Pictures Life on Warfarin, huge confidence looser

Joined
15 March 2010
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I have not long turned 60, yep now getting on, but soooo thankful I am still here. Short story as I hate prattling on lol. I have a ASD ( Atrial Septal Defect hole in the heart )that was closed when I was 46. The hole was quite big 33mm after the hole was closed I had a large clot in my heart and from that I have ended up with A/F ( Atrial Fibrillation) / and P/H (pulmonary hypertension) I have been on warfarin and lots of other meds since then even though no meds before...... but they all keep me ticking along. .... Anyway My horse at the time was an eventer he had so much character, also forward going.... You know the horse, becomes a stunning dressage horse while out riding when your friends that you are riding with say" He is stunning! look how he moves! etc" Me replying, yep but look at my hands there is nothing lol horses head drawn in, him prancing around ..... But I knew him, I knew what his quirks was. I had him in my life for years. My cardio told me if I hadn't been riding for so long since I was 5 or had my horse as long as I had he would have told me not to ride. But ride I did it never for a moment worried me even when he was prancing, cantering on the spot out hacking lol..... so what did I do? I put a deposit on a 2 week old foal. I told my cardio he couldn't believe it as his wife is horsey. He told me as long as I have other people to do the first of everything with my foal to lesson the risk and always think about the risk as a kick. a fall I could bleed and die. ...... Well let me tell you I have spent thousands on my beautiful girl, because my boy had to be pts not long after my diagnosis so she is defiantly my last riding horse. I have 2 minis and all 3 are my last horses. Anyway, like I said I have spent thousands, since she first came I have all the firsts stuff done with her by other paid for ..... Just realised I haven't said I have been riding 55 years, had horses for 45 years, taken my BHSHM at 16. Rode horses that were very unpredictable and spent a lot of time with those horses gaining their trust in humans. So here I am now my foal is now just turned 9 years old. I have rode her a few times, she has never put a hoof wrong. I do everything with her on the ground. I adore her, she is my heart my dream horse. She has been backed professionally, she has brilliant manners and very intelligent she is always willing to learn, she is also gentle...... but my fears are like a very thick brick wall and I just can't seem to break it. I believe one life live it, life is so short. Dreams if can be lived should be....... But This bloomin brick wall won't knock down. Weird but I dream I am riding her, I can feel and smell her. Anyway if you can relate I hope you or I can help each other, or if you have gone through this block give me some tips.
 

pistolpete

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Joined
29 July 2009
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2,624
Oh bless you. Your brain is just trying to keep you safe. It’s a very natural reaction. Horses can be unpredictable BUT… you have the skills you have had the groundwork done. Read Karl Greenwoods book. Read the Chimp paradox. Do a confidence course maybe even some hypnotherapy. So you can enjoy your gorgeous horse. Good luck.
 

Birker2020

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Joined
18 January 2021
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3,856
Oh bless you. Your brain is just trying to keep you safe. It’s a very natural reaction. Horses can be unpredictable BUT… you have the skills you have had the groundwork done. Read Karl Greenwoods book. Read the Chimp paradox. Do a confidence course maybe even some hypnotherapy. So you can enjoy your gorgeous horse. Good luck.
I've just downloaded Karl Greenwoods book Control Your Stress And Enjoy Your Horse. Thanks for the tip.

OP I wish you luck. Losing your confidence is a difficult thing to get past.
 

splashgirl45

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6 March 2010
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suffolk
This could be me almost.. I have atrial fibrillation and was on warfarin for years , never thought about the consequences of a fall. Well due to various things I gave up riding 2 years ago as I am 76 and have arthritis everywhere . Eventually found a share horse (belonging to a hho member) and was riding during the winter once a week with the aim of maybe 3 or 4 times once the weather improved. My mare was very sparky and I was very confident that I could stick on as she had quite a few moves. My share horse who is very steady spooked at a noisy trailer and I fell off on to the road. I ended up with a bleed on the brain and spent over 2 weeks in hospital and it has taken 4 months to completely recover.. i was told that if I hadn’t gone to A &E that night I may not have woken in the morning. I have now decided not to ride and am getting a third dog instead …sorry it’s not a positive story but at least I am still here to tell it
 
Joined
15 March 2010
Messages
10
Oh bless you. Your brain is just trying to keep you safe. It’s a very natural reaction. Horses can be unpredictable BUT… you have the skills you have had the groundwork done. Read Karl Greenwoods book. Read the Chimp paradox. Do a confidence course maybe even some hypnotherapy. So you can enjoy your gorgeous horse. Good luck.
 
