Riding and the Menopause

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
35,651
Location
W. Yorks
Ladies, please don't discount the benefits of HRT. I did. I thought that because I had no physical symptoms I didn't need it. Eventually taking it after much research and encouragement, it has completely changed my riding life for the better. I am not what I was at 30, but no-one is. I am, however, a better version of myself than I was without it and am back out competing again. If you don't get satisfaction from your GP, please refer to Newson Health online for guidance on how to approach things with your GP.

I second this.
I was never particularly keen on jumping and not competitive. Physical symptoms were mostly negligible. I bought myself a truly sensible mare as my 56th birthday present to myself to hack on, and thoroughly enjoyed her.
However, 10 yrs on I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, despite an active life-style with horses and dogs at home. I am rather cross with the NHS treatment of peri/menopausal women, as the broken leg last October was my 3rd lower limb break in 13 yrs and I had to ask, repeatedly, for a bone density check. Please take care of your bones by checking whether you need to take additional calcium and Vit D and maybe discuss HRT with your GP. A friend of a similar age did take HRT for a few years but then gave it up to take anti-depressants, following a difficult few years. She has now been diagnosed with osteopenia (precursor to osteoporosis) and wishes that she had gone back on the HRT after the depression was sorted.
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
37,971
Yes I think it’s important to accept being a different version of yourself rather than it being just a phase you are going through and then you will go back to ‘normal’.

Definitely this. I've been through a few years of disliking my riding self because I can no longer do what I did in my avatar and on the hunting field. It's so pointless. You aren't that person any more, it's a kind of mourning to be got through.
.
 

Flame_

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 November 2007
Messages
7,505
Location
Merseyside
Not exactly menopause but - I like excitement but not actual danger.

After many years wasted trying to enjoy sports horses it dawned on me that the perfect horse for me was the part bred arab who'd lived in the field all those years. So I went and bought a purebred.

Get an arab or a section d for drama and entertainment without vet bills and broken bones.
 

Alibear

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 March 2003
Messages
7,952
Location
East Anglia
I'm jumping through the hoops to try and get HRT now. I've got a lovely combo of physical and mental effects that mean 3 out of 4 weeks are really tough, and the 4th week is good. I'm hoping I can at least get it 50% good/50% tough. As I know it's anxiety caused by hormones; I do my best to ignore it and focus on staying positive :) Usually, once I get my backside in the saddle, all is well again. Over the years, my choice of competition has gone Eventing - Dressage- Western, so I am adjusting my chosen discipline to suit my current self as I go along. That said, I had a crack at the beginnings of a reining run down at the weekend, so there's some life left in me still, and I hope that will remain for a long while yet. I also refuse to give up/ temporarily stop, pause etc. I did that for 10 years and regret it now as it will only be harder to restart as I get older. So much better to keep going. Hence I'm planning for my next horse already.
 

Red-1

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 February 2013
Messages
12,351
Location
Recently bought into cob culture.
I haven't gone for HRT, was warned off by a friend who blamed it for breast cancer.

I bet everyone will say it isn't linked now.

I also bet, that now I am in actual menopause, my Dr wouldn't allow it.
 

hobo

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2010
Messages
8,257
Location
dorset
At the risk of seeming odd I did not even notice my menopause. I put down any health problems and lack of riding ability to just being old and having worked so hard from the age of 13 through to sixty shovelling shit be it pig, cow or horse. Also not being the lightweight I was means the ground hurts more when you hit it from a height so I am more scared of falling. I think age means you do more risk assesements(sp) about life.
 

Hackback

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 August 2019
Messages
94
I wanted HRT but couldn't have it due to family history of ovarian cancer. My mum had it for years and she said when they took her off it that's when she started to age. To be honest I think that's one of the most dramatic parts of the 'change' for me. I seem to have got so old looking so quickly! I must be very vain, but I've gone from one of those people who swore they'd never have a face lift because they intend to 'age gracefully' to wondering if I could afford one 🤔 I just never really thought I'd get old lol.

