Riding after stroke--Balance aids
A year ago I had a massive brainstem stoke and was initially "locked in" (paralyzed from the nose down). I've made amazing regains--I can walk with a cane, talk, eat, and move all my limbs. I had the stroke just when I was ready to start my "dream" mare. I was going to lease her but the more that process lingers, the more I'm reconsidering. I really want to try at least sitting on a horse again--and my PT and rehab doctor have all said how great equestrian therapy would be (I was actually working on ET instructor certification when the stroke hit). Anyway, to make a long story short: My horse has now had five months of professional training. My parents and I are going out to see the trainer today, and see if she thinks she can help me get back around horses, especially mine. Because my girl is greenbroke, she is far from ideal, but she's very mellow when ridden. My biggest fear is that she throws random temper tantrums when she's led. However, I've had her since she was a yearling, and I'm thinking the familiarity would help. I would never be alone, and I would use a helmet and body protector--I'm on Coumadin as well, so aware of avoiding impact injuries (internal bleeding)--I've had enough health drama for a lifetime, I'm all for avoiding more! My biggest fear is that if I send her away, I'm just going to give up riding--the thought of starting over blows my mind anyway. Unfortunately, my horse before her would have been perfect--he would do anything to take care of me and I would have trusted him completely at this--It's made me grieve his death all over again.
Anyway, finally getting to the point...ANY advice would be appreciated, but I'm specifically trying to figure out some good riding shoes--English or western--I don't care. I still have pretty intense balance issues, so I need something comfortable, with ankle support (just finishing healing a torn ligament), the minimum heal, a wide base of support, and rounded toe. Any tips? Any other aid recommendations? I'm trying to keep it as cheap as possible because I'm still waiting on SSI and Disability and I've used up my retirement accounts, so I've been able to keep her and stay in my house soley because my parents have helped so much and are pretty much supporting us at the moment.
p.s. Any therapy/adaptive mounting block plans or sketches would be invaluable as well (Just occurred to me--still have to scour the forum) :winkgrin: