Older person New rider - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-16-2015, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Older person New rider

I grew up on a farm and rode as a child. We mostly threw a saddle on him and hung on. I did take some formal lessons about 20 years ago, but because I lived in a city I didn't keep it up.

Now I am back in the country and am getting back in the saddle. I bought an older horse from a cousin who is also letting me board her with his horses. Bonnie was a lesson horse at the stable his daughter takes lessons. I trail ride with his daughter at least once a week and weather permitting ride on my own a bit.

I have noticed I am having back problems when we trot or canter. I am thinking of taking a few lessons to work on my posture and basic skills. I think that will help. I am also considering a gel pad that sits on the saddle seat to cushion my rear. Have any of you used one? Did it help? Any other tips for new/old riders? I am 55.

Thanks all.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-16-2015, 02:38 PM
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Lessons is the place to start. Most back pain originates with poor posture on the horse. You are probably sitting crooked, leaning forward, don't have a strong core, stirrups uneven, twist (common if you are riding one handed as your shoulders need to be in line with your hips). The horse can also be part of the problem. Just because she's a great lesson horse doesn't mean her gaits are smooth and comfortable to sit. You need more core strength on those types of horses. I would not add a gel seat saver. Those will tend to push you in front of the vertical putting strain on your lower back.

Welcome back too.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-16-2015, 02:43 PM
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First of all, I would like to congratulate you for taking up riding again.

I think it is a wise idea to have some lessons if you are more or less a self taught rider. Riding in the correct position can actually help some back issues especially lower back so the fact that your riding is creating a problem tells me that you are not sitting correctly and trying to do too much too fast. A qualified instructor would see exactly what your problem is and give you things to work on between lessons. In my opinion, the gel pad might be helpful if you were sore from sitting on a hard surface but it sounds like your back is being jarred and unless you are trying to do a sitting trot on an extremely rough gaited horse, you should not be feeling jarred. Good luck and enjoy your new horse.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-16-2015, 02:50 PM
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Ditto all the above and welcome

If you know of a good chiropractor who also has a masseuse in-house, consider that, at least until you get your horse sea legs comfortably under you

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-16-2015, 03:16 PM
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I started riding as an older rider in my mid 40's with my kids. I've had sporatic lower back pain in the past. To avoid just the problem you are having I bought gaited horses for the parents. The kids still prefer the bumpy trotting stock horses. I never had any sense of rhythm, didn't play an instrument, and couldn't even march at Boy's State so I'm fairly certain I'd never learn to post. I know I haven't answered your question and you already have a horse but if youe back problem persists and you really want to ride there is an alternative.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-17-2015, 11:06 AM
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The gel pad thing is not so bad an idea, but in practice, could cause more problems than it solves. I have been riding all my life, but am also a bony old lady. When I ride at home I use a cashell soft saddle. It is like sitting on a pillow. I did a review of it in the tack review section here, you can look it up. In addition to your lessons, maybe you could try using this "saddle", (actually a bareback pad), for some of your at home rides to kind of transition you over.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-17-2015, 07:39 PM
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Agree that it's most likely your riding style. If you're bouncing up and thumping down at the trot, then it is jarring your back. Chances are you are tense, or out of balance to start with, and then curl your shoulders forward in self defense which starts a vicious cycle. Ask me how I know. Do a search for 'TxHorseman' and read a few of his posts regarding correct seat, which should help you get in your mind what a correct ,balanced seat should look like. It might/probably will take lessons to actually achieve it and learn what it feels like.
Also, the amount of bounce/jarring at the trot can vary greatly with each horse. Some horses offer a soft bounce that , if you have any where near a balanced seat, is a pleasure to ride. Others jar your teeth no matter how balanced you are.
It often is helpful if you can slow these horses down and get a better trot.

I wouldnt be cantering at all yet, if you're having back pain at the trot. I'd get that sorted out before advancing to canter. But, speaking of canter,,,your bottom should move in sync with the horse, and there shouldnt be any slapping of the saddle with your seat, ,,so it shouldnt cause back pain. (exception might be if you've had back surgery with a spinal fusion, but even that might not cause it)

I was an old/new rider at 57. You can do it !

Fay

Respect......rapport......impulsion......flexion.. .
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-17-2015, 08:32 PM
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I have had a back injury but not a bad one however sometimes riding makes my back a little stiff the next day. Do you do the Western trot or a posting trot? The posting trot is much kinder to my back. It may be muscles that you haven't been using either.

.....CrazeePony
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-17-2015, 10:44 PM
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all riding causes me pain. I must simply accept in part that this is my new reality. however, I do what I can to minimize it. pads, and attention to posture.
it's not for the faint of heart, riding.

I am nearly 57
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-17-2015, 11:16 PM
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While a gel pad is not a bad thing, it is not an answer to back problems. Most back problems are caused by improper riding and attempts --either consciously or subconsciously -- at trying to use muscles inappropriately.

Lessons with a good instructor who knows how to get you to balance correctly and move with your horse without undue stress should prove very useful.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
www.quietriding.com
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