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  1. #101
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    Oct. 12, 2010
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    North Carolina
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    I've had two significant horse crashes in the past 12 months. One was being run over and stepped on by a spooked horse and the other was being bucked off due to pilot error. When I was in the ER after being stepped on and waiting to see if the x-rays revealed a broken arm, I told my DH that if my arm was broken, this was IT. I was DONE. And THIS TIME, he wasn't allowed to talk me out of it as he had done all the times before I wanted to give up horses. He chuckled, because he knew that there was no way I'd leave the horse life behind. He was correct. It's who we are. It's what we do. Why we do it, I have no idea!

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Alis volat propriis.


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  2. #102
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2008
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    Where The Snow Flies
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    Oy. Is it a full moon out? I seriously don't understand the attack mode some people are on.

    OP, I totally understand what you're going through, I really do. I honestly believe that every horse person goes through phases in their riding career where their needs and desires change and they have to go through this self-assessment to figure things out.

    I've had some pretty serious horse related injuries and I went through a period of feeling the need to be hyper diligent about self-preservation. I was nervous and scared of getting hurt and that fear became extrapolated to being timid in the saddle and then wound up in me falling off a few more times. It was the proverbial domino effect. That which I was trying to prevent I actually manifested.

    I eventually reached a point where I knew I was going to have to take some time off because I needed to have multiple surgeries so I sold all of the horses except one. The one I kept, oddly, I never really rode before but she was a steady eddie packer that I had previously used as a beginner lesson horse and she was that "extra" horse to have around for when family was in town and wanted to ride. She was safe and sensible, didn't need a job and would be the same horse whether she was ridden every day or once a year. It hurt to send my dream warmbloods down the road and I do still have pangs of regret every now and then, but I had to realize at that moment, we wouldn't have been able to meet each other's needs and that daily regret would have been much greater than the fleeting moments I have now.

    Really focusing on riding the older, safe and sane mare has made riding fun again. I get the giggles every time I ride her because she tries hard but has absolutely no talent what so ever. She and I have a good sense of humor about it and it's simply a blast to have this kind of relationship with a horse. It's something I think every rider should experience and I think as we age and our desire for self-preservation kicks in, it's the kind of horse/rider relationship we should really strive for.

    It's a hard thing to find, but really worth the wait to hold out for it. I believe that having a horse that you trust is and essential part of the equation to reducing the risk of this hobby. Combine this with continuing to ride with a trainer to address bad habits and potential imbalance issues as well as maintaining a good fitness regime out of the saddle so that your body is better able to mend when faced with the occasional bump is a solid combination for making a risky sport safer.

    You know, I found myself hospitalized in November. Friday through Sunday I was feeling not quite right. My stomach felt blah and I wasn't able to really hold much down. By Monday I was really sick with what I figured was the flu that was going around but by Wednesday, I really thought I was dying. I was hospitalized and critically ill. Turns out I contracted a type of bacterial infection that went systemic when it released toxins into my blood stream and my heart was severely affected. I could have died at thirty from something that started out a few days earlier as something as benign as an upset stomach.

    Life is short and there are a million ways in which we can leave this earth. I say, consider your risks carefully, reduce them where you can but keep doing what you love.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    Well, you could choose to work in a field that isn't so physically demanding, and then solve that issue.


    Perhaps, instead of stopping altogether, you need to ask yourself...."Can I currently afford to own a YOUNG horse, vs the old packer trail horse who is going to dump me only in the event of the apocalypse?"
    I agree that riding is inherently dangerous (as is many other sports such as skiing) but the risks can be mitigated to an extent. Always wearing a helmet when mounted is one way to mitigate risk. Being selective in the horses you ride and the environment in which you ride them is another. Three day eventing is inherently more risky than trail riding.



  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    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.
    Many other things can happen that could prevent you from working that don't involve horse related injuries. A serious illness such as cancer could prevent you from working. A bad car accident could leave you disabled. I have several friends who are cancer survivors and I lost my best friend to pancreatic cancer last year. So, giving up riding might eliminate the risk of injury due to a fall from a horse, but it definitely doesn't eliminate risk.