Joined
15 March 2010
Messages
10
This could be me almost.. I have atrial fibrillation and was on warfarin for years , never thought about the consequences of a fall. Well due to various things I gave up riding 2 years ago as I am 76 and have arthritis everywhere . Eventually found a share horse (belonging to a hho member) and was riding during the winter once a week with the aim of maybe 3 or 4 times once the weather improved. My mare was very sparky and I was very confident that I could stick on as she had quite a few moves. My share horse who is very steady spooked at a noisy trailer and I fell off on to the road. I ended up with a bleed on the brain and spent over 2 weeks in hospital and it has taken 4 months to completely recover.. i was told that if I hadn’t gone to A &E that night I may not have woken in the morning. I have now decided not to ride and am getting a third dog instead …sorry it’s not a positive story but at least I am still here to tell it
I know like you that it is a huge risk in riding. But riding is risky we all know horses can be unpredictable. You were very lucky and as you said the outcome if not reacted to correctly by going to A&E would not have been good. I know if I do fall no matter what I have to go to A&E. I have to say riding into my 70's would be my dream. Living with A/F ( I also had many mini strokes due to clot in my heart hence why warafrin for the rest of my life) and all the meds that go with it, but we are here and enjoying life x
 

planete

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5 May 2010
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New Forest
I am the same age (74) and also on anti coagulants because of AF. I still ride, but I try and minimise the risks. I cannot advise you, I can only share with you how I cope. I no longer hack as my pony is too green and unpredictable, I ride him on the farm where he is relaxed and we play at all sorts of things on the ground, long-reining, a bit of liberty, pole work, teaching him to become clever with his feet...I am enjoying him much more now we just do relaxing, fun things. I have stopped thinking I must do this or that because it is what I used to do with horses. He does not seem to miss hacking or cantering under saddle. I always do ground work before getting on his back to gauge his mood on the day and if he is feeling too fresh I will put it off to another day and work him from the ground. I do not know if this could work for you, you may be more ambitious than I am nowadays but we really do not have anything to prove at our age. We have earned the right to just enjoy ourselves any way we feel comfortable with. The lack of confidence comes from our awareness of a very real lessening of our physical strength and speed of reactions as well as the ever present risk of a catastrophic bleed from what should have been an anodyne incident. Personally I have survived a lifetime of working with and owning horses by taking only calculated risks and this is just my way of adapting to my changed circumstances and making the most of them.
 
Joined
15 March 2010
Messages
10
I am the same age (74) and also on anti coagulants because of AF. I still ride, but I try and minimise the risks. I cannot advise you, I can only share with you how I cope. I no longer hack as my pony is too green and unpredictable, I ride him on the farm where he is relaxed and we play at all sorts of things on the ground, long-reining, a bit of liberty, pole work, teaching him to become clever with his feet...I am enjoying him much more now we just do relaxing, fun things. I have stopped thinking I must do this or that because it is what I used to do with horses. He does not seem to miss hacking or cantering under saddle. I always do ground work before getting on his back to gauge his mood on the day and if he is feeling too fresh I will put it off to another day and work him from the ground. I do not know if this could work for you, you may be more ambitious than I am nowadays but we really do not have anything to prove at our age. We have earned the right to just enjoy ourselves any way we feel comfortable with. The lack of confidence comes from our awareness of a very real lessening of our physical strength and speed of reactions as well as the ever present risk of a catastrophic bleed from what should have been an anodyne incident. Personally I have survived a lifetime of working with and owning horses by taking only calculated risks and this is just my way of adapting to my changed circumstances and making the most of them.
Thank you so much for your reply. You sound very much like me. I turned 60 a couple of months ago age doesn't and never has bothered me. I have always felt as long as I live my life to my fullest then that will do me lol. But yes changing ones mindset must give so much relief of not having the pressure. I do do ground work with her and have watched videos on liberty and tried some with her and to be honest she responded really well. I have been focusing way too much on wanting to ride and my fears, and I am going to be really honest here that then gets in the way of me just enjoying of what I am so grateful and thankful of having in my life, my beautiful horses. Because the more I think "this is what I really need and want to do" it can get me down, make my fears worse and get in the way of what I have. I am sure you will understand what I am saying :) So thank you once again for your reply. Since my old boy died a lot of my confidence went too. I guess as you do I need to enjoy fun relaxing things and then hopefully I will find me again :)
 

