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  1. #1
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    May. 4, 2009
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    Default Riding and the toll is has on ones body

    It's amazing how every person I've met who rides, has some sort of "damage" to their bodies. Every day multiple times a day I have to "pop" mostly everything for me to move comfortably. Especially my hips and back. I don't think we realize how much riding takes a toll on our bodies! Until the evening time and getting out of bed in the morning Anyone experience things similar? If so, how do you cope?

    ETA: I'm not just talking about riding too, it's the barn work as well I think out of most sports, riders experience wear and tear faster than others NOT including the falls.
    Last edited by JmpR_1; Oct. 30, 2012 at 07:03 PM.
    Life is short, ride the best horse first.



  2. #2
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    On the other hand, riding does keep riders active and moving and yes, some damage from that and horse accidents occurs also.

    Take the good with the bad, take care when injured, see a Dr for help when something is not working right or painful, etc.

    It is a trade-off, be very active doing anything, riding included, or save yourself and so end up stiff and sore from lack of use.

    Definitively, horse work should not be hard labor, learn to work smart.



  3. #3
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    Oct. 26, 2007
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    San Jose, Ca
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    Hahah - yeah, hum... my hips have just started popping this year (oh mid thirties, really!?). And it does seem to be positively correlated to riding (more I ride, the more they pop).

    Back always sounded like microwave pop corn, but knock on wood, hasn’t given me too much trouble. Oh, and my neck xrays make chiropractors recoil, apparently I have a number of whiplash injuries – but knock on wood, the neck doesn’t give me too much trouble either.

    Mostly I am noisy, but do not hurt too bad – for me popping is a good sign, its when I am tight and seized up that the popping stops and the pain begins.

    I find stretching is very important for me. If I have been riding a lot, I will stretch before bed, and in the morning. That, and these days I have to make sure to give myself a good warm up and cool down just like I do for the horse. Touch toes to stretch my back etc when I get in the saddle and start my horse’s warm up routine. More stretches for my back again as we cool down after our ride.



  4. #4
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    Can't say I had any serious "damage" so far. Fell a few times, been stepped on a couple times, been knocked against the wall a few more, haven't broken anything yet. Actually, haven't broken anything major, I did get a broken toe once lol
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by DottieHQ View Post
    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.



  5. #5
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmpR_1 View Post
    If so, how do you cope?

    I cope by telling myself, "It beats being dead."
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    4 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    On the other hand, riding does keep riders active and moving and yes, some damage from that and horse accidents occurs also.

    Take the good with the bad, take care when injured, see a Dr for help when something is not working right or painful, etc.

    It is a trade-off, be very active doing anything, riding included, or save yourself and so end up stiff and sore from lack of use.

    Definitively, horse work should not be hard labor, learn to work smart.
    Of course it keeps one active and still moving, I didn't deny that at all. Yes, I'm not complaining.. it just makes one realize that this sport is hard in many areas ( as if no one know that already I myself go to the chiro every week. And I'm sorry, but I disagree that horses is not "hard labor" This is the toughest sport out there. Working smart has nothing to do with it, sports in general take a toll on ones body. I'm glad though that you do not experience some effects from riding!
    Life is short, ride the best horse first.



  7. #7
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    A friend of a friend got bucked off badly a few days ago and is in a neck brace and going to surgery as soon as they can work her in.

    The reason for the surgery?
    She had extensive damage from a car wreck some years ago and has been in pain on and off for years.
    When she hit the ground the other day, she in fact felt looser and is better now that she has been in years, but there are some old bone chips that need to come out.

    So, her serious injuries were not from horses after all.

    Life has strange turns for us sometimes, does it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appsolute View Post
    Hahah - yeah, hum... my hips have just started popping this year (oh mid thirties, really!?).



    for me popping is a good sign, its when I am tight and seized up that the popping stops and the pain begins.
    My hips have been popping since 19 :/ I totally agree that the pain begins when I can't pop anything. Ah the stretching, I'm so bad about doing that. I keep telling myself that I'm going to start yoga but never do, new years resolution? lol.
    Life is short, ride the best horse first.



