Beginning Riding Lessons After Complete Spinal Fusion and at Age 52 - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-05-2012, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Delaware ~ The First/Smallest State
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Beginning Riding Lessons After Complete Spinal Fusion and at Age 52

I am new to everything horses except for the fact that I have thought they are the most beautiful animal since I was a child. Took riding lessons for a short time when I was around 12. Rode for fun with friends as a teen.

Two years ago, just before turning 50, I had a complete spinal fusion and my pelvis straighted in another surgery two days after the fusion (to correct scoliosis, degenerative disk disease, cysts, spurs, and arthritis). I am so happy and grateful that the surgery was a success. Now that the long healing and recovery processes are over, I'm testing myself and my abilities.

First, I was thrilled when I realized I could ride a bicycle; I've walked in several organized walks for breast cancer; gone back to work of course; enjoying my pool in the summer; drive; passenger on my husband's motorcycle; yard work; most everything that had halted before the surgery due to my back pain; and now horseback riding. It's always been a dream of mine since I was a child, and I'm finally financially able to afford lessons.

I've had three lessons so far and was so nervous for the first two, but I made out fine. My instructor kept a watchful eye on me and is comfortable with having me as a student. I explained my situation to her while considering the possibility of riding. I couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity and second chance at a good quality of life after such a major surgery.

I don't know if it will keep me from progressing beyond a certain level of riding, but I would so love, and as of right now, I hope the possibility to be very good does exist for me!! I read a thread where several older and new riders became discouraged.

I hope my story can inspire others. I would even post pics of my X-rays that show the two rods and approx 25 screws that run from the top of my spine to the bottom and into my hips, but I wanted to check with you first to see if it would be okay.

I also have a couple of pics of me riding. I am a very positive, determined person, and I know that is a huge part of my successful recovery and why I am able to conquer most of my quests. What I have found most difficult to do after my full recovery is reaching my feet to tie my shoes/boots! Pretty good considering, I'd say! Oh, can't lay down in a tub for a good hot bath anymore either, so I bought a hot tub ~ PERFECT!! I have found that my back is good and tired after an hour of riding and a total hour of before and after care of the horse but my back feels so much STRONGER the next day ~ seems great for strengthening the core! Thanks for allowing me to take up your time, and if it's okay to tell my story (including 2 pics of X-rays), I will see if I can figure out how to do it. Take Care, and I look forward to enjoying this new Forum!!

Last edited by farmpony84; 01-17-2020 at 11:39 PM. Reason: added spacing for easier reading
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-05-2012, 09:04 AM
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Wow you are an inspiration to those of us now longer in our 30s or 40s starting to ride again. I applaud you for your courage
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-05-2012, 03:37 PM
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Yes, pictures , X-rays are posted on this forum all the time. Horse back riding will strengthen your back & your core. My sister will be having some back surgery to repair some issues in her back later this month. I hope her recovery is as good as yours. Thank you for sharing & hope you continue to enjoy the riding & being around these magnificent animals.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-05-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TerrieL View Post
Wow you are an inspiration to those of us now longer in our 30s or 40s starting to ride again. I applaud you for your courage
Thank you!
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-05-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Complete Spinal Fusion Before/After

Attached are a few pics of my back after surgery. X-rays are not very clear, but there are two rods and approx 25 or so screws. Then me with Nemo where I recently started riding lesssons 2 years after my surgery. I would be happy to answer any questions, CACOWGIRL, if I can. Best wishes to your sister with her future back surgery.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg After.jpg (51.8 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpg after3.jpg (46.6 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg Loving Nemo at C-Line Stables 10-5-12.jpg (30.1 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg Nemo and Me - 10-5-12.jpg (34.5 KB, 105 views)
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-07-2012, 09:07 PM
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Being horseless is the pits!!
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-17-2020, 09:14 PM
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What an inspiration! I have been riding since I was a young girl. Currently own 4 horses and have scoliosis. I think its time I go through this surgery and I am so afraid I won't be able to ride again. I have been told I need 22 vertabraes fused. Mid thoracic to sacrum. Can I ask how many they fused of yours? Feeling hopeful...
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-17-2020, 11:54 PM
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Welcome! you are not alone in terms of being an older person taking up riding relatively late in life. I started at 41, and am now pushing 62. I do not, however, have a fused back.

I do have back pain, and it affects what I am ok doing, and what not.

All I can say is to get as strong as you can in your back, arms, abdominals and gluteal muscles, to support the bones. perhaps were a chest protector . Yeah, that would be smart.

Can you get really good? If the answer were ' no' , would that stop you from riding? If not, why ask the question. Just ride.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-18-2020, 12:06 PM
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This thread is from 2012 and the OP only posted 3 times (all in this thread). She has not returned since that date in 2012. Starting your own thread would probably get you more information as we have several members with various issues that could offer more. We can all offer support though and plenty of hope and prayers.

I have a cousin of my mother's that rode and competed with scoliosis. I haven't seen her in years. As far as I know she still does ride but no longer competes. Last time we did talk it was all about the smoothness of the gait. She had surgery when in her early 30s but I don't know how extensive.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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