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  1. #1
    Hubbardshorses Guest

    Smile Does anyone here have O.I. and rides?

    I just found this forum and I wanted to see if anyone has or knows someone with Osteogenesis Imperfecta better known as O.I or brittle bone disease. This is what I was born with, and I was also born with a passion for horses.
    I will try to make a long story short . I am 36 and have a Milder form of this. I have had 150 fractures,had both tibias rodded (now removed) and now I have to wear lower plastic leg braces from the knee down. To help prevent fractures.
    I started riding when I was 20. Much to my orthopedists dismay. I have been bucked off once hurt my lower back. And have had a green horse run over me and break my leg badly. All before I was 22.. I took a break from horses, got married and stayed busy with my career. I always wanted a horse in my life again. Always felt something was missing. I adopted a rescue TB/Arabian gelding from Colorado about 7 yrs ago. He was a wonderful soul that was almost 16 hands. ( I am 4'11) He was always a sweet old man for me, I never had any problems. I unfortunately lost him 2 wks ago to age/Colic.( he was est. @ 25 yrs old) I miss him dearly. My worry is now about finding a new suitable mount. I have more aches and pains now, but I so miss riding. I don't think I am ready to give up horses yet. My husband has a 10 yr old TB..But he is too spirited for my liking. ( I still get occasional anxiety from that accident that caused me to be ran over.) I guess I am just feeling like I need someone to talk to right now. I am scared about trying to find a good horse like I had. My husband is very supportive. He wants me to get another horse when the right one comes along...
    I'm thinking that a smaller horse may be good for me. Since I am 4'11. Does anyone think that a 13 hand horse would be too small. I am very petite..I want to trail ride. Thanks for reading BTW.

    "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
    ~Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009


    Hubbardshorses -many people like & ride small horses or ponies! More power to you for not giving up riding! I think you will be more happy on a pony that fits you than something that is too large.

    I had a 15'2" draft X that seemed HUGE and bolted. I sold him for a QH mare barely 15' and I just love her size. At 5'6" and over 170 lbs, I could be too large for her but am not.

    She is just too spooky for me so she is now on the market and I am looking for something with more brains and is a lot more quiet. (In 2007, I had a mild stroke, I am 98% recovered but I am unbalanced I ride. ) I have a lot of trouble w/my balance. It is easier for me w/a smaller horse.

    Good luck in your search!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005


    Do you wear an eventing vest and a helmet when you ride? If so, that should reassure the orthopedist. I don't know if OI makes you very prone to rib fractures, but the vest, or even an inflatable vest with the standard vest, would seem likely to help prevent rib fractures.

    I have known a number of older women with osteoporosis who ride quiet ponies (two with Connemara crosses, one with a Hungarian mare). Since you are only 4'11", I would think that you would easily fit on a medium or a large pony, as long as the pony has a substantial build.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002


    Some middle aged or older Arabs can be wonderful, small, trail horses with an inner drive to take good care of their riders. I own two of them! (sorry, I can't share them!) Maybe do some networking in the Arab world and see what you can find? I'd go for an Arab before I'd go for a pony, just because "pony brain" might be more problematic on a daily basis than an occasional "Arab moment." The Arab moments get fewer and farther between as they age... pony brain, not so much!

  5. #5
    Hubbardshorses Guest


    Thanks for the all the input!And I do ride with a helmet but not a vest. I will check in to that. That is a great idea for me to have. My gelding was an Arab mix. And he was the best! He took great care of me. I keep having horse people around me tell me to stay away from the arabians and paso's because they are to hot...I think it will depend on the horse and not the whole breed..Either way I am taking my time trying to find the right smaller horse.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2006


    I was going to suggest a large pony, maybe an older one vs. green. I would keep going because at least any damage you do will be doing something you love. I know it's not the same, but I had a pretty bad TBI and I still ride and jump, even some of the "bad" horses. I just can't stay away.
    My neighbor does reseach on kids with OI, and I have drawn blood for him from some of these kids. Just out of curiosity, (they are also milder cases) would a tourniquet used for the blood draw cause damage to the arm?
    I say keep looking and keep riding. As long as you are alive you may as well live, ya know?

  7. #7
    Hubbardshorses Guest


    My neighbor does research on kids with OI, and I have drawn blood for him from some of these kids. Just out of curiosity, (they are also milder cases) would a tourniquet used for the blood draw cause damage to the arm?

    Not in my case since I am mild.. I would say in the more extreme cases yes. Wish they could find a cure for this. I'm blessed enough to work very hard to be the way I am. That's why I can't leave horses. They make me feel alive and carefree when I am riding.
    BTW I am going to look for an older gelding with some miles. Just haven't found him yet. Also plan on getting a shorter horse I can mount easier.*LOL*
    Thanks for everyone posts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2007
    Western Washington


    Good for you, and special kudos to your husband who recognizes and nurtures your love of horses.

    I think if I were you, I would try to find a "retired" endurance horse. An acquaintance has a wonderful horse who is being retired from endurance races at the "ancient" age of 12. She won't ask him to do the 50 or 100-mile races anymore, yet he would be perfect for someone like you!

    good luck.

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