  9. #9
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    I've had the opposite effect. I think riding incorrectly, or incorrect for one's anatomy takes a toll on the body.Granted I've ridden for as long as I can sit up, so I don't know what life without horses feels like.
    Here's why:
    I was born with spina bifida, and developed scoliosis as I developed. I also have a deformed attachment in my LS on the left side that effects my ability to talk to my left leg as eloquently as my right LOL. I also got my great grandmother's boobs which don't help my back pain.
    I have documented proof in the form of xrays that dressage has straightened my spine. Yes, that's right, riding fixed one of my spinal defects. I took 2 years off chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture, and rode 3x a week with a really stellar instructor. Much to my surprise, when I was xrayed at a new chiropractor I asked "so how's my scoliosis look?" and the chiropractor said "what scoliosis?" Well, I just had to see for myself! Sure enough, the curvature in my thoracic was gone. The chiropractor ordered my x rays from the last chiropractor to compare.
    When he looked at my bad LS connection we talked about correct ways to sit and stand and that I needed to "tuck under my tail feathers" .... good thing I have no abitions to be HJ rider, because that forward seat could cause me chronic pain, and do permanent damage!

    I have pain if I go more than 4 days without riding. It's the 3 hours a day that I focus on my posture and my back gets to maintain correct muscle memory.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niennor View Post
    Can't say I had any serious "damage" so far. Fell a few times, been stepped on a couple times, been knocked against the wall a few more, haven't broken anything yet. Actually, haven't broken anything major, I did get a broken toe once lol
    Yeah nothing like being thrown against the wall! I've taken my fair share of bad falls and I usually don't have and effects from them (besides being sore) It's the more day to day stuff that is starting to catch up to me. I think out of most sports, riders experience wear and tear faster than others.
    Life is short, ride the best horse first.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post

    I have documented proof in the form of xrays that dressage has straightened my spine. Yes, that's right, riding fixed one of my spinal defects. I took 2 years off chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture, and rode 3x a week with a really stellar instructor. Much to my surprise, when I was xrayed at a new chiropractor I asked "so how's my scoliosis look?" and the chiropractor said "what scoliosis?" Well, I just had to see for myself! Sure enough, the curvature in my thoracic was gone.
    That's fantastic!
    Life is short, ride the best horse first.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    I cope by telling myself, "It beats being dead."
    Whatever floats you're boat.
    Life is short, ride the best horse first.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 2, 2009
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    Michigan
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    Now, just to clarify, I am not sure if riding itself or the act of becoming disunited from the horse has caused my body artritic changes, or daily pain? *See list:

    C-5, 6, and 7 have severe artiritis(Reining horse spun and I did not). Same horse trotted thru woods, spooked at Deer and went home sans me.

    Landed on kidney area 2X from having cart tip and Donkey pulling it leave the scene. Same donkey kinda bucked and I was dragged while learning to ride.

    Other misc. falls resulting in me seeing Sky and wondering how I got there.

    I always wear a helmet and my brains been looked at by some Head injury hospital!
    Last edited by HalfArabian; Oct. 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM. Reason: hit enter
    Strange how much you've got to know Before you know how little you know. Anonymous



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmpR_1 View Post
    Yeah nothing like being thrown against the wall! I've taken my fair share of bad falls and I usually don't have and effects from them (besides being sore) It's the more day to day stuff that is starting to catch up to me. I think out of most sports, riders experience wear and tear faster than others.
    In my case, it doesn't help that I didn't start riding until I was almost 30 and I wasn't much of a sports person until then. Now I'm trying to do yoga, running and weight lifting - the operative word here being trying - so I can have a better core and not feel like I've aged 10 years after one ride.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by DottieHQ View Post
    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.



