View Full Version : Would you still gallop if pregnant?

Apr. 1, 2011, 05:55 AM
I am pregnant although very early on. Have 3 two year olds and an older horse at the track. I get so much conflicting advice and I can't quite understand the risk at this stage from my doctor as he seems to think the "bouncing" would be the biggest problem, but I think he thinks of riding as sitting in a western saddle on a trail ride and bouncing around like he probably did as a kid!

My husband gallops them too so it's not a problem to get out of it, just inconvenient.

I am so early that I have no bump so balance is not an issue. Its pretty obvious you can't gallop with a bump so never planned on that, but it's these early days I am unsure about. Thanks!

Apr. 1, 2011, 07:24 AM
Probably not. I stopped riding as soon as I realized I was pregnant and miscarried at 12 weeks. I became pregnant again a few months later and stopped riding again. I think I was so scared the second time around that I was not willing to take unnecessary risks. But ultimately it is your decision.
Congratulations to you and your family.

Apr. 1, 2011, 09:54 AM
Congrats to you and your family :-)

Riding ~ Completely up to your comfort level. Personally I probably wouldn't gallop at the track - but thats just me on the horses we had at the time. I rode the workout pony along side ours, but didn't get in the saddle of the racehorses. I've taken one too many tumbles with the babies being their foolish normal selves that I just couldn't justify getting on them and risking a nasty tumble.

Of course I did end up riding in general my entire pregnancy, just changed what I did based on my comfort level the further along I got (I really didn't get very "big" - only gained 8 lbs due to how I carried her affecting my ability to keep food down). I.E. my girls took "blackmail" photos of me 5 or 6 days before I delivered on my old show gelding taking him over an 18" rail (my last "real jump" was at 7 months 3' on a leased mare), and the next day I attempted to get a gallop out of one the old lesson horses (that was amusing, got a great trot and a good canter but she just ignored going any faster.) - but we really were trying to get labor to onset naturally :-( It didn't work....but felt really weird. And not something I would suggest to anyone else. My Dr. just rolled her eyes when she saw me the morning of my induction and asked when I last rode.

Apr. 1, 2011, 04:27 PM
Your body will tell you when you can't gallop anymore:lol:. I rode western up until I was 7 months with no issues....but galloping?? I think I lasted a month till my body told me no more -- I just couldn't physically do it as I got so super tired/weak. I probably could have handled the easy one's but the tough one's...no way. I came off the track from jogging my one tough mare blowing like a freight train & so exhausted my legs & arms were jiggling (and I was fit as could be since I was galloping upwards of 10 - 15/daily). Pregnancy just takes too much of your energy!!

Apr. 1, 2011, 04:47 PM
My Mom galloped and ponied horses up to 5 days before I was born and her doctor also had her swimming a mile every day.

Apr. 1, 2011, 07:20 PM
I did it today and was fine, but I am just worried about getting out there one day and feeling nauseous and weak. I am also not very clear on what the risk is if I fall - the baby or actually embryo, is only the size of a poppyseed. I only ride the easy ones anyway lol.

Apr. 2, 2011, 08:17 AM
For me it wasn't so much a risk to the baby as a risk of being laid up and not active. And knowing that if I got myself injured I would never hear the end of it from my doctor or husband. And I wanted to stay active my entire pregnancy because I knew as soon as I couldn't be active I was going to be screwed for the rest of the time. If you're riding easy rides go for it in my opinion then ;-) Ours weren't easy - all but one pulled and the worst could pull his regular rider out of the saddle and that guy had a LOT more years riding pullers then I did, and the silly fillies were still known to throw a buck or two at least once during the first part of their ride....so with that information I stuck my butt on the pony horse. She galloped right along side without much effort on her part, but she was able to be pulled up by planting my butt back in the saddle without a fuss from her - which was handy when nasuea hit and my head started spinning as I needed to puke up everything I had just eaten (which would not have been a good combo to find up on any of the others).

