exercises i can do in the saddle are often far better than the ones i can do without a horse.

good luck, and i am glad the surgery was a success and hope you heal quickly!

CJ82Sky 05-17-2011 12:14 PM

oh and i also love my wii fit in the off season or whenever i can't ride so that i am able to really keep myself fit even when weather or footing or subzero temps get in the way!

faye 05-17-2011 01:17 PM

I regularly work with Para riders, a good friend of mine had a failed hip replacement (well it wored for about a month and then ripped out) resulting in her having no hip at all on one side. this means that when in the saddle her left leg is practically useless.

She is currently trying out for Para Teams! and I'm helping to search for a new neddie for her.
Riding is by far the best exercise for her, She schools her horses to adapt to onesided leg aids and uses a schooling stick instead of her left leg.

Personaly I have 2 crushed discs in my spine that has resuled in sciatica in my right leg. I ride regularly to keep myself supple and when in the saddle for proloned periods of time I make sure to remove my leg from the stirrup and to stretch/rotate it.

Michelle and Mr B 05-17-2011 04:25 PM

It's great to hear of how people adapt their riding. I suppose I won't know how if at all this will affect my riding but I'm still not quite there yet.

Faye it would be interesting to find out more about training the horse to the one-sided method. I haven't looked into whether there are any instructors in my area (north east of Scotland)that would have experience of adapting the 'traditional' way of riding, but might be worth looking into this too.

Thanks for all the replies.

faye 05-17-2011 04:32 PM

We have found that most open minded Dressage instructors will be able to teach you to adapt the aids or failing that a side saddle instructor (I do know of one just outside of Edinburgh if you are struggling)

Basicly if the horse has got the aid already established then they tend to pick up on the adaptions better, infact even highly schooled dressage horses adapted fairly quickly. It was pretty much a case of I got on the horse and using the correct aids taught it to go from voice commands, from voice commands my Para friend could teach it to go to her aids. Generaly it only took a couple of sessions for a dressage horse to figure it out! Hardest part is figuring out what voice commands the horse already knows and then what will work for things like extending the trot, latteraly work etc without confusing the horse.

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