  5. #105
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2009
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    481

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    I'm sitting in a hospital bed right now waiting to for them to come get me in a half hour for surgery. Came off my greenie on Friday when he spooked at something made up in his head and spun out from under me. Just was a freak landing, came down on my feet and snapped my leg, open fracture of both tibia and fibula. Had surgery that night, again today in just a little while, and one more in a week or two to plate it.

    Will it be hard to get through, both physically and financially? Absolutely. But horses are part of who I am and my friends and family understand and support me and have stepped up to help me while I'm out of commission (feeding, turnout, cleaning stalls, etc for four horses). Certainly I'll take this time to reevaluate everything and if I continue to ride said greenie-horses it will be with more precautions in place. But I don't think I'd like the person I would be without horses in my life and those around me probably wouldn't either. Will just do my best to find a happy medium between being careful and not making myself paranoid about what can happen.
    It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!



  6. #106
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2011
    Location
    Ontario
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    122

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    Quote Originally Posted by drawstraws View Post
    I'm sitting in a hospital bed right now waiting to for them to come get me in a half hour for surgery. Came off my greenie on Friday when he spooked at something made up in his head and spun out from under me. Just was a freak landing, came down on my feet and snapped my leg, open fracture of both tibia and fibula. Had surgery that night, again today in just a little while, and one more in a week or two to plate it.

    Will it be hard to get through, both physically and financially? Absolutely. But horses are part of who I am and my friends and family understand and support me and have stepped up to help me while I'm out of commission (feeding, turnout, cleaning stalls, etc for four horses). Certainly I'll take this time to reevaluate everything and if I continue to ride said greenie-horses it will be with more precautions in place. But I don't think I'd like the person I would be without horses in my life and those around me probably wouldn't either. Will just do my best to find a happy medium between being careful and not making myself paranoid about what can happen.
    I'm sorry to hear about your fall, and wish you a speedy recovery. Out of curiosity, will you be able to work while you are healing?



  7. #107
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    Sep. 12, 2009
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    481

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    Thank you - you too!

    I'm hoping as soon as I'm mobile they'll let me go back as it's an office job and I should be able to sit with my leg propped up most of the time. And it's a bonus that I work in the horse insurance industry so they are very understanding of the whole "horse-thing". I'm sure I'll end up using up my sick days (which I have almost never used the entire time I've worked there) and personal time but they are more than willing to accommodate me as best they can.

    Was also happy to remember that I have AFLAC. Had considered dropping it several times but never got around to it. Now I'm very glad I didn't as it should come in handy.
    It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!



  8. #108
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,088

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    To answer your question, OP: no, it's not worth it. When it's a choice between my livelihood and a hobby, livelihood trumps.

    However, are they really that mutually exclusive? Probably not. OP, you are hurt; you are under a lot of drugs; you lost a good job; your SO is pressuring you; none of these makes a good backdrop for a logical thinking.

    Whatever happened already happened. You can't rewind the time. What you can do, however, is to ride "only" safe horses so the chance of your breaking an arm is very minimum. Or, you can find another job that you won't run the risk of losing just because you break a limb. There are those jobs out there.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #109
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    Oct. 1, 2005
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    Sandy, Utah
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    6,228

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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    Thank you, these types of responses are so much more helpful then "take up badminton."
    I feel compelled to defend the noble sport of badminton. It's quite an excellent sport, really the most strenuous of the racket sports (I played tennis in college and have played pretty much all of them). Indeed I would recommend it as excellent exercise for keeping fit for riding. Easier on my arthritic wrist than tennis, these days. You sure don't need to give up riding or anything else to take up the sport though.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    10,382

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    To answer your question, OP: no, it's not worth it. When it's a choice between my livelihood and a hobby, livelihood trumps.

    However, are they really that mutually exclusive? Probably not. OP, you are hurt; you are under a lot of drugs; you lost a good job; your SO is pressuring you; none of these makes a good backdrop for a logical thinking.

    Whatever happened already happened. You can't rewind the time. What you can do, however, is to ride "only" safe horses so the chance of your breaking an arm is very minimum. Or, you can find another job that you won't run the risk of losing just because you break a limb. There are those jobs out there.
    Um, in this economy, that's not true. There are fifty applicants out there for every job so unless you're in a super-specialized field, most people can't be choosey. My new employer has not hesitated to remind all of us that we were, genuinely, hand-picked, new hires and transfers, with fifty other applicants who wanted each position (they mean it as "you're special and we picked you over them for a reason", as we're in the entertainment and gaming field, but it also is a reminder, they're not exaggerating--there are way more people after jobs than there are jobs. Especially ones like mine with lots of benefits.)

    If horses aren't your livelihood, no, I don't think it's worth it to ride young, hot, green beans. At the end of the day, it's a hobby you're supposed to enjoy, not a job you're supposed to do whether you really feel like it or not. You can't enjoy it if you're worrying "Is this the day the baby is going to flip out and I'm going to be in the hospital for six weeks in traction?"

    The difference between riding and the usual 'cancer/traffic accidents' argument is...yes, you can get killed crossing the street. You can get diagnoses with cancer tomorrow. But except for taking a few reasonable precautions against a few types, you can't do anything about whether or not you get cancer. You can look both ways crossing the street or making a turn, but you can't guarantee every other driver drives safely. You can decide to get on a horse or not. You can decide which horse to get on with no consequences if you pass on the young, the crazy, or the high-performance.



  11. #111
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,473

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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzN View Post
    Well I am a little surprised at the number of respondents claiming that "life" is dangerous. Yes, I could get in a car accident, yes I could trip and fall. But, the difference is that those are ACCIDENTS. I would not classify what happened to me as an accident, my horse did not simply trip, she took off and then rodeo bronced across the field. I lasted 7 or 8 bucks. I did not hit the ground by accident, I hit the ground because that's where she wanted me. I have started more then a few young horses- I did not fall because I was not up to the task, I can sit a buck as good as the next guy.

    I appreciate what people are saying, but it does seem a little crazy to me that my hobby (lifestyle?) just cost me a very good job. Without a job, there is no hobby... No, I don't think I'm about to get out of horses all together, but I do think I will be rethinking the type of horse I own.
    I personally think that is a *very* reasonable choice.

    In my younger days, I had all sorts of project horses. Many of them were really quite talented, but also... quirky, let's say. (And generally that is why I could afford them, of course.) Back then, I was willing to sacrifice some reliability for quality.

    Now, despite the fact that I have a desk job and benefits that include disability insurance, frankly I have no desire to own a horse that would intentionally try to put me in the dirt. For one thing, horses are d@mned expensive and I have limited personal time - so it has to be FUN in order for me to feel like that investment is worth it. But there is also the reality that having another difficult horse would simply present more risk of injury than I currently find acceptable.

    I think you are wise to consider the kind of horse you want to be sitting on going forward, particularly in light of the type of work you do. It's perfectly reasonable to want to protect your ability to earn a living, particularly since career opportunities that include pensions etc in this field tend to be fairly rare.

    I hope you heal quickly, and are able to find another similar position.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


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  12. #112
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
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    20

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    OP, I'm so glad you brought up this topic. You question sparks a lot of emotion and thought. Thank you.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Spotsylvania, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by drawstraws View Post
    Thank you - you too!

    I'm hoping as soon as I'm mobile they'll let me go back as it's an office job and I should be able to sit with my leg propped up most of the time. And it's a bonus that I work in the horse insurance industry so they are very understanding of the whole "horse-thing". I'm sure I'll end up using up my sick days (which I have almost never used the entire time I've worked there) and personal time but they are more than willing to accommodate me as best they can.

    Was also happy to remember that I have AFLAC. Had considered dropping it several times but never got around to it. Now I'm very glad I didn't as it should come in handy.
    Hope the surgery went well
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  14. #114
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
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    NY
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    4,426

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    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom View Post

    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.
    Great list! Really important to keep yourself fit - that is really a good point to make to reduce injuries in all types of sports.

