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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7HL View Post
    YES!.... Everyone dies sometime. Might as well be on a horse. The mere fact that you are asking... sell the horse and take up badminton. If you are going to ride with constant "fear"... then don't. I broke my collar bone coming off my mare, when she and I were both green. As soon as I could I got back on. Been kicked, stepped on, and come off more times then I can count. I wear a helmet, personal choice. Also have a nice pair of steel toed boots. So sell your horse or get over it.
    Wow. COTH at its finest. Very helpful advice.

    Why are you being so mean? Seems to me the OP asked a reasonable question and people seem to feel the need to personally attack her.

    Glad that you hopped back on with no serious injuries and no loss of job or income, or no fear that you may lose your job in the future. You are very lucky.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    I am not asking if I should ride ever again or not, and I'm not justifying why I don't want to ride, because I do, and I will ride again. What I am actually trying to do is see my non-horsey SO's point of view. He thinks its crazy to keep riding after it just cost me a very good job. And I can see why he would think that. I never asked if you thought I should ride again, I was asking is it worth the risk? I realize this is a very personal question that everyone has to answer for themselves, but wanted to get some feedback on how other people felt about it. I am a mess of emotions right now, and on some serious painkillers.
    Cost you a job? There is more to the story then, falling off a horse and breaking an arm.



  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    Wow. COTH at its finest. Very helpful advice.

    Why are you being so mean? Seems to me the OP asked a reasonable question and people seem to feel the need to personally attack her.

    Glad that you hopped back on with no serious injuries and no loss of job or income, or no fear that you may lose your job in the future. You are very lucky.
    You forgot snarky. If she is going to be "fearful" constantly, then give it up. She said she "lost" or "it cost her a job". He SO is not in favor of her riding anymore. Buy a gold fish, they are safer.



  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    Wow. COTH at its finest. Very helpful advice.

    Why are you being so mean? Seems to me the OP asked a reasonable question and people seem to feel the need to personally attack her.

    Glad that you hopped back on with no serious injuries and no loss of job or income, or no fear that you may lose your job in the future. You are very lucky.
    Quote Originally Posted by 7HL View Post
    You forgot snarky.
    Yes, you are lucky and snarky. The OP lost a job she hadn't started yet because she can't perform it while in a cast. That was the whole point of this thread. I'm not sure there is any more to the story. Riding is a dangerous sport; how to justify the risk of injury?


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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7HL View Post
    YES!.... Everyone dies sometime. Might as well be on a horse. The mere fact that you are asking... sell the horse and take up badminton. If you are going to ride with constant "fear"... then don't. I broke my collar bone coming off my mare, when she and I were both green. As soon as I could I got back on. Been kicked, stepped on, and come off more times then I can count. I wear a helmet, personal choice. Also have a nice pair of steel toed boots. So sell your horse or get over it.
    I'm not scared to ride again. I'm certainly not about to take up badminton, but thanks for the suggestion. What I'm scared of is what I can lose by getting hurt. There will absolutely be no horses whatsoever if I can't work.... I don't live off of others. Yes, I have a SO with a good job, but not good enough to support us and the farm on just the one income.

    I think you have completely missed my point. It's not about the fear of riding. It's about the fear of not being able to put food on the table, or pay bills. Lucky you if you can count on someone else to pay your bills for you if you can't work, but I don't have that luxury. I think for me this means that I need to rethink the type of horse that I will ride. It doesn't mean that I should just up and quit to take up badminton.



  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    Yes, you are lucky and snarky. The OP lost a job she hadn't started yet because she can't perform it while in a cast. That was the whole point of this thread. I'm not sure there is any more to the story. Riding is a dangerous sport; how to justify the risk of injury?
    Everyone has priorities. Depends on what they think is more important. The fact that she asked, to me signals that riding and horses have now become an "issue" in her life. I am surprised that I didn't hear from some, "give up your SO". That is a usual response by some.



  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7HL View Post
    [B]The mere fact that you are asking... sell the horse and take up badminton. If you are going to ride with constant "fear"... then don't. . . So sell your horse or get over it.
    I disagree. One of the best things to happen to my riding was the realization that it's OK to be afraid. It's not OK to allow fear to cause you to ride poorly. However, it's perfectly possible to ride well and still be scared. Although it's not about riding or horses, I strongly recommend the book Nerve by Taylor Clark for anyone laboring under the misconception that fear or anxiety can stop you from pursuing whatever activity you choose.