  15. #15
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    Oct. 9, 2000
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    California
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    Daily yoga - especially before I ride. Hot tub if my muscles are feeling tight. Chiro if I feel something is out of whack. Massage (not the sissy type!) for things that won't let go. But I think most of all it is the yoga that helps me.
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran



  16. #16
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    I think riding keeps me young. It at least is an added incentive for me to keep my weight down and go to the gym. At 42, not only does my back feel better than it has since I was 17 (and fell off that horse) but in the past month I have felt I am riding better than I ever have. It's like all of a sudden I have fine tuned control over my seat bones, my legs, and my hands. All at once.

    Absolute epiphany.



  17. #17
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    Aug. 29, 2012
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    Like Petstorejunkie said, years of incorrect riding have caused my issues: lower back and hips/pelvis mostly. My right hip has rotated inward towards my center, pulling all of the muscles in my lower back and butt with it. This was confirmed by 2 different massage therapists.

    They also said my back was a MESS! Not just my lumbar region but the entire back. Part of that is my strong core (despite the chub!) pulling the back muscles to the front. If I could strengthen my back, I'd be all set, but my lumbar really swoops out to my butt so it makes things tough.

    My left shoulder "leads", turning my upper and lower halves in two separate directions. I have to ride properly else it's not a pretty picture.

    But I'd rather ride then do anything else in the world!



  18. #18
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    Dec. 5, 2001
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    virginia
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    I don't think riding takes a terrible toll on the body at all. I think that injuries do. But riding and caring for horses just builds muscle, keeps you active, makes you sore for sure but doesn't kill you unless you have pre-existing conditions. (granted I'e only cared for 6 horses at a time) And whenever my back is out, a nice swinging walk (on a horse) seems to set things right for me. My back goes out from other issues, and it's true swinging a full muck tub up onto the spreader doesn't feel great then.



  19. #19
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    Feb. 18, 2012
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    knee deep in Oregon mud
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    Bruised liver, 2007 - mare named Jazz, kicked me in the abdomen in the process of trying to kick my horse. - Perfect hoofprint bruise externally, abdominal ultrasound showed minor bleeding internally; couple days rest.

    Torn meniscus and grade 2 MCL tear in my left knee 2007 - gelding named Lucky did his best bronc impression and tried to scrape me off on an oak tree; I bailed, but landed badly - Xrays, MRI, 6 sessions of PT (all my insurance would pay for), but thankfully only minor ACL involvement and no surgery.

    Partially ruptured extensor tendon, left hand, 2009 - Holding my mare for the farrier, car pulled into the barn parking area, which was right next to where we were, way too fast. She spooked and reared and I yanked down hard. Rope was in, not around, my hand. Felt something pop and my hand swelled up like a balloon. Xrays because they thought it was broken, MRI when they didn't find anything on Xray. PRP injections and PT.

    3 compressed discs, cervical sprain, avulsion fracture of C5, April 2011 - Redneck idots operating power tools without warning those of us in the arena; mare spooked, started bucking and I lost my seat. Landed on my neck. ER visit, xrays, off work for 4 days, not allowed to lift more than 10 lbs for 4 weeks, not allowed to ride for 6 months, complete loss of confidence in my heart horse, panic attacks when trying to ride her, diagnosed with PTSD, ongoing neck pain, random numbness in arms and hands, 2 of the compressed discs are now starting to bulge, consultations with neurologists and neurosurgeons, chiropractor visits (chiro and neurosurgeon are part of the same sports medicine practice), massage, laser therapy, possibility of surgery on the horizon. STILL IN PAIN EVERY DAY. Miss riding my girl , but still riding.
    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
    Theodore Roosevelt



  20. #20
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    My hips started popping when I was 17 or 18. One moreso than the other, at this point, and it wakes me up sometimes at night because it aches.

    Ankles are shot from all the stress they take - I have my stirrups really short when I jump, so the flexion in my ankles is enormous. I wear braces on them for a few hours after I've jumped around a big track and have to take Robaxin or naproxen (or both on bad days) to combat the pain.

    Have some nerve damage from a fall as well, but I've adapted to that over the years.



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