, sorry to hear about the arthritis, but I think that most of us at this age (I will also be 49 soon) have either started with arthritis/osteoarthritis or we're well on our way.
You'll probably think I'm a hippy-chic, but I am scared to death of surgery, so I have been doing everything else under the sun to avoid surgeryÖ at least for now. To reduce the inflammation, I started to weed out all sources of inflammation from my diet, including sugar, sweeteners, salt and flour. Sometimes I can't avoid them completely, and sometimes I'll have a craving and treat myself, but making smarter choices helps a lot. And, as everyone knows, keeping your weight in check is a must for joint degeneration.
I also love Pilates because it works on muscle strength as well as joint flexibility. Win-win. Other good choices are yoga, Tai-Chi and swimming.
Finally, my husband and I take supplements. In addition to multi-vitamins with extra calcium, I also take collagen supplements, as well as magnesium, iron and Vitamin D, which were all deficiencies identified by my GP. But I swear by the collagen.
Of course, your condition might also be affected by the amount of riding you are doing. My trainer (50) rides 4-6 horses a day, and he has had to have hip injections twice this year. But, with that amount of riding, your body never has time to rest and recover between rides, so the inflammation becomes more chronic. Perhaps that is your case.
Either way, I wish you luck, but at 49 I refuse to think that I am 'getting old'!