Overweight Rider Injury - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Overweight Rider Injury

Hello,

I am new to these message boards and am hoping to get some advice/hear of others' experiences.

I have been taking private riding lessons for about 4 years. I take lessons/ride on average 3x a week. When I first began lessons I was overweight (by BMI standards) and (sad to say), now am obese. On Thursday of last week at my lesson the (school) horse I was riding spooked. This was at the very end of my lesson, when we had already made a nice downward transition from canter to walk. He bolted and bobbled me a bit - had he took off with me, I would have been fine with this, as I could have regained my balance eventually - but shortly after coming out of the turn, slammed on the brakes. This resulted in me falling overboard, so to speak. To show for this, I have a fractured collarbone, as well as a couple of fractured or bruised ribs.

I am bummed for a couple of reasons: obviously, bc I fell and hurt myself and now I'm looking at a 3 month hiatus from riding (and possible surgery); and also, the thought that the severity of my injury may have been prevented by being at an ideal body weight. I can't help but think that my balance could have been better if I were in a "normal" weight range; thereby either keeping me on the horse or reducing the impact of my fall.

I am determined to use this pause in my riding to get down to a lower weight for my own (and whatever horse I end up riding's) safety; I do know that accidents/these things happen, but it couldn't hurt to try to make things as safe as possible for all parties involved.

Are there any larger riders out there who have experienced something like this? Am I overthinking the size/balance connection, and should just chalk it up to "s*** happens"? I'm just really down right now (and in a fair amount of discomfort, haha), and hearing of others' experiences with this would go a long way in not feeling like such a ding-dong

I'm sorry, this is very long - if you've made it this far, thank you!
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 06:39 PM
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no,. you aren't imagining it. if you are heavy, and especially heavy around the tummy and boobs, then your center of gravity is higher by an inch or two, and that can make all the difference in the world when a hosre props and spins. this has gotten me off 5 times! wait, I forgot one. make that 6!

that's the bad part. the "good" part seems to be , and don't laugh, I have so much padding that while I hit hard ground hard, and I feel real sore and it's a miserable experience, I haven't broken a bone. whereas , my skinny friend , if she fell like I did, would very likely break a bone.

you cannot deny that being top heavy will negatively effect your balance, but, if you have ridden 3 years and not come off, you were really pushing your odds anyway.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 06:45 PM
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You've been riding for four years and this is your first fall? Amazing!

I've been riding for 3 years and I've stopped counting at 20. I'm rather slim, 50kg. I think I'm going to get myself some cake, it migh help my balance :)
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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"You've been riding for four years and this is your first fall? Amazing!"

Ha! Actually, this is the 4th time I've fallen, the only one that's resulted in broken bones, though. The previous falls were from re-learning a balanced seat at canter when I switched barns; the first lessons I took at a previous barn the instructor pretty much left me to my own devices, position-wise. I was all cuckoo crazy in my position: sitting back, legs swinging willy-nilly; it is a major miracle I didn't wipe out then!

Despite the spectacular nature of this fall, it *is* the first I've had in 2 1/2 years. That's something, I suppose
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
no,. you aren't imagining it. if you are heavy, and especially heavy around the tummy and boobs, then your center of gravity is higher by an inch or two, and that can make all the difference in the world when a hosre props and spins. this has gotten me off 5 times! wait, I forgot one. make that 6!

that's the bad part. the "good" part seems to be , and don't laugh, I have so much padding that while I hit hard ground hard, and I feel real sore and it's a miserable experience, I haven't broken a bone. whereas , my skinny friend , if she fell like I did, would very likely break a bone.

you cannot deny that being top heavy will negatively effect your balance, but, if you have ridden 3 years and not come off, you were really pushing your odds anyway.
Tinyliny, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I do feel as though my padding helped my case in the aforementioned falls I mentioned in my post above

My weight is pretty evenly distributed throughout my body, which is nice when I'm a lower weight - doesn't really help when I'm just large all over, now, though. Ha!
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 07:40 PM
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Being overweight can affect your balance and once you tip past the point of no return, you're coming off, where a thinner more agile rider *MIGHT* be able to pull some gymnastics and get back on. When I was a little bitty kid, I finagled my way out of some things that would probably put me in the hospital now. So, losing weight isn't a bad goal, but I wouldn't say your weight is what caused this.

The horse pulled a dirty trick and as soon as you're able, I'd hope you'd get back on him and show him that he will never get over with that again.

Speedy recovery!

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post #7 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickadee223 View Post
"You've been riding for four years and this is your first fall? Amazing!"

Ha! Actually, this is the 4th time I've fallen, the only one that's resulted in broken bones, though. The previous falls were from re-learning a balanced seat at canter when I switched barns; the first lessons I took at a previous barn the instructor pretty much left me to my own devices, position-wise. I was all cuckoo crazy in my position: sitting back, legs swinging willy-nilly; it is a major miracle I didn't wipe out then!

Despite the spectacular nature of this fall, it *is* the first I've had in 2 1/2 years. That's something, I suppose
Well, four is still pretty darn good. You should be proud of yourself, from my point of view.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Being overweight can affect your balance and once you tip past the point of no return, you're coming off, where a thinner more agile rider *MIGHT* be able to pull some gymnastics and get back on. When I was a little bitty kid, I finagled my way out of some things that would probably put me in the hospital now. So, losing weight isn't a bad goal, but I wouldn't say your weight is what caused this.

The horse pulled a dirty trick and as soon as you're able, I'd hope you'd get back on him and show him that he will never get over with that again.

Speedy recovery!
Thank you!! Yes, I'm already looking forward to June when I can redeem myself on the big galoot

It's good to know that my frame may not be the whole root of all my troubles - thank you for easing my conscience a little :)
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 08:07 PM
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Also, note that there is a whole section on this forum for "Plus Size Riders" and everyone is supremely supportive.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-07-2016, 09:01 PM
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I would not stop riding to lose weight. In fact, that would be my cue to do it more!

Riding is awesome exercise, and there's no reason you have to stop. There are plenty of plus-size riders who are riding and giving their all, showing and all that.

What I WOULD do is focus on building more strength and flexibility by varying your workouts. Instead of stopping riding, keep doing it, because as you become fitter and stronger, you're going to notice the little, tiny changes and improvements to your riding. Those tiny changes are EXTREMELY motivating, and are going to do more for you than making riding again your goal. All that removing riding from the situation will do is make you beat yourself up every time you slip up - and believe me, you will slip up.

I recommend strength training, as well as flexibility exercises like stretching and yoga/pilates. These are the things that will improve your balance and coordination.
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