And yes the interrupted and elusive sleep is annoying. But my partner is the same and he's not menopausal. He does blame me for disturbing his sleep though 🥵😅
 

Pippin and Poppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 May 2021
Messages
47
Being 64 I guess I'm a 'lucky one' lol, because the children are fully fledged, OH and I am both retired, menopause is history - but I am no where near the confident rider I was in my 20s! Hormonal changes that came with having children and the responsibility of staying alive and well with the added issue that I had almost two decades away from horses have sapped my confidence.
I used to ride on busy roads, would hack anywhere, would jump anything out there, didn't know what a spook was, was asked to ride the local naughty ponies and horses etc.
I didn't compete much, so I haven't lost that.
But falling off is more of a concern, it hurts more for sure, and damage takes longer to heal.
It was a big decision to recently buy two yearlings, not least because its a possibility they might outlive me (ouch!!)! We are lucky enough to have a supportive, reliable family who will be left instructions and finance to cope with this should it happen!
As I haven't lost competing I think it makes it easier for me. I've just backed the babies who are now 4 and although my heart is often in my mouth, the sense of fulfillment is amazing. I'm just back from riding one of the babies once round our 7 acre field for the first time - and I'm on Cloud 9!
I won't stop riding until I physically can't get on - (have just bought a 3 step mounting block and only ride ponies now ;) )
 

southerncomfort

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 September 2013
Messages
3,537
When I first became perimenopausal (age 44, now 47) the anxiety was absolutely crippling. Driving was the thing I found most difficult and I often had to pull over to get my breathing under control and get rid of the stress induced hot flush!

Things I've found that have helped:

Kalms - they take the edge off the anxiety and help me sleep.

Evening Primrose Oil capsules - stopped the hormonal migraines.

Soya milk - stopped all hot flushes.

I can't take HRT because of a family history of breast cancer but the above help me feel largely normal. The only thing they haven't helped with are my periods which I won't go in to here but makes me pretty miserable at times.
!
 

Miszeemare

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 November 2010
Messages
66
Location
South Coast
Menopausal Matters is a very good website for information and the Davina documentary is worth watching. I’ve been on HRT for over 10 years now, switched from tablets as they weren’t working for me (anxiety was crippling), was prepared to go private to get sorted as didn’t think the gp Surgery was much help but a lovely nurse had taken over dealing with us menopausal ladies to make sure we got proper help, I’m now on the gel and synthetic progesteron. Feel so much better and intend to stay on it forever. Nearly all the ladies of a certain age at my yard are on the same stuff. There’s a lot of misinformation about HRT out there. Please get help, you really don’t need to suffer because of raging hormones.
 

Jellymoon

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2008
Messages
502
inspired by all your responses, I called the doctors today and spoke to my gp about all my symptoms, and she’s recommended hrt patches. So I’m now feeling anxious about possible side effects, of course, but I’m going to pick them up tmr and go for it.
i also rode one of the horses this afternoon, told my daughter she had to ride her pony too because he’s looking fat - haha, he’s not really! I breathed through any anxiety and pushed it down. Horse was very chilled and we had a nice ride. Obv we all know the horses pick up on the tension, so I need to try to keep it under control.
 

Jellymoon

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2008
Messages
502
When I first became perimenopausal (age 44, now 47) the anxiety was absolutely crippling. Driving was the thing I found most difficult and I often had to pull over to get my breathing under control and get rid of the stress induced hot flush!

Things I've found that have helped:

Kalms - they take the edge off the anxiety and help me sleep.

Evening Primrose Oil capsules - stopped the hormonal migraines.

Soya milk - stopped all hot flushes.

I can't take HRT because of a family history of breast cancer but the above help me feel largely normal. The only thing they haven't helped with are my periods which I won't go in to here but makes me pretty miserable at times.
!
Driving is the other thing I feel anxious about, how weird is that? And pulling a trailer with the precious horses in the back and the kids in the 4x4…stratospheric!
I’m actually so relieved there’s an explanation, I thought I was going mad and this is the beginning of the end. Also thought I was getting dementia as cannot find obvious words or names.
100 years ago my OH would have sent me off to the loony bin with hysteria.
 

catembi

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 March 2005
Messages
11,272
Location
N Beds
Just to add my 2p... I had a hysterectomy at 38 & although I kept my ovaries, they gave up early & I went into menopause - which I didn't realise at the time as the only symptom was not sleeping & I have never been a good sleeper. I only realised what was happening 2 years later when I started getting hot flushes. Went to the dr, got oestrogen only HRT which stopped the hot flushes... I then had another TEN YEARS of barely sleeping, finally saw a private meno consultant & she straight away said, well of course you're not sleeping - you've got no progesterone (the levels were barely readable). So I am now on oestrogen gel, testosterone gel, DHEA and progesterone. I can SLEEP (to the extent that I would normally), my strength levels have eased upwards, I am setting all sorts of personal bests in the gym & I feel fantastic. Menopause middle has nearly disappeared, skin looks amazing, anxiety levels have dropped.