    OP - you don't have to decide anything right now. Your horse is kept at home, so you can keep her fairly economically while you think over your options.

    I sympathize - I came off my gelding a couple of years ago and while I didn't break anything, I hurt my back badly enough that I had to get DH to do more around the farm than he normally does.

    Like you, I figured the answer was to put more training on the horse. It took me a few months to find the right trainer, and in the meantime I thought about whether I should sell and get something older and bombproof. But since I keep my horse at home I decided to just wait. Very glad I did.

    Why not just wait six weeks, get the cast off, and in the meantime keep looking for jobs you can do with one arm in a cast? In a few months, maybe you can afford a trainer. Or you might decide you'd be happier with a different horse.

    To answer your question - I look at the risks of riding this way: If I did not ride, I would probably not maintain as healthy a lifestyle as I do now. I wouldn't exercise as religiously, I'd probably drink more (because I wouldn't be worried about having to ride the next day with a bit of a hangover), I might start smoking again (because then I wouldn't worry about whether I had enough stamina to ride well). So for me, the benefits of riding outweigh the risks, taking in the big picture.

    Of course, as others have said, I don't take unnecessary risks. I wear a helmet, I sent my horse to boarding school before I got back on him after my fall, I don't ride with people who take stupid risks or who can't control their horses.

    I hope you heal quickly. But remember, no rush on deciding about your mare.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    Yes, you are lucky and snarky. The OP lost a job she hadn't started yet because she can't perform it while in a cast. That was the whole point of this thread. I'm not sure there is any more to the story. Riding is a dangerous sport; how to justify the risk of injury?
    Thank you S1969. I'm really not sure why my question has caused such responses?



  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    No, I don't think I have a grudge against her, some of the others posters were insinuating that this was an accident, and I believe that she wanted to put me on the ground. As I said before, it wasn't one or two feeling good hops. No, I obviously don't think she woke up that morning planning to ruin my career, horses aren't capable of such things. But, in that moment, she wanted me off.

    Yes, she has bucked before, but no, I don't think it's physical. She's young and very green, along with me not having an indoor arena means she doesn't get worked regularly enough. Unfortunately she is a quick learner, and I have been riding her in a bosal. She figured out that once her head went down, I couldn't get it back up. I have been considering putting a bit in her mouth, but hadn't gotten around to it yet- my biggest mistake. The last time this happened, she had been off for a while due to the weather. I had a great ride on her at walk and jog, so thought I would ask for the lope. Too much, too fast, and I knew it. That was my own fault. However this time, I had just gotten only and only walked maybe 10-15 steps before she blew up.
    Hmm. Well, I would still classify this as an "accident" in that I think anytime a horse hurts us it can be characterized as an "accident." Sure, maybe she meant to buck you off, and I've certainly been bucked off by horses that wanted me on the ground. But I think every time we are injured by horses, it is an "accident" in that it was something unplanned or unintended on our part. Horses are not capable of "homicide" or "willful and malicious injury" for example, because they lack the necessary intent. I don't really think it matters if you call it an accident or not...that is just semantics and doesn't really get to the bottom of your question.

    It sounds like this mare is young, hasn't been in a ton of work as of late, it is spring, and she is fresh. And it sounds like you knew she was fresh, because you lunged her before getting on. You were also riding her in a bridle that you say you know was part of the problem. For ME, personally, I would blame myself for this if I were in your shoes. There were signs that this was a possibilty that day (there always are). I generally assume around this time of year that there is a higher than average chance of me hitting the ground, especially on a young horse, especially on a green horse, especially on a horse that hasn't been in much work, and MOST especially on a horse that is young, green, AND mostly out of work. I do what I can to make it safer, and it sounds like you tried to too. Sometimes I miscalcuate, and I end up on the ground. That, I think, is what happened to you.

    With horses, we will always miscalcuate sometimes. Sometimes we will be fine, and sometimes we will get hurt because of the miscalculation. With a young horse, I think it is always our fault. Even with an older horse...pretty much still our fault. WE are the higher thinking being in the relationship. If something happens, well, yeah, it was probably our fault. When you get right down to it, it is really quite amazing that most of the time we don't end up on the ground. We are affixing ourselves to the back of a flight animal, and we really do expect quite a high level of obedience and reasonableness from them. Sometimes they just can't give that to us.

    I'm really, really, really not trying to be harsh or mean to you. I just think it helps to have that perspective if you are going to work with horses, especially young or flighty horses. If you are not willing to put up with this kind of risk (or if your property isn't suited to managing a young horse), then I do think you would probably be more comfortable with a different horse.