J&S

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17 June 2012
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1,964
I am 75 and have AF. On Beta blockers and blood thinners. When I was in A &E getting sorted out the young doctor asked me if I fell off a lot as this could be a problem for me. I assured him that I tried my best not to. Both he, the heart specialist I saw and also my own doctor have actively encouraged me to carry on riding. It never occured to me not to!! I am more worried about cutting my self in the kitchen or on some randon garden item. However, I have recently ramped down my riding life, not because of me, but because of my partner who is fairly seriously incapacitated and it would be a disater if I could not look after him. I stick to walk and trot and enjoy doing ground work/in hand obstacles and challenges. I am a member of an on- line horse club and have some fun moments so horse life goes on.
 

Pearlsasinger

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20 February 2009
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I was diagnosed with AF when I broke my leg, in 2020. I was also told that I have osteoporosis. I hadn't ridden my youngster during Covid, because I didn't want to end up in A&E! My GP said I should be ok to ride but not to jump while taking blood thinners. I still haven't been back on board although in my head, I haven't given up riding. My intention is to have several sessions on a mechanical horse to get my muscles back into working order, OP perhaps that would help you.
 

Birker2020

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18 January 2021
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My 86yr old Mum is on betablockers for AF and also on Apixiban which is a blood thinner. I was extremely worried about her as she's not been taking her evening dose of the Apixiban and she's been getting nose bleeds. She has her tablets sent to her (four weeks worth) and they are in plastic packaging like a pill organiser box, so you have AM and PM slots where the drugs are put. She just breaks the seal when its time to take the dose.

So I spoke to the GP and arranged an appointment to see her and me and try and ascertain what the problem is.

So we met with the GP, a lovely lady and she was asking Mum all these questions. "Your daughter says you don't take your dose in the evenings, is that right?" (bearing in mind I have about 25 of the made up packages of pills with hundreds of left over night time tablets)

"Oh yes I never forget to take them".

I can't win. :(
 
Joined
15 March 2010
Messages
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I am 75 and have AF. On Beta blockers and blood thinners. When I was in A &E getting sorted out the young doctor asked me if I fell off a lot as this could be a problem for me. I assured him that I tried my best not to. Both he, the heart specialist I saw and also my own doctor have actively encouraged me to carry on riding. It never occured to me not to!! I am more worried about cutting my self in the kitchen or on some randon garden item. However, I have recently ramped down my riding life, not because of me, but because of my partner who is fairly seriously incapacitated and it would be a disater if I could not look after him. I stick to walk and trot and enjoy doing ground work/in hand obstacles and challenges. I am a member of an on- line horse club and have some fun moments so horse life goes on.
Thank you for replying. All the replies from others on warfarin is giving me some confidence I needed a long time ago. I can't thank you all enough. You are right regarding other accidents not involving horses I have fallen over a few times in the garden and while out and bled ( I am terribly clumsy lol) fallen over electric fencing and taken skin from all over, been kicked, the list is endless. But I just couldn't get the fear of riding out of my head. It was like once it was in there it was firmly rooted. I am so sorry about your husband, being a main carer does make you have to rethink somethings. It sounds as though you had supportive drs, mine were very cautious lol ( although excellent surgeon/cardiologist) I was even told not to ride out on my own, no jumping, no xcountry etc. So even when my old boy was here after my strokes and clot etc I never rode out on my own which I used to love that solitude, just us. I Horses have been throughout my life my lifeline in troubled times as well as in the good, as I am sure the same is for you. I am going to look at online horse clubs and see what is out there. Thank you once again you have given me some thoughts
 