I got a new youngster in April, started going out n about for clinics, started hacking again, cantered out hacking, jumped up to about 80 cm & actually felt ready to do more. I was really, really hoping that a bit of gung ho ness might come back...but now he's got PSSM. It was definitely looking good for a bit.

My HRT is also bioidentical so the consultant says that I can take it forever. I was 50 this year.
 

canteron

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 October 2008
Messages
3,304
Location
Cloud Cockoo Land
Sorry, meant to add in my earlier post that if anyone is offered HRT/Premarin - it is made from mare's urine - and there has been, I understand, welfare issues concerning the treatment of the mares they "harvest" this from............

Probably everyone already knows this tho'.
Yep - natural = cruel when it comes to HRT and the synthetic ones are better!
 

1523679

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 July 2020
Messages
236
Went through menopause in my early 40’s. My GP told me I was imagining it (!) so I didn’t have access to any HRT or similar.

I found Agnus Castus to help with the physical symptoms and took an elaborate cocktail of OTC medication to help with anxiety. Night Nurse was a particular favourite.

I’m just starting to get my competitive drive back but it’s nothing like it used to be pre-menopause. On the upside, I don’t really give two hot sh*ts for very much else either so that helps make life easier.
 

Trinket12

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 December 2017
Messages
330
Location
Vancouver, Canada
I'm 46 and peri-menopausal, I already had anxiety long before! But the brain fog has meant lots of lessons where my coach asks me what I am doing, because I am clearly not doing the thing I was told to do because my brain has taken a time out. Some emotional hormones, the best was when I was trying a simple trot pole exercise and wasn't quite getting it and burst into tears, I then spent the rest of my lesson in walk bawling my eyes out in the arena :oops:
 

SO1

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 January 2008
Messages
4,447
If you are having difficulty sleeping I would recommend menopace night they also take the edge off the anxiety too.

I certainly feel more anxious about life in general I am 49 this year and agree with others about the equine related anxiety made worse in that my horse is getting elderly too and at 19 is having some age related problems.

I feel like I have aged about 10 years since the lockdown pre lockdown I felt about 30 even though I was 47 now I really feel my age, noticed hair shedding, more aches and pains. Most of my friends in the same situation and it has knocked their confidence in other areas of their life. One of my friends thought she had early onset dementia but turned out was menopause.
 

lynz88

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 July 2012
Messages
104
I am by no means near menopause however for dealing with anxiety, I take magnesium malate. It also helps with any general aches and pains and helps speed up muscle recovery after physical activity. An ex-friend of mine suffered from heart palpitations and her doctor recommended magnesium. Heart palpitations stopped. I burned myself out a few years ago and was dealing with major headaches....started magnesium and my racing thoughts, anxiety, and headaches disappeared. I KNOW when I don't take it....
 

Rumtytum

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 November 2017
Messages
4,085
Location
South Oxfordshire
Yep - natural = cruel when it comes to HRT and the synthetic ones are better!
I’d never thought about this, just checked and mine is synthetic 👍. Been taking for 14 years, the many benefits I actually feel plus the lowered chance of osteoporosis mean I would like/intend to take it for the rest of my life.
 

Asha

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 February 2012
Messages
4,496
Location
Cheshire
Just to add my 2p... I had a hysterectomy at 38 & although I kept my ovaries, they gave up early & I went into menopause - which I didn't realise at the time as the only symptom was not sleeping & I have never been a good sleeper. I only realised what was happening 2 years later when I started getting hot flushes. Went to the dr, got oestrogen only HRT which stopped the hot flushes... I then had another TEN YEARS of barely sleeping, finally saw a private meno consultant & she straight away said, well of course you're not sleeping - you've got no progesterone (the levels were barely readable). So I am now on oestrogen gel, testosterone gel, DHEA and progesterone. I can SLEEP (to the extent that I would normally), my strength levels have eased upwards, I am setting all sorts of personal bests in the gym & I feel fantastic. Menopause middle has nearly disappeared, skin looks amazing, anxiety levels have dropped.