    None of us were there, so we really can't know what happened. But I will say that I think you are painting a picture of a malicious animal, when in fact she may simply have been very fresh and reactive. I've been bucked off by horses bucking multiple times in a row as you describe...sometimes they intend to drop me, and sometimes dropping me was simply incidental to their exuberant bucking (i.e., they didn't care much one way or another if I stayed on...they were essentially engaging in "mounted turnout").

    I think the core of your decision has to do with whether or not you feel like dealing with a young horse or not. It sounds to me like maybe you don't. I think this is very different from not wanting to deal with a nasty horse. I don't think this sounds like a nasty horse. She just sounds like a young horse that got the better of you one day, with some really unfortunate results. That really does suck. Really, really. Does it suck enough that you only want to deal with broke schoolmaster types from now on? Only you can decide that.


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  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
    I disagree. One of the best things to happen to my riding was the realization that it's OK to be afraid. It's not OK to allow fear to cause you to ride poorly. However, it's perfectly possible to ride well and still be scared. Although it's not about riding or horses, I strongly recommend the book Nerve by Taylor Clark for anyone laboring under the misconception that fear or anxiety can stop you from pursuing whatever activity you choose.

    OP - you don't have to decide anything right now. Your horse is kept at home, so you can keep her fairly economically while you think over your options.

    I sympathize - I came off my gelding a couple of years ago and while I didn't break anything, I hurt my back badly enough that I had to get DH to do more around the farm than he normally does.

    Like you, I figured the answer was to put more training on the horse. It took me a few months to find the right trainer, and in the meantime I thought about whether I should sell and get something older and bombproof. But since I keep my horse at home I decided to just wait. Very glad I did.

    Why not just wait six weeks, get the cast off, and in the meantime keep looking for jobs you can do with one arm in a cast?

    To answer your question - I look at the risks of riding this way: If I did not ride, I would probably not maintain as healthy a lifestyle as I do now. I wouldn't exercise as religiously, I'd probably drink more (because I wouldn't be worried about having to ride the next day with a bit of a hangover), I might start smoking again (because then I wouldn't worry about whether I had enough stamina to ride well). So for me, the benefits of riding outweigh the risks, taking in the big picture.

    Of course, as others have said, I don't take unnecessary risks. I wear a helmet, I sent my horse to boarding school before I got back on him after my fall, I don't ride with people who take stupid risks or who can't control their horses.

    I hope you heal quickly. But remember, no rush on deciding about your mare.
    Thank you, these types of responses are so much more helpful then "take up badminton." This is exactly what I need to hear! Thank you, thank you, thank you.



  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    Maybe I can change my question? Instead of asking if it is worth the risk, what about: how do you justify the risks? Especially for those that maybe have a job that they could not do if they got hurt? What happens when you have mouths to feed and bills to pay?
    Like several others have said - I think it is such an individual thing. We ride because we're passionate about horses, and I don't know that you can really explain how that occurred. We spend money, time, energy, and emotions on these creatures, and it is hard to justify all of those expenditures sometimes.

    My husband isn't a horse guy, either. He wants me to ride because I love it and am passionate about it. I get great joy from bringing my horses and the rescue horses along. A few people have asked him over the years if he worries about me riding, and he's told them that this is my passion and he wants me to follow it.

    But there are times I don't ride certain horses - mostly right before he's got to be gone for work because there's no one to take care of the critters if I am laid up.

    And I think it is natural to question riding after getting hurt, especially if it affected your life in several ways. I came off a little mustang I was working with for the rescue last year, and I had a mental meltdown about riding for a bit.

    YOU are the only one who can decide if it is worth it for you. Each situation, person, and horse is different. I don't have any words of wisdom in justifying it to your SO - other than, this is your passion and it helps make you who you are. If you want to ride, I hope your SO will support that, despite the risks.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineAlready View Post
    Hmm. Well, I would still classify this as an "accident" in that I think anytime a horse hurts us it can be characterized as an "accident." Sure, maybe she meant to buck you off, and I've certainly been bucked off by horses that wanted me on the ground. But I think every time we are injured by horses, it is an "accident" in that it was something unplanned or unintended on our part. Horses are not capable of "homicide" or "willful and malicious injury" for example, because they lack the necessary intent. I don't really think it matters if you call it an accident or not...that is just semantics and doesn't really get to the bottom of your question.