Joined
15 March 2010
Messages
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m
My 86yr old Mum is on betablockers for AF and also on Apixiban which is a blood thinner. I was extremely worried about her as she's not been taking her evening dose of the Apixiban and she's been getting nose bleeds. She has her tablets sent to her (four weeks worth) and they are in plastic packaging like a pill organiser box, so you have AM and PM slots where the drugs are put. She just breaks the seal when its time to take the dose.

So I spoke to the GP and arranged an appointment to see her and me and try and ascertain what the problem is.

So we met with the GP, a lovely lady and she was asking Mum all these questions. "Your daughter says you don't take your dose in the evenings, is that right?" (bearing in mind I have about 25 of the made up packages of pills with hundreds of left over night time tablets)

"Oh yes I never forget to take them".

I can't win. :(
It is difficult when someone says they are taking their meds when you know they aren't. If your mum is forgetting to take them there is ways around this. You can contact the British heart foundation and they are great with advice. But if she is not forgetting and just not wanting to take them then that is different. But again the British heart foundation will give you advice and support on this or your g.p should be able to. I contacted BHF a few times at the beginning of my journey and they were great. I hope your mums drs are monitoring her nose bleeds.
 
Joined
15 March 2010
Messages
10
I was diagnosed with AF when I broke my leg, in 2020. I was also told that I have osteoporosis. I hadn't ridden my youngster during Covid, because I didn't want to end up in A&E! My GP said I should be ok to ride but not to jump while taking blood thinners. I still haven't been back on board although in my head, I haven't given up riding. My intention is to have several sessions on a mechanical horse to get my muscles back into working order, OP perhaps that would help you.
Thank you for replying. I hadn't thought of that, so that is something to think about. Hopefully you will be back in the saddle soon too. Although I think at this moment I am going to spend the next month or so doing in hand and liberty to gain my confidence back and for her to have confidence in me :)
 

oldie48

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15 April 2013
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South Worcestershire
I'm 73 and also have to take a blood thinner + other meds as I developed persistent atrial flutter during the pandemic. I had many months of feeling very tired and unable to do many of the things that I enjoyed, including riding but eventually I got an appointment for an ablation, which they were unable to perform however they got my heart back into sinus rhythm but with no guarantee that it would stay like that. I still had to take the meds which affect my ability to exercise to some degree but I felt so much better and was looking forward to getting back to riding my horse but before I could get back on board she had a field injury and after a lot of unsuccessful rehab I had to retire her. I'd had a long time without riding I really missed it and although Rose isn't an entirely straightforward horse, at least I knew her and her foibles and the thought of buying a new horse in my 70's didn't appeal at all. However, I knew I wanted to continue riding and to live the life I wanted for as long as possible and my family supported my decision. I've got a lovely share horse owned by a friend and riding him 3/4 times a week gives me a huge amount of pleasure. TBH I did feel a bit nervous at first and wore an air jacket, he's not a plod but he's essentially safe and I've grown to trust him so my confidence has grown. At first I didn't canter and I had to have lots of short breaks as I was so unfit but over the months I'm pretty much back to how I used to be. My friends know I'm on blood thinners and I carry a card. It really helped me to have someone on the ground with me, I think I might have struggled if I'd been left to my own devices, perhaps start with some lessons with someone who can understand your loss of confidence and loss of fitness. fwiw I slipped on wet leaves just before Christmas, no horse involved, I broke my wrist, and damaged my left hand and shoulder. Life even without horses can be pretty dangerous! Good luck with whatever you decide, but I hope you decide to enjoy your horse, she sounds lovely.
 
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