Has anyone else gone back to riding after a serious injury?

Annette4

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As I'm sure some of you know, I broke my back 7 weeks ago.

The mare I was riding is being put in foal to stop me getting on before I'm fully healed but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm going to be able to get back on her, or any other horse for that matter :(

I was having doubts about my ability before, although I was beginning to relax and just plain enjoy riding her. I gave up riding for a few months during my final year at uni and it killed me, horses have been my life since I can remember.

I'm concerned that she's a very sensitive mare so if I'm nervous she'll pick up on it and get very upset. I'm so worried I'm just not going to be able to enjoy riding any more, it's the hacking/galloping/jumping bits I enjoy. What if I'm too scared to enjoy them again? What if I all off again?

Has anyone ever come back from something like this? I could just do with some reassurance I think.
 

baymareb

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I broke my back 11 years ago in a fall. I had some of the same fears and misgivings that you do. It's only natural.

I would strongly suggest riding some good, steady school horses when you're able to get back on. It will help you build your confidence back up before you progress to a more challenging ride on your mare. It's about setting yourself up to succeed rather than taking on too much too soon.

I am pushing 50 years old and last year bought a green OTTB. I am riding with no fear. It can be done.
 
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I've had a spinal injury too. Lumbar 1 with cord damage resulting in partial paralysis.

To begin with I rode with the RDA and they were fantastic but I really wanted my own horse again. I finally found the right one and I would sell my kidney before selling her as she is my rock, we are a team. :)

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Shay

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I broke my back in a fall about 7 years ago.

Misgivings are normal - this is quite a show stopper of an injury. My doctors told me I would never ride again and I sold my beloved Shire X believing it to be the best thing for him. He loves to work and would never have taken to retirement.

A few months later I found by complete co-incidence a physio who had also ridden at national level, was a BHSI etc etc. She said she'd get me back on a horse and she has.

There are two elements to this. The physical and the mental. I ride in a brace - actually I tend to live my horsey life in it. I haven't hunted since - but I have done everything else at least once. I choose not to jump now - but that is mostly because the brace makes me feel as if I'm not totally in balence - although my physio says I am - and I don't want to hurt myself or my boy. Partly because I have a child, a husband and home to care for and a full time job - I can't really afford to take risks. But I have jumped. I still hack, gallop etc.

Mentally? I'd reccommend NLP. It took me a good year before I could bring myself to canter a corner. Ben & I had been cantering in the school when he and I just fell at the corner - no idea why. For almost a year I trotted every corner. A local NLP practitioner (Happy Rider - Guildford) got me back to loving it again! He got me back to jumping - and it is not his fault I choose not to do it now. I just had to prove to myself I could.

Take heart. You will get there. Broken backs are a definte "pause and look" type injury. Do be careful that physically you are as protected as you can be in what is after all a risk sport. Then just hang on to the idea that you will get it back. It might be the same - it might be different. (I love dressage now!) But it will be just as good!
 

MrsMozart

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This last June (a crack and chip, though nothing like your back!)


This last September (a bleed)


To this last week (the highest we've jumped together :))


It's taken a long time, or it feels like a long time. We've had our set backs, so cantering was an issue even in the school, and definately out on a hack. Last week, to canter in a strange school and with others in it and with jumps was a major step for me :)

 

fabulous_fi

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Faracat,

she is truly gorgeous....loving the rosette too ;)

Aww I have a chestnut gelding who i just love to pieces and know exactly how you feel. I was kicked in the head and was unconscious for a wee day or two so took me many years before getting back on a horse. And now ginge has given me so much confidence I would be lost without him
 

deicinmerlyn

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Yes, twice! I'm probably a lot older than you too, so if I can do it you can!

I started off riding a 'safe' cob and as my strength grew I wanted to ride my own horse again and it was fine. I had already stopped galloping about before my injuries so ride more sedately anyway, but I still ride young sharp horses and spend my time winding them down rather than up.

Give yourself time, it is perfectly natural to feel the way you do. I found that when I felt fit again and stopped feeling so much pain, my confidence slowly returned.
 
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Thanks fabulous_fi :) I was so nervous that my brain had gone to pot, I was thrilled that we were placed!