I rode for the first time after my daughter was born 9 days post-partum. And 3 months later I was back in the saddle galloping, though I had some strength to finish rebuilding before I got back 100%. And currently I'm out completely with not a single horse in training - our next race prospects will be hitting the ground this spring, so it'll be awhile.

Apr. 2, 2011, 11:43 AM
F and the silly fillies were still known to throw a buck or two at least once during the first part of their ride..

Happened today and I am almost going to take it as a "sign" Massive bucking around first turn, horrible fit and rearing coming off the track and I was so relieved to get off. Usually when in the middle of an episode my mind is pretty blank except for what's going on, but I got that "I'm going to fall off and hurt myself" thought and since I can easily get out of it and let my husband take over completely I think I will!

Long Spot
Apr. 2, 2011, 02:02 PM
The dizziness and nauseua does come on at it's own free will, and one day, long before you think it will, your balance will change and you'll get tippy even on your own two feet. That would concern me too.

The "bouncing" thing might have to do with how early you are. If you are still implanting, the less jolting your body takes the better. (This said from someone who, three days before finding out I was pregnant was on the Harry Potter roller coaster and others at Universal Studios. Ooops!)

It really is a personal decision and totally up to you and what you and your SO and doctor are comfortable with.

I'm 18 weeks now and I stopped riding as soon as I found out. That's what felt right to me, considering I am 39, this is my first, and I was riding training horses with some issues. If I had a personal horse that I trusted I'd probably be still plunking around for fun and excersize. I admit I am grouchy with out it.


Lady Counselor
Apr. 2, 2011, 02:51 PM
My Mom galloped and ponied horses up to 5 days before I was born and her doctor also had her swimming a mile every day.

Holy cow! That must have been a feat to do!

Apr. 2, 2011, 05:14 PM
I'll tell you my story and let you decide...

I've had 4 children, so I'll start with the first.

I was riding races at the time, so quit the whole scene as soon as I found out.

Second baby I galloped and showed my hunter untill I was about 5 months along.

Third baby, I was galloping horses for a high profile barn with some nice stake horses. At this point I had been galloping for well over 20 years, and very rarely ever had any unplanned dismounts, etc. The two yr olds came in, and even though they were all pretty well broke I had decided to call it quits at the end of the week. First day with the babies went great, second day, not so much.

It really was a freak accident. We were a little rushed at the end of the morning, I hopped on a filly I had been on the day before, we were walking a few steps down the shedrow with the groom still holding the filly by one rein while I was getting tied on. Filly spooked at a wet spot in the dirt, groom snatched my reins out of my hand when the filly pulled back, and then she launched herself forward in a BIG way. I landed stomach first, (probably the first time ever that had ever happened).

Ended up bleeding (alot) and in the ER. Somehow my baby hung on, and after some bed rest, a few months later I had a healthy baby girl.

I did get on a few horses when I was pregnant with my last, but I really picked carefully. Easy to do because we had our own horses at this time. I mostly sat on the pony though.

Just remember that accidents can happen on anything, anywhere, at any time. Think about what it's worth to you, personally I would have had a really hard time coping if my pregnancy had been terminated because of riding. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do though.

Just remember that most doctors dont really "get" what galloping racehorses really is, it's not the same thing as going on a ride on a very well broke horse at home.

Apr. 4, 2011, 10:25 PM
I galloped our own race horses until I was 8.5 months pregnant. Never had any problems at all. My dr. just shook his head every visit and said I could make my own descisions. I only rode "known", older horses with no tricks...no youngsters. My favorite horse was a "pill" and tough as they come, but never ran less than I-2-3 the whole time I was pregnant. I joked that when they took my 150+ pounds off, he felt naked and ran his heart out!! I also joked (I'm an RN - so it WAS a joke.) that labor couldn't be any more painful than getting a cramp in my leg with two miles to gallop a tough horse. During labor I informed my husband that I had been wrong!! The good news is that galloping does keep you fit and the post partum recovery was very quick and easy.

stolen virtue
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:02 AM
My opinion. I have had 2 children. The problem is not so much with riding but coming off. Babies in utero are developing and if you come off and require a CT scan or other x-ray can you ever be sure that the radiation would not have an effect on your child ? If you lost your baby and rode could you be OK with that ? There was not much I did while pregnant but my children were born healthy and I am so blessed. Pregnancy is just so temporary I could never take the chance.