I got a new youngster in April, started going out n about for clinics, started hacking again, cantered out hacking, jumped up to about 80 cm & actually felt ready to do more. I was really, really hoping that a bit of gung ho ness might come back...but now he's got PSSM. It was definitely looking good for a bit.

My HRT is also bioidentical so the consultant says that I can take it forever. I was 50 this year.

What a fabulous thread. Its really helped me understand and realise im not alone in the way i feel . I also had a hysterectomy but retained my ovaries. looking back its a couple of years after that that things started to change. Ive never put 2 +2 together. Its a relief to read others have the brain fog, i thought i was losing it. I used to be articulate but now it feels as if i can just about string a sentence together.

Catembi .. the point you raised about strength is really interesting. I just cant move the bales / carry stuff like i used to. Ive put weight on and trying to diet but its just not budging. Think i may just book an appointment with a consultant.

As for the riding side of things, ive never been a great rider, but i was brave. Im not brave now, but have pushed myself to get back jumping again. Im sure my younger self would have cringed at the old dear almost shedding a tear at going over 50cm x pole.

Thanks for posting this OP. Its made me feel so much better
 

GreyMane

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 May 2018
Messages
778
Location
In a trough
Thanks for this thread.
Just typed then deleted a long depressing post!
If this is me for the rest of my days....... *pfffft*
The knowledge you can never go "back to normal" is the worst bit I think.

Those on HRT would like to know what sort and how you got it, via GP or privately and what's the cost?
Have you had any pressure to stop taking it, especially if you never want to stop?
 

Jumoro

Active Member
Joined
11 September 2014
Messages
36
I read this and thought your age was 90 :D - I thought, crikey you've been taking HRT a long time. Hahaha

(Not sure if I'm doing this quote thing right...)

LOL - not quite that old although to be fair I don't plan on stopping hrt in the foreseeable. Aside from the anxiety and brain fog it has also really helped with the physical symptoms, especially joint pain which was quite debilitating. HRT isn't for everyone but the benefits definitely outweigh the risks for me.
 

Jumoro

Active Member
Joined
11 September 2014
Messages
36
Thanks for this thread.
Just typed then deleted a long depressing post!
If this is me for the rest of my days....... *pfffft*
The knowledge you can never go "back to normal" is the worst bit I think.

Those on HRT would like to know what sort and how you got it, via GP or privately and what's the cost?
Have you had any pressure to stop taking it, especially if you never want to stop?
I got HRT from my GP surgery on the NHS but it has been a battle. Initially my symptoms/concerns were dismissed as trivial and my GPs' lack of knowledge around (peri)menopause and the risks/benefits of HRT was quite shocking. Eventually, I went in for a consultation "armed" with copies of the NICE guidelines and papers from the relevant epidemiology studies. I am now on body identical trans dermal estrogen and micronised progesterone. Hopefully my GP will continue to prescribe (if only to avoid sitting though another lecture from me on interpreting data from epi studies lol)- if not I'll go private.
 

Rumtytum

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 November 2017
Messages
4,085
Location
South Oxfordshire
Thanks for this thread.
Just typed then deleted a long depressing post!
If this is me for the rest of my days....... *pfffft*
The knowledge you can never go "back to normal" is the worst bit I think.


Those on HRT would like to know what sort and how you got it, via GP or privately and what's the cost?
Have you had any pressure to stop taking it, especially if you never want to stop?
I had a couple of intense talks with my lovely GP, sadly now retired. She went into much detail of the risks and put them into perspective. I did my own research too and finally she prescribed Kliovance, the lowest dose combined pill.
Since she retired I have regular checks and as my weight, blood pressure etc. are good and there’s no history of breast cancer the doctors continue to prescribe, albeit very reluctantly. The docs are either male or young female, I can’t help feeling they see only the possible risks and because of their gender/age they take no account of why I want the stuff so much! It is a quality of life changer for me.
 
Last edited:

Rumtytum

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 November 2017
Messages
4,085
Location
South Oxfordshire
(Not sure if I'm doing this quote thing right...)

LOL - not quite that old although to be fair I don't plan on stopping hrt in the foreseeable. Aside from the anxiety and brain fog it has also really helped with the physical symptoms, especially joint pain which was quite debilitating. HRT isn't for everyone but the benefits definitely outweigh the risks for me.
For me also!
 
Top