    It sounds like this mare is young, hasn't been in a ton of work as of late, it is spring, and she is fresh. And it sounds like you knew she was fresh, because you lunged her before getting on. You were also riding her in a bridle that you say you know was part of the problem. For ME, personally, I would blame myself for this if I were in your shoes. There were signs that this was a possibilty that day (there always are). I generally assume around this time of year that there is a higher than average chance of me hitting the ground, especially on a young horse, especially on a green horse, especially on a horse that hasn't been in much work, and MOST especially on a horse that is young, green, AND mostly out of work. I do what I can to make it safer, and it sounds like you tried to too. Sometimes I miscalcuate, and I end up on the ground. That, I think, is what happened to you.

    With horses, we will always miscalcuate sometimes. Sometimes we will be fine, and sometimes we will get hurt because of the miscalculation. With a young horse, I think it is always our fault. Even with an older horse...pretty much still our fault. WE are the higher thinking being in the relationship. If something happens, well, yeah, it was probably our fault. When you get right down to it, it is really quite amazing that most of the time we don't end up on the ground. We are affixing ourselves to the back of a flight animal, and we really do expect quite a high level of obedience and reasonableness from them. Sometimes they just can't give that to us.

    I'm really, really, really not trying to be harsh or mean to you. I just think it helps to have that perspective if you are going to work with horses, especially young or flighty horses. If you are not willing to put up with this kind of risk (or if your property isn't suited to managing a young horse), then I do think you would probably be more comfortable with a different horse.

    None of us were there, so we really can't know what happened. But I will say that I think you are painting a picture of a malicious animal, when in fact she may simply have been very fresh and reactive. I've been bucked off by horses bucking multiple times in a row as you describe...sometimes they intend to drop me, and sometimes dropping me was simply incidental to their exuberant bucking (i.e., they didn't care much one way or another if I stayed on...they were essentially engaging in "mounted turnout").

    I think the core of your decision has to do with whether or not you feel like dealing with a young horse or not. It sounds to me like maybe you don't. I think this is very different from not wanting to deal with a nasty horse. I don't think this sounds like a nasty horse. She just sounds like a young horse that got the better of you one day, with some really unfortunate results. That really does suck. Really, really. Does it suck enough that you only want to deal with broke schoolmaster types from now on? Only you can decide that.
    I think you are right in most of what you are saying. I do agree that some of the blame lies squarely on my shoulders. Should have, could have...
    Whether or not it was an accident is really inconsequential to my my question. I'm really not asking anyone what I should do with the horse. I have a good idea about what I want to do with her. What I want to know is how people justify the risk when there are bills to pay?



  13. #93
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    OP, your question is understandable, just poorly phrased for this particular interest group. You are essentially asking a bunch of people who come to this forum because they love a particular activity whether or not the activity is "worth it." You are bound to get some slack as a result!

    This question, in particular, raises my hackles because I'm on blood thinners, and will be for the rest of my life. The question of "riding while on blood thinners" has been raised multiple times on these boards, with many deciding that riding while on this medication is not worth the potential risk. That is a choice that each individual must weigh. In my case, I've concluded that I'll be on this stuff forever, and quitting riding -- for me -- would reduce my quality of life to the degree that it just wouldn't be worth it. I always wear a hat, and if horse hasn't been out for a few days, he is turned out in the indoor or he spends a few minutes on the lunge line. I continue to jump, but I do my best to minimize unnecessary risks. That is the choice I made, and I'm okay with it.



  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    I'm really not sure why my question has caused such responses?
    Epidemic PMS?
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.


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  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    I think you are right in most of what you are saying. I do agree that some of the blame lies squarely on my shoulders. Should have, could have...
    Whether or not it was an accident is really inconsequential to my my question. I'm really not asking anyone what I should do with the horse. I have a good idea about what I want to do with her. What I want to know is how people justify the risk when there are bills to pay?
    I'm by far the primary earner in my household. We can't pay the mortgage without my income, and we certainly can't afford the horse without it. I have short and long term disability insurance for this reason, and I could continue to perform my job with some degree of disability, depending on what that is.

    The way I justify it is that this is who I am. I've had horses nearly my entire life (since I was five years old). It's what I do, and it is just part of my life. I don't think a lot about it beyond that. I will sometimes not ride the day before a very critical event or something (I didn't ride for about a week before my wedding, for example, and I don't ride in the days immediately leading up to a trial or other major court event for which I am the only attorney), but other than that...I just go about my daily life, which is a life that includes horses.