It sounds like there are some fantastic horses out there and the right horse makes all the difference when you are recovering from an injury (be it mentally or physically).
 

tormor

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Yes! I fractured my back 2 1/2 years ago off my own horse (rotational fall whilst SJing) very nervous the first time i got back on but i ride him like normal now. Jumping is still an issue though (i get flash backs it makes me cry) but we are getting there! Also 9 years ago i dislocated and broke my arm and it ended up under my collar bone. Once again i got back on the horse but it was the one and only time i got back on thta horse. You just have to wait and see how you feel when it comes to it. You can never tell till you get to that point but don't try and rush anything.
 

Starzaan

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Yes!

My worst was when I was eventing with my beautiful Cadbury. He was such a special boy -18.2hh, jet black with four white socks and a blaze, Hanoverian x Belgian Warmblood, and he was dream horse. We had done a fantastic dressage test, and were flying across country, when he backed off a log drop into water, I kicked on and he tried for me, and couldn't quite do it. He had a rotational fall, and landed on his face in the water. He broke his neck and flipped over onto me, trapping me under the water. With only two stewards at the fence, I was trapped in the water for nearly 5 minutes while they called for help to get him off me - luckily I don't remember much, just him rolling around a bit and then it all goes dark. I woke up two days later in hospital, and had to be told that my darling Cabs had been put down at the scene. I had broken pretty much everything, and my lungs had to be drained once a day for a week because all the fluid made them go a bit bonkers. I had broken -
5 ribs
right cheekbone
right and left clavicle
jaw
left shoulder
left wrist and four fingers on left hand
pelvis
right elbow
left hip was dislocated
left leg was essentially shattered, and is now mostly made of metal and fibreglass - my thigh bone was poking out the back of my leg
right ankle

Plus all the cuts and damage to my ears, lungs and severe ligament damage to my legs.

I didn't ride for two years - I was too terrified - until I found my Roy boy. I then found that I couldn't ride with stirrups because it was agony. Now, seven years later, I can walk just about normally, and my legs only really hurt when I ride with stirrups for too long ie: schooling, jumping etc. but I can ride happily again with no fear, and am still working with horses.
My legs will always be weak, my Cabsy will always be gone, and I'll never be able to ride without some degree of pain, but I can ride, and I survived.
 

Old Bat

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OMG, that'll stop the rest of us in our tracks, you brave and determined soul! I broke my back being bucked off onto concrete, seems like not a lot in comparison! this was about 20 years ago, L4 displacement and fractured wings, took me a year to get back on board with a lot of physio. I then went through my purple patch up to and including team chasing, then got psoriasis and couldn't ride as my skin was so sore. Have since resolved the situation with a combination of homeopathy and bowen, and am now riding, hacking with my daughter, fun rides and popping the odd jump. My sights are not set as high as they used to be but I am happy and content, I can do it again and I have a lovely little cob who has given me so much confidence again.
 

flowerlady

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I've had a spinal injury too. Lumbar 1 with cord damage resulting in partial paralysis.

To begin with I rode with the RDA and they were fantastic but I really wanted my own horse again. I finally found the right one and I would sell my kidney before selling her as she is my rock, we are a team. :)

[/IMG]

Oooooooww I Liiiiikkkkkkkkkeeeee verrrrrrrrrrrry muccccccccccccch she's lovely:D:)
 
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Thank you!!!! :)

I got her through a bloodstock agent. She was bred and owned by Sheik Mohammed (I'm her 2nd owner and her last!!!!). I got fed up with all the lies from private sellers and dealers as I couldn't risk a dodgy horse. I turned up at the agent's yard (well, you don't expect Sheik Mohammed to sell his horses himself ;) ) and was taken with her straight away. I was not rushed or pressured into buying, infact it was a whole month between my first visit and finally buying her. I got a good deal too because he likes his horses to get good homes.
 

Ignition

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I badly damaged my knee 2 years ago and couldn't ride for a year. I started back just hacking my hunter (an absolute bombproof gentleman who i'm so lucky to have!) to get my confidence back. It did take a massive knock, mostly because of my children - I didn't want to spend more time hobbling around and being unable to run around after them and the like!

I then began hunting again this season just gone on afore mentioned gentleman. Recently, I've taken the plunge and bought a young warmblood who i'm show jumping to ease back into competing. My confidence is fine now when i'm riding. I used to event to Intermediate level, and with my daughter getting involved in the sport I have a feeling i'll be back next season!

Good luck :)
 

JoJo_

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Woah Starzaan that is a scary story. So sorry that your boy didnt make it but good to hear your riding again.

