Riding with balance problems - help with the wonkiness please!!

Montyforever

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I haven't ever really ridden due to confidence issues, been around horses for coming up to 10 years. Enjoy working with them from the ground so have a welshie, then i got meningitis and a brain infection a couple of years back and have really struggled since then with bad balance/dizziness and weaknesses in my legs/muscles. Really thought riding was a no go after that!

Am currently going through more investigations at the hospital to try and find out if my symptoms can be managed better, but spoke to the consultant about riding and he thought it was a good idea to give it a go and see how i felt.

I've got to a point where i fight through it rather than going and sitting down, and generally try to not let it stop me from doing things but its hard when the world is spinning and i feel like im on a boat in choppy waters! :( i cant even stand on a stool! One side of my body is pretty much broken too (subluxating shoulder, dodgy flat foot and i have a curve in my spine too) if i was a horse they would have pts by now :p

So, you can imagine my surprise when i got on a friends horse a couple of weeks back and wasn't dizzy at all (except the getting on and off!)
Have got on a few times since and found the same but its getting obvious that i cannot stay straight in the saddle!
Im very much a novice when it comes to riding, have only got on a handful of times (more due to confidence than balance though!) am sticking to walk until im a bit more balanced too.

I cant feel myself going wonky, i don't think the saddle being treeless helps and pony is very wide!

So any advice/tips much appreciated!
Have contacted RDA but they don't have any spaces at the mo, although said they will let me know as soon as they have a space, don't really want to go to a normal riding school, cant really afford to either (the welshie is spoilt!) and obviously due to my problems would rather have someone with experience of disabilities teaching me.

Thanks :)
 

Ginge Crosby

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RDA is a good idea as you've already considered. Also - is there the chance of getting on a simulator? We used to have one round here for a short while, big simulated electronic horse with large screen in front of you, horse had sensors to pick up your leg aids and ones in its mouth. Also had pressure sensors in the saddlepad that showed if you were sitting on the wonk or putting more pressure down one side of your body. The lady at this place would give you a 'lesson' on the simulator, then put you on a horse outside in the arena for a half hour lesson.
 

soulfull

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Good for you having a go
Maybe the rda could give you the number of one of their instructors. They may not have space on their lessons but as you have a suitable horse to use an instructor could come to you?
 

Montyforever

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RDA is a good idea as you've already considered. Also - is there the chance of getting on a simulator? We used to have one round here for a short while, big simulated electronic horse with large screen in front of you, horse had sensors to pick up your leg aids and ones in its mouth. Also had pressure sensors in the saddlepad that showed if you were sitting on the wonk or putting more pressure down one side of your body. The lady at this place would give you a 'lesson' on the simulator, then put you on a horse outside in the arena for a half hour lesson.

Have had a google but doesn't look like something i can afford at the mo but will definitely give it a go in the future :)


Good for you having a go
Maybe the rda could give you the number of one of their instructors. They may not have space on their lessons but as you have a suitable horse to use an instructor could come to you?

Ah hadn't thought of that! Thanks :)
 

canteron

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Why don't you have a session on a mechanical horse with a biomechanics coach - I went to Becky Chapman at Ashen Equestrian Centre and learn a whole lot more about how to use my body to be better balanced than just on a horse, if that makes sense, so it really was worth the journey.

Becky, I know, has worked with some para riders and is definitely worth the trip - however, I am sure there are others just as good if you ferret them out.
 

paulineh

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"Have had a google but doesn't look like something i can afford at the mo but will definitely give it a go in the future"

Surely one session would be very helpful.

Have you seen an Osteopath just in case you are not straight.
 
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Shay

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You could try a brace. Depends on where in the body and how you are collapsing. And you must get it fitted correctly by a medical or sports professional with experience in horses. (RDA are good for contacts for this) I broke my back in fall a number of years back and have used a variety of surgical corset / brace type things to ride in since then. I now only use an elasticated sleeve type thing but when I started back on a horse I had a semi rigid brace which held me from pelvis to mid rib. Bit like a low fitted BP in some ways! You can't jump in the rigid ones (I tried!) but you may be a bit away from that yet!
 

Montyforever

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"Have had a google but doesn't look like something i can afford at the mo but will definitely give it a go in the future"

Surely one session would be very helpful.