    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    The difference between riding and the usual 'cancer/traffic accidents' argument is...yes, you can get killed crossing the street. You can get diagnoses with cancer tomorrow. But except for taking a few reasonable precautions against a few types, you can't do anything about whether or not you get cancer. You can look both ways crossing the street or making a turn, but you can't guarantee every other driver drives safely. You can decide to get on a horse or not. You can decide which horse to get on with no consequences if you pass on the young, the crazy, or the high-performance.
    Exactly. You can control the level of risk, by either not riding at all, or changing what you ride, how, and when.



  15. #115
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    Aug. 21, 2012
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    610

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    I thought I read somewhere that insurance companies are trying to exclude injuries obtained from some higher risk sport activities including riding.
    I don't know if they have been successful at it but I think about it every time I land in the ER.

    I have no intention of giving up my riding.



  16. #116
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2006
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    Overland, MO
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    The decision to ride or not to ride is only you can make.

    My own experience --- after having both knees replaced, I decided that it wasn't worth the risk anymore, so I free leased my mare out to the barn where I boarded --- they'd been using her for lessons anyway. I found a new hobby that takes up even more time than horses and is cheaper.

    Now, after having had both knees replaced a second time, I'm confident that I made the right decision *for me.* You have to weight out the pros and cons of your own situation.



  17. #117
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2010
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    Earth
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    Of course riding is worth the risks! There are only two ways I would like to die:
    1. riding a horse
    2. canoeing with my husband

    Seriously.
    Last edited by Eye in the Sky; Apr. 29, 2013 at 11:11 PM. Reason: to ensure that I offend less people.
    Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
    W. C. Fields



  18. #118
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Sorry this is so disjointed, it's just responses to points that bothered/impacted me the most.

    OP, your circumstances are close to unique. Getting injured right before taking a new position could have happened doing anything. It was pure bad timing and happens for everybody at one point in time or another. Imagine needing some vital paperwork by a certain date and having it get lost in the mail. Just as ruinous to your chances of obtaining some positions - and only your fault if you cut it too close - but then how much are you supposed to be tracking the system? Should you plan that the item gets lost in the mail?

    Is your SO the kind of guy that would sell off his motorcycle if you two had been riding and hit a patch of gravel and laid it down and you'd gotten hurt? If he is, then that tells you what his acceptable risk level is. He may never be happy with any horse but I doubt he trusts this one at all.

    I do think that KR has a good system, not riding (subjecting herself to increased risk) for two weeks prior to some Very Important event. I'd go so far as to not travel without giving myself a week of time to return in the event of air delays etc etc.

    Personally I think that as an old lady trail rider I may be at the same level of risk as a younger, fitter eventer. I just don't have the balance and strength to stay on. I am riding a short horse, and with my legs dangling down below his belly that that moves my center of balance down, so I have that to help me out.

    Shortly after my DD was born, one of my friends wanted to put together a group of us to go sky-diving. It was affordable and would have been fun as heck, but my DH threw a FIT. We had a discussion about risk, and why at this point in my life sky-diving was NOT acceptable.

    I hope that you find a position as good or better, and soon. I also hope that you can weed through this thread and have some discussions with your SO (who after all, matters a whole lot more than a bunch of us internet strangers) about risk, how he feels about you and the horses, whether he understands that you could have slipped on the stairs just as easily, etc. And good luck.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


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  19. #119
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
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    South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post

    I do think that KR has a good system, not riding (subjecting herself to increased risk) for two weeks prior to some Very Important event. .
    That's interesting. I wonder how many of us have done that? I think I'll start a new thread and ask.



  20. #120
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    Apr. 22, 2013
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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?
    This is the reason my DH won't ride with me. Ever. He is the main bread winner, is the owner of the company and 12 employees rely on him as well so we can't afford for him to get hurt. Even though our horses are great they are still horses.



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