  16. #96
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    For me, yes, it is well worth the risk. DH and I are both involved in some fairly "high risk" activities. I ride, he has a race truck that he runs at the drags. We both kayak and backpack in some pretty remote areas, sometimes we go to concerts in Baltimore at night (I'm pretty sure this might be the riskiest thing of all LOL!).

    I have a had pretty severe riding injury (2 fractured vertebrae) that affected my job, in that because of my injury I couldn't do the physical work that was required of me. I was riding my own horse who bucked me off after a fence, but at a show I was attending to coach clients. I ended up working a totally different line of work for almost 2 years because of it (and hated every minute I might add). But.. the minute my brace came off- I was back on my horse.

    So how do I justify it? Well, I don't and I don't have to. I do it because I like it and I mitigate my risks (wear a helmet, listen to that inner voice, spend a lot of training time with my horses etc). My accident actually kind of proved to me that my DH and I are pretty resourceful and if something happens, well, we'll figure it out. We don't have children who rely on us and we both have multiple income sources.

    You only get one chance to be alive and I intend to use it to the absolute fullest. I refuse to live not doing what I love because something might happen- because I think living in fear while not doing anything is the far worse tragedy than taking risks.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    I'm not sure why you are arguing with all of my posts. Yes, I am aware of my audience here on coth, but please try to put yourself in my shoes for a moment. I didn't come on here to start a debate, I was simply venting and looking for some words of wisdom. My SO wants horsey gone. Horsey cost me a job, and is now a burden on him, since horsey is here at home, not boarded. Money will be very tight by the time I am all healed, and I have no guarantee of a job even when I am healed. Thank god I am in Canada and don't have to pay for my medical attention. Even still, this will turn out to be incredibly costly in terms of lost wages and time off. Even if I don't sell horsey, I certainly can't afford to put training on her without a job, and I obviously can't afford to get back on her myself.
    As I said before, I am a roller coaster of emotions right now, and am having a hard time dealing with the cards I've been dealt.
    Well, I think I can somewhat put myself into your shoes. For starters, I am a single parent with two kids still at home. Father no where in the picture and no SO to help.
    I have been bucked off my horse several times. One time, three years ago broke my arm. Got back on as soon as I had a cast where I could put my thumb and fingers together to hold the reins.
    I got bucked off again almost two years ago and broke C2, T12, a rib, and a toe. He wanted me off both times. I was in a halo for almost three months, then was supposed to be in a full body brace for another month. I ditched the brace within a few hours of getting the halo removed and was back on the horse a week later. I was shaking like a leaf from fear of coming off again for a few months, but still got on. Even got bucked off again three months later. But I didn't get hurt that time, so actually it was a good thing, in an odd sort of way, because I learned I was not necessarily going to die if I did get bucked off again.
    So now almost two years since my last injuries, I am having the best time ever riding the same horse! We just started cantering again recently and I am still having fun. I have been fighting myself over fear of cantering for almost that entire time. Now I am finally ready and it is working. But there are still days that I may not feel like trying it or even riding outside, so we stay indoors and just trot and walk. No big deal, at least I am riding.
    I did not have a trainer to take lessons from at the beginning, but several months after the last injury, I did get myself and him working with a trainer. That I am sure, was necessary and what has gotten us this far. I also know that the previous issues were pretty much my fault one way or another. Either I was not paying attention to signs that things were not right with him, or got a little too relaxed and let us get into a situation that we could have avioded.
    My coworkers think I'm nuts, so does my dad. My kids were worried at first, but now are fine with it. They realize that I will anyway, I guess. But I know I would be absolutely miserable without riding.
    I couldn't imagine not riding and I like the horse I have, so I have done what I can to make it work. I do have an office job, so was able to get a ride to work from a great boss when I could not drive with the halo on and some days were just a test of endurance trying through a day work with that contraption on. But, I think I would do it all again, if I could end up where we are today. Plus it was a bit of a personal challenge to myself that I just wanted it to work with this horse. So far it is. I also know I could get hurt again in a flash, but that is not stopping me from riding. And he is finally turning out to be the horse I first thought he could be.
    I had to ride the bus when I was unable to drive too, and got chewed out by the bus driver when she heard about how I got hurt. She then lectured me about how dangerous riding was and told me a story about a friend that got killed walking across the street to buy a bag of doritos. I still don't get the point of that story. I am still here from riding and they are dead because of some junk food?
    I have a shoulder injury that bothers me daily. I tripped and fell on a crack in the sidewalk because I had sandals on. The horse injuries don't bother me near as much.
    So, you just have to decide what is best for you. You also don't have to decide today or tomorrow....