I have fallen off soooo many times but until last Sept I hadnt broken anything. I had a fall in a jumping lesson and the way I landed caused a fractured back. I couldnt ride for 7 weeks but as soon as the back brace was off I wanted to get back on. To be fair it hadnt been a scary fall as I lost a stirrup and went out the side door. It wasnt really my mare's fault.

I got a bigger scare when I fell out hacking. I got concussion but it totally knocked me and my mare's confidence hacking in the fields. We only ever went in company after that.

I'm still nervous about hacking my new boy on his own for the first time even though he hasnt done anything to scare me. Will go in company first though!
 

Shutterbug

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Starzaan - people always say this to me but now Im gonna have to say it to you - I cant believe you still ride after all that - you are one brave person :)

MY horse bolted into a field when I was trying to load him - when I went to fetch him from the field, I clipped on his lunge line which we always used to load him cause it was easier - thats the last thing I remember for 2 days. He spooked, bolted and my arm got caught in the lunge line somehow - I was dragged 60' along a stony yard and my scalp was ripped wide open, I lost all the skin on my right arm and from my stomach to my chest. I apparantly stood up and asked where my horse was and it took 4 people to make me lie down to wait for the ambulance.

I have had 7 surgeries over the last 3 years, my scalp at the back of my head was rotated round to cover the hole in my head, the back of my head was then covered with skin grafts - I had 2 tissue expanders implanted under my scalp and these were stretched with saline injections for 12 weeks - the extra scalp was then used to cover some of the bald patch on the back of my head where the skin grafts were. More surgeries have slowly reduced the bald patch by stretching the skin on my scalp up over it and cutting away the skin graft area. I have 2 more surgeries to get.

If you dont mind gore you can check out the photo of my injury in this article that the News of the World did - you can also laugh at the stories heading which did make me giggle. Third picture down was the bald area I was left with which is now about a quarter of the size.

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sco...-pioneering-op-after-horse-runs-her-over.html

I couldnt ride for about a year almost - 5 months constantly and months here and there between surgeries but I was always determined to ride again. I cant ride to the same level I was riding at before my accident but I am getting there with the help of my current horse who is an absolute gem and gives me loads of confidence. The thing I am most guilt of was being too hard on myself and demanding too much from myself - once I accepted it was ok for me not to want to jump a 3' fence, I started making some progress and gained confidence. I had to go back to the start with jumping but I can hack out on my own, have a gallop and we even went to the beach. Im happy with that, Im still here and thats whats important.

 

Starzaan

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Wow Hevs... you're amazing! And I love the article title.... I'd love to meet whoever came up with that!
 

fabulous_fi

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OMG,

Hevs and Starzaan you brave sausages.....holy moly. I aint ever gonna whinge when I get ditched again :) I must confess, I don't know if I would return to riding if all that happened to me.

I am a complete wimp!!

Loving the article title too
 

springer1021

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Yes!

My worst was when I was eventing with my beautiful Cadbury. He was such a special boy -18.2hh, jet black with four white socks and a blaze, Hanoverian x Belgian Warmblood, and he was dream horse. We had done a fantastic dressage test, and were flying across country, when he backed off a log drop into water, I kicked on and he tried for me, and couldn't quite do it. He had a rotational fall, and landed on his face in the water. He broke his neck and flipped over onto me, trapping me under the water. With only two stewards at the fence, I was trapped in the water for nearly 5 minutes while they called for help to get him off me - luckily I don't remember much, just him rolling around a bit and then it all goes dark. I woke up two days later in hospital, and had to be told that my darling Cabs had been put down at the scene. I had broken pretty much everything, and my lungs had to be drained once a day for a week because all the fluid made them go a bit bonkers. I had broken -
5 ribs
right cheekbone
right and left clavicle
jaw
left shoulder
left wrist and four fingers on left hand
pelvis
right elbow
left hip was dislocated
left leg was essentially shattered, and is now mostly made of metal and fibreglass - my thigh bone was poking out the back of my leg
right ankle

Plus all the cuts and damage to my ears, lungs and severe ligament damage to my legs.

I didn't ride for two years - I was too terrified - until I found my Roy boy. I then found that I couldn't ride with stirrups because it was agony. Now, seven years later, I can walk just about normally, and my legs only really hurt when I ride with stirrups for too long ie: schooling, jumping etc. but I can ride happily again with no fear, and am still working with horses.
My legs will always be weak, my Cabsy will always be gone, and I'll never be able to ride without some degree of pain, but I can ride, and I survived.
OMG:eek:

You're so brave riding again after that, i'm so sorry you lost your horse in such a horrific fall.