Apr. 5, 2011, 01:29 AM
I have never galloped, but I have been an owner and spent many a morning at the track with my youngester. I'm also a new mom and an ER nurse at a hospital directly across from the Charles Town track.

I rode up until 8 months on my hunter as well as a green, but very quiet, large pony. At the time, I thought it was a great idea and laughed at everyone that said "you shouldn't take that risk". In fact, one of my last rides was at our state finals on my show horse and I thought it was so neat my son was "riding" at the Finals before he was even born. In hind-site, I was a damn fool that was lucky that nothing bad happened. The horse doesn't even have to do something bad for you to come off. They can take a wrong step and down you both go. The first trimester has the most chance of a loss, so yes, even at a few weeks, you are taking a huge chance.

Of course, to each their own. I've seen a miscarriage from a poor girl falling down two steps, so I have no doubts a fall from a horse could cause even more damage. CT scans can cause fetal defects, so if you fall and have a neck injury, you'll have to choose between finding out if your neck is broke or if your baby might have birth defects. Pregnancy is risky enough on its own and is so short of a time period.

Congratulations and you'll know in your heart what is the right thing for you and your family. No one else can make that decision.

Apr. 9, 2011, 11:56 PM
Congrats on your pregnancy! As others have said, it is an extremely personal choice, but I will give you my decision/opinion. I am also pregnant and asked a similar question in Off Course a couple weeks ago. I specifically asked if anyone had ever fallen off pregnant and what was the outcome? Several helpful people replied with their opinions and surprisingly, several had falls with no problems.

My OB is familiar with English riding (bless him) and told me to continue riding for as long as I was comfortable. He also said that a fall in the 1st trimester, while something I should *try* to avoid, should not be the end of the world as the baby is quite protected behind the pubic bone during that time (no guarantees, of course, a miscarriage can happen at any time). He specifically spelled out that I was cleared to walk, trot, canter, etc (in front of the hubby, woot!). Just to use my head.

I haven't galloped racehorses in years, but I did continue to hunt until the end of the season and also jumped around the hunter pace course today (I'm a little over 10 weeks now). That said, I have a strong relationship with my horse and I swear he *knows* that I am pregnant. He hasn't tripped, hinted at a buck, been sloppy to a fence, etc since the week before I even found out. I'll probably just putz around on trails for the rest of the summer now that the 1st tri is almost up for me. Personally, I'll be staying away from greenies or anything I do not know/trust.

Good luck in your decision!

Apr. 12, 2011, 09:37 AM
I was training pre-track horses at our own stable when I became pregnant with my first. I rode them until they went to the track, so I was riding them about 3 months pregnant. I did have 1 fall off one before I found out I was pregnant though.

Once those track babies left I rode most of my other training horses until I was 5 months, and then I rode my horse and a hanovarian I was training until I was 8 months pregnant.

With my second baby I didnt have as much time to ride, but I did still ride a bit. My body was just too sore to ride though.

Miscarriages happen for alot of reasons, it takes a pretty good fall to cause a mc in an otherwise healthy pregnancy. They usually happen because of defects with the fetus.

Apr. 13, 2011, 12:19 PM
Happened today and I am almost going to take it as a "sign" Massive bucking around first turn, horrible fit and rearing coming off the track and I was so relieved to get off. Usually when in the middle of an episode my mind is pretty blank except for what's going on, but I got that "I'm going to fall off and hurt myself" thought and since I can easily get out of it and let my husband take over completely I think I will!

Glad you were safe and stuck it. Yeah the guys used to remind me that as soon as my mind even THOUGHT about the fact that I COULD fall then I was going to be cursed with a fall shortly thereafter. Since you have an out - take it. I know it means more work for you hubby, but you can still do the ground work and be the eyes, or on a quiet pony horse to accompany them.
Congrats again and here's to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy happy baby in your arms at the end of this journey :-)