Have you seen an Osteopath just in case you are not straight.

Money is very tight, and given I've only ridden properly a few times id rather see if it becomes a big issue/gets better with practise first :)
No, alot of my issues are still under investigation so don't want to do anything like that until im sure its the right thing to do.

Once i get told im going wonky i correct it so its not physically impossible i just tend to forget and slip back into it after a while!
 

TrasaM

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It might be with trying Alexander technique. I did it when I started having bad headaches after cantering in lessons. It teaches you to be more aware of your posture and how to correct it. Really pleased you are well enough to ride again.my friend was hospitalised with a diagnoses of meningitis four weeks ago. They then decided it wasn't after they'd done two lumbar punctures which have now added to the problem as they've not healed and she's currently under anaesthetic having a blood patch done. Her balance has also been affected so fingers crossed this will cure it and that they get it right this time.
 

Montyforever

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It might be with trying Alexander technique. I did it when I started having bad headaches after cantering in lessons. It teaches you to be more aware of your posture and how to correct it. Really pleased you are well enough to ride again.my friend was hospitalised with a diagnoses of meningitis four weeks ago. They then decided it wasn't after they'd done two lumbar punctures which have now added to the problem as they've not healed and she's currently under anaesthetic having a blood patch done. Her balance has also been affected so fingers crossed this will cure it and that they get it right this time.

Thanks will look that up :)

Ouch! Your poor friend :( they had to do several tries with my lumbar puncture, cant remember much of it but still got a little scar! Had to lie flat for 48 hrs after i think, its not a nice thing to have done! The headaches after are awful too :( hope they get to the bottom of it soon!
 

Fransurrey

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I'd look into Bodybalance or yoga, to help your posture, too. If you don't feel up to those, Pilates will also help. After being diagnosed with a subluxating cuboid, my balance went to pot, but BB strengthened it and improved my balance 200 %.
 

TrasaM

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Thanks will look that up :)

Ouch! Your poor friend :( they had to do several tries with my lumbar puncture, cant remember much of it but still got a little scar! Had to lie flat for 48 hrs after i think, its not a nice thing to have done! The headaches after are awful too :( hope they get to the bottom of it soon!

Thank you. I'm just back from visiting her in hospital and she is indeed going to be flat on her back for 48 hours now. The good news is that she's without a headache for the first time in 4 weeks and can move her neck a bit better. Fingers crossed the blood patch works. :)
 

flirtygerty

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Good on you for not giving up, due to a knee injury, a dodgy hip and back, I struggle to sit square in the saddle, I lean to the right, (most comfortable) I have to remember to sit slightly to the left and often ask riding companions if I'm straight, I find it easier in my western saddle, probably because the the stirrups are longer and the saddle shape is better for me. Have you considered driving? Two of mine are ride n drive, for when I can no longer ride astride.
Good luck, love your attitude
 

Montyforever

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Thank you. I'm just back from visiting her in hospital and she is indeed going to be flat on her back for 48 hours now. The good news is that she's without a headache for the first time in 4 weeks and can move her neck a bit better. Fingers crossed the blood patch works. :)

Sounds very similar to me! I had encephalitis too in the end which is what they found, the meningitis caused the fluid around the brain to swell and become infected (the fluid they take for the lumbar puncture)
That's more what caused me the balance/dizziness issues as its obviously damaged something. I get my results from my mri on monday so hopefully will at least know what's damaged even if its not fixable :) its been 3 years now and I've improved slightly, i think its just a case of getting used to it though!

Good on you for not giving up, due to a knee injury, a dodgy hip and back, I struggle to sit square in the saddle, I lean to the right, (most comfortable) I have to remember to sit slightly to the left and often ask riding companions if I'm straight, I find it easier in my western saddle, probably because the the stirrups are longer and the saddle shape is better for me. Have you considered driving? Two of mine are ride n drive, for when I can no longer ride astride.
Good luck, love your attitude

Thanks, taken a while to get to this point! :p
Love driving, have had a few lessons and really enjoy it. Trying to get my welshie used to things behind her/around her backend but failing miserably, its a plan for the future to have a ride and drive when i can afford two as welshies not going anywhere! Even if she is a pain in the backside :rolleyes:
 
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