I think everyone who has posted on here is so brave, I came off my youngster 3 years ago, she put on a real rodeo display I wasn't even hurt and it took me a long time to get my confidence back.

If I went through what some of you have I don't think I'd ever get on ahorse again :confused:
 

maletto

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Starzaan - what horrific injuries. And I'm so sorry about Cadbury. You are definitely incredibly brave and a huge inspiration.

In fact, everyone that's posted on this thread with these sorts of injuries is stronger than I could ever be!!
 

Frances144

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Yes.

I had back surgery and went back to riding.

All I can say is do it when you feel your body is healed enough, not totally, but enough. I went back too early after breaking an ankle and scared myself rigid because I had no balance.

After the back surgery, I waited and then just got on with my daughter leading me around the school, and then I got off. I did this little and often just getting used to the feeling, seeing which bit hurt and where.

I only rode my horse who I trust even though he is horribly fast and responsive. I had to trust my horse even though I have at least 2 who are much slower and reliable. I know my horse and how he will react so can work with him (if that makes sense). I just pottered about, no jumping, no dressage, no outline, just pottered for months. It was lovely.

So, basically your own speed, your own comfort zone and have help available for peace of mind.

Good luck. xx
 
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I shattered my pelvis in over 20 places 12 years ago torn bladder broken ribs, punctured lung and was very ill, fro a youngster rearing up and falling back on me:(

Lucky I had my lovely pony who was safe a s houses so I was fine, but since then I have had several horses, including another youngster (now 13) who is t/b x and not the easiest. It can be done !!

I get 'wimpy' days at times but am proud and glad that I still love riding - fight the fear and live the dream - good luck.x
 

Allover

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Bugger me just reading these post would put most people off riding or being around horses!!

Faracat your horse is beautifull:)

Starzaan, i have no words, it sound horrendous and i am so sorry about the horse, but so pleased you are still here to entertain us all:)

Hevs, again horrendous and i am glad you are getting there, could not open the link and i dont think i am that dissapointed about that!!! :)

GIRL POWER is say, weaker sex my arse!!!!
 

soulfull

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I have posted on the 'broken' thread too

I badly broke my ankle 18 months ago. They put it together wrong and I am now recovering from an ankle replacement in August.

I am back riding (a week) I am lucky that it hasn't really knocked my confidence too much. I do still have the odd wibble and will no doubt have more when I start jumping my young Keen horse :D However I take it really slowly and build my confidence that way
 

LizzyandToddy

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My grandma is riding again now after an accident last year, a horse bolted when she got on it (over concrete and she didnt have her feet in the stirrups), she turned him away from the drive towards a gate to stop him - and so he didn't go down the road, horse ran straight through a wooden fence (injuring itself too) and thew her into a metal gate. She shattered her right eye socket, broke 6 ribs and punctured a lung. The eye injury was caused by the metal fastner on the gate :/

Shes fine now though, everything mended, had to have an operation to mesh her eye socket together and have a titanium plate incerted :) Shes been riding 60 years and she said she wasn't going to let one incident beat her!
 

Halfpass

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This was me after an injury in 2003.



I dislocated and fractured my cervical spine c6 and c7 so just at the base of my neck. It was touch and go for a while and they thought I may never walk again. I spent 1 week in intensive care and then had this awful contraption on for 12 weeks. This all happened on Jan 3rd and I was back on a horse ( all be it only sitting ) on April. I rode the horse I fell from 1 more time then retired him.

In all honesty I have been a bag of nerves ever since. I still rode bit can't say I truly enjoyed it. The only place I felt remotely safe was flat work in the school.

A since the accident I have also not been very lucky with having confidence giving horses either. I even thought it was a good idea to buy and back a 3 year which i did manage but she lost me my confidence even more!!

That was up until a year ago when I bought my current horse. This was us in the summer



She has given my confidence back so much that I am now most happy hacking and have competed in a few endurance rides and have even started jumping again.

IMHO its all about making sure that when you do get back on that its on the right confidence giving horse.

It takes time just don't rush it. I still get my moments when I freeze ( just ask my jumping instructor!!!)

Good luck and don't rush to get back on, you will know when you are ready!!
 
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