Arthritis (Human!)

Woolly Hat n Wellies

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My mum recently started riding again, after a break of about 16 years. However, she has found getting off very painful as she has just been diagnosed with arthritis in one hip. She enjoys her weekly hack, and doesn't find it painful to get on or to ride, but she says the moment she hits the floor getting off hurts a lot, and she has stopped enjoying the last 10 mins or so of her ride because she starts thinking about how much it's going to hurt when she gets off.

Is there anyone here who rides with arthritis? Would dismounting onto a block help? (Horses are both about 15.2hh) Is there anything else she could do, or that I could do to help her?

I'm so proud of her for getting back on, even on the quiet horses I share, as it was a series of very bad experiences that put her off, and 16 years is a long break! I'm gutted for her that this had to happen now, just as she has started to really enjoy riding again.

Any advice or personal experiences gratefully received.
 

Goldenstar

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I have now had my bad hip replaced but mine behaved just like your mums .
Getting off onto a mounting block did not help that " I can't weight bare " pain you get when you get off I think it's the position of riding that caused it .
I got the same pain from sitting a long time .
Does your mum take any pain relief ?
The good news is that hip replacements are ace when and if she gets to that stage
 

gunnergundog

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Assuming your mum's horse is quiet, or there is someone who can hold him, I find that wriggling and shaking my legs out helps before even thinking of getting off...........things seem to get 'stuck' at my age. I then either take ned to the hay barn where the floor has a very deep covering of straw and hay and hop off in there; when I say ' hop off '...what I mean is that on a bad day I will lengthen my left stirrup ( so that I'm closer to the ground), swing my right leg over, then discard my left stirrup and very gingerly lower myself down, landing first on my left leg, which is my better one!

I have previously been on a yard where they had rubber matting in the central aisle of the american barn that was akin to a mattress..........could be worth doing some research and buying a square yard or two to create a landing pad! If I didn't have access to the hay barn, it is something that I would be contemplating.

Oh, and always dose up on pain relief before riding!!

Good luck and hope she continues to enjoy!
 

Spot_the_Risk

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I would invest in springy stirrups, I have Metalab and think they're wonderful, and also take her feet out of the stirrups for the last 100 yards or so, then do ankle rotates, stretch and flex knees, basically move the legs as much as possible. I find it a lot more comfortable to dismount to the right too. I hope she finds a way of easing the pain and congratulations to her on starting riding again!
 

claribella

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I get quite painful hands and find that if I regularly take apple cider vinegar with the mother and turmeric with cracked black pepper and oil, that helps no end. I also feed it to my horse who was stiffening up but its helped her no endd too. Definitely worth tryin:)
 

mynutmeg

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I have fused ankles due to arthritis and getting off can be interesting as I can't absorb the landing at all. My method is to swing over, lie over the saddle for a second or two and slide down holding the far side of the saddle so I don't 'hit' the ground but gentle lower myself down - it did take a few times for my girl to get used to this but she's fab now and knows she has to stand still for me to get off. It also stops me falling on my butt when I loose my balance as I've got hold of her mane and the saddle (I have a tendancy to over balance backwards when getting off)
 

Goldenstar

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can you still ride with one and how soon after having it done can you get back on?

Yes I ride a lot now jump hunt do all sorts .
I rode five weeks and three days after the operation.
That was quick but I have had lots of operations and you get used to rehab .
 

paddy555

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Yes I ride a lot now jump hunt do all sorts .
I rode five weeks and three days after the operation.
That was quick but I have had lots of operations and you get used to rehab .

thanks the riding sounds hopeful. Five weeks, "gulp"
in those 5 weeks were you able to do stuff like take them for a walk in hand or stable work or anything really?
not going there yet but just trying to get some background info as I think this will be me in due course.
 

Goldenstar

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thanks the riding sounds hopeful. Five weeks, "gulp"
in those 5 weeks were you able to do stuff like take them for a walk in hand or stable work or anything really?
not going there yet but just trying to get some background info as I think this will be me in due course.

No I was very nervous handling them .
I put in feeds and topped up buckets from others left by doors from two and half weeks .
I was lucky I had lots of help so did not need to handle them apart from a late night check.
The horse I rode was in work and I had owned him a while so knew him well I rode him after he had been ridden first so it was all set up to work .
It would have taken me longer if I was going it alone .
I walked loads I was walking 2miles a day after a week .
I could not sit in a chair for long though for ages without discomfort .
I was a bit nervous of handling for a while but happy on board .
My friend had one just after me she could sit but walking was much more difficult for her I think it's pretty personal how it goes.
It's a great Op and although it is painful at first it was a different pain and I knew from the first morning it was going to be great the awful dull grinding ache had gone .
I got lots of soft tissue stuff going as my body adjusted to the more normal range of movement so a Physio helped as did massage a bit later.
It really changed my life I am am smiling as I think about it.
 

Bobbly

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I get quite painful hands and find that if I regularly take apple cider vinegar with the mother and turmeric with cracked black pepper and oil, that helps no end. I also feed it to my horse who was stiffening up but its helped her no endd too. Definitely worth tryin:)

Turmeric seems to be the new wonder treatment, judging by all the comments on the Turmeric users Group page on FB I may well give it a try, both for me and my horse and dog!
 

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I have had a very painful right hip, with restricted movement. I found the safest way for me to dismount was to keep my right foot in the stirrup and dismount on the right side. Recently I have found that I could finally dismount on the left, as I now can move my right leg enough to clear the pony's back. I can now even vault off on the near side most times. Riding has helped me to walk without pain again. Still get an odd twinge now and then, but I now have much more movement in my right hip. I took up riding again about 2 years ago, and have had a slow improvement since.
 

Woolly Hat n Wellies

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Thank you for all the replies, it's very interesting to read. My mum has only been diagnosed earlier this week, so it's early days yet, I don't think she has decided exactly how she wants to manage it. It sounds rather like it's different for everyone, so I think we will just have to see how she goes on, but I'm glad to see so many people still riding with it! The doctor has told her to keep exercising, so hopefully riding will remain on the agenda for the foreseeable future.
 

pip6

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I use a high mounting block to get on (am a para endurance rider). Once on I'm fine, but I do ride with endurance stirrups which have spring & a wide foot rest. They also are caged, so I can ride in trainers if I need a more cushioning sole (might help your mum with landing). Also I hold onto the breastplate, so when I've swung my leg over I can ease down to the ground rather than dropping. Make sure your mum does regular trots, helps keep joints moving so when you land they hurt less. Worse thing is doing loads of walking.
 
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