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Who here kept riding while pregnant?

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  • Who here kept riding while pregnant?

    I just found out I'm pregnant and am thinking of continuing to train while pregnant barring any problems. Has anyone else done this? If so when did you say enough is enough? I thought once I started to show and sitting the trot got odd I could still post and keep my mare going. Any thoughts? Experiences? Warnings? I'm not going to ride my youngsters but want to keep my old horse and show horse going. Both are VERY quiet.

  • #2
    I know many women who rode til their waters broke. I think the rule (coming from an open, maiden mare *cough*) is whatever your body is used to doing fitness wise before pregnancy is what is permissible to continue, within reason.
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


    • #3
      First, Congratulations!

      My trainer rode all through her pregnancy, literally up until the day before she delivered. I rode through month 6 or so the first time around. I stopped when it stopped being comfortable for me. I am pregnant right now with my second (24 weeks) and I stopped riding about 6 weeks ago. I felt basically fine while riding, but as soon as I dismounted I was SO sore. Plus I had a freak fall (dog came out of nowhere and started chasing my horse so she spooked and bolted) and that kind of shook me up. However, the nurse who checked me after the fall was very reassuring about it--"Oh, they're so well protected in there."

      Anyway, it is a very personal choice. Just listen to your body and it will tell you what to do. If you feel fine riding, then keep doing it. If not, then stop, or cut back somewhat.


      • #4
        yep, You don't want to increase your activity level a lot. Most women who have decided they are okay with riding while preggo seem to ride as long as it is comfortable and that varies for the person involved, some are fine right till the very end. Just listen to your body and if it doesn't feel good then it is really okay to quit.

        I'm 24 weeks pregnant and still riding but not a whole lot, just quiet trail rides when the weather and footing is good (hard this time of year!). I'm not comfortable doing more then walk and trot though just to much bouncing up front, I can't engage my core muscles the same way and don't feel like I am as effective of a rider. When I was about 20 weeks I really noticed my center of gravity changing, and I just didn't feel as balanced doing a lot of canter or trot, before that was fine though and I had a horse in training and was riding a lot.

        Congrats on baby
        Last edited by dangerbunny; Dec. 8, 2011, 11:45 PM. Reason: spelling
        for more Joy then you can handle


        • #5
          I competed (Novice/Training-level eventing) until I was about 4 months pregnant. After that, I kept riding, taking lessons, even jumping, until about 6.5 months. At that point I only stopped because my horse got sick and was out of commission for about 6 weeks. By the time she was better, I was HUGE.

          Do what feels right to you, and what your family supports (amazingly, my very non-horsey husband, who won't even come watch me compete, was totally fine with me riding), and stop when it feels wrong.

          By the time I got to about 3 months, I was wearing an air vest at all times, even in my dressage saddle, and I did have times where my ligaments really hurt and I'd have to take a break. Also, my mare is super sweet (homebred, hand-raised), and I trust her with my life even if she's not perfect. If I had a different horse I might have made a different choice.

          Regardless, CONGRATULATIONS, and enjoy your pregnancy!! It's a whole lot easier to ride when the baby's inside you!


          • #6
            First of all, congratulations on your baby.

            Back in the dark ages - my first child was born in 1963 - women didn't play full court basketball or run a marathon or anything much. My OB kept saying I should stop and I kept saying no, until I was 6 months along. Super horse never let me down. I could walk and canter and sit a slow trot but posting did me in. She was 8 pounds 8 ounces.

            With child # 2 I rode until 7 months, again posting wasn't comfy, but I could do two point. Go figure. I had a slightly smaller baby, 8 pounds even.

            With child # 3 I rode until 8 months, still no posting, baby was 7 pounds 8 ounces.

            It wasn't the riding as much as the getting on - and OFF - that was a problem, so I used a really tall mounting block my dad put together for me, where I could walk the horse into a 'stall' and then get off on a platform as high as my stirrup.

            Let your body tell you when to stop. Just remember to listen to what it says. Good luck!


            • #7
              I had a baby in Jan, and the plan was to ride until I gave birth, but my body had other plans. By about 20 weeks I got intense tailbone pain that my doctor said was from the ligaments stretching out and everything shifting around. It was sad to have to stop for that reason, because my balance felt fine. I was worried about my horses having that much time off, but they came back better than ever. I do agree its easier to ride while the baby is in your belly! Once they are out, time is scarce. I still get to train, so that was my biggest worry. Good luck with your pregnancy!


              • #8
                My sister did a 25 mile LD ride when she was 6mo along. Her little horse could singlefoot too, so when posting to the trot got too much, she let him gait for a spell. And she barrel raced (different horse!) until she was 4 months along