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  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by libgrrl View Post
    OP, your question is understandable, just poorly phrased for this particular interest group. You are essentially asking a bunch of people who come to this forum because they love a particular activity whether or not the activity is "worth it." You are bound to get some slack as a result!

    This question, in particular, raises my hackles because I'm on blood thinners, and will be for the rest of my life. The question of "riding while on blood thinners" has been raised multiple times on these boards, with many deciding that riding while on this medication is not worth the potential risk. That is a choice that each individual must weigh. In my case, I've concluded that I'll be on this stuff forever, and quitting riding -- for me -- would reduce my quality of life to the degree that it just wouldn't be worth it. I always wear a hat, and if horse hasn't been out for a few days, he is turned out in the indoor or he spends a few minutes on the lunge line. I continue to jump, but I do my best to minimize unnecessary risks. That is the choice I made, and I'm okay with it.
    I understand what you are saying. We're 5 pages in, so I'm not sure if you read my OP or not? (I'm assuming you did tho). I will try and explain what I was thinking. I wasn't asking so much is it worth it in general, more in light of having lost a job, is it worth it even considering that? Later on, I did change my question slightly to how do you justify the risks, especially if you would not be able to work if hurt, and if you have bills to pay and mouths to feed?

    And again, I understand that the answer is different for everyone, and obviously no one can answer these questions for me. I'm not asking anyone to, just to give me some insight into how you justify it for YOU.



  19. #99

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    I think almost everything we do in life carries a risk ... and therefore the concept of "risk management" becomes increasingly important as the stakes -- and the risks -- increase. For example, how much do we diminish the risk of serious injury in the car by: requiring everyone to achieve a certain age and pass an examination before being issued a license, requiring vehicle inspections, insurance, seat belts, air bags, and crash tests? Not to mention traffic lights, road maintenance and signage. And yet, people still get injured and even die while driving or riding in cars -- frequently because of "user error" such as driving while intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted (talking or texting, etc.).

    In all seriousness, if we were to remove these safety precautions, driving or riding in a car (or even walking in the general vicinity of a moving car) might prove to be too great a risk. In fact, as people get older they often give up their keys and turn to public transportation.

    If we approach riding with some of the same risk management concepts, I think we can reduce the risk to acceptable levels ... accepting that we all have various levels of risk tolerance.

    I own a business, the welfare of 12 other families depends greatly on my being able to work. I also am responsible for the farm, the house, the horses, DH and etc. Having taken my fair share of falls, and survived my fair share of injuries, here are some of the things that I do to manage the risk and still enjoy horses:

    1. I have a good trainer and I follow her advice, and tap into her expertise when needed.

    2. I only keep good-minded horses, and I work at keeping them good-minded. Even when I'm not riding or actively training, I consider every interaction a form of "training" and every horse comes in at least twice a day -- gets a look-over, some grooming, some talking-to, and reminder that he is a "trained horse" with good manners. I have passed on horses who could not remember this ... and even with my gentlemen, I sometimes need to give them reminders!

    3. I wear always wear a helmet. And keep the rest of my tack in good repair.

    4. I pass on riding in iff-y days -- when the horses seem exceedingly "fresh" or NQR.

    5. I try to keep my horses in "good repair" as well with regular vet care, dental, farrier, exercise, etc., to help rule out any pain issues.

    6. I avoid situations that exceed my risk tolerance -- I don't ride on or along the road, for example. Too many variables outside of my control.

    7. I try to stay fit, I figure my own fitness is one of the best defenses against injury that I have.

    You get the gist -- these are things that I think most of us consider. I also will add, however, that I don't ride if I have an impending event that is a "must attend." If I'm scheduled to speak to a conference, I won't ride for two weeks before that event. The stakes are too high, IMHO. Even minor injuries can ruin the opportunity of making a stellar impression at a conference.

    Is it worth the risk? With appropriate risk management, and understanding that nothing is guaranteed -- that's a question only YOU can answer. As for me, I say yes, with qualifiers.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2001
    Posts
    1,006

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    The mouths I have to feed are canine and equine. No kids, and my husband makes more money than I do, so if I were out of the picture, I'm sure he'd be fine. I'm an academic librarian, so I'm sure my workplace could accommodate me if I became injured. The risk for me -- and it is significant -- is my health. I justify that risk by recognizing that I just wouldn't *be* me if horses and riding were no longer a part of my life. No doubt that time will come -- I'm just not ready for it to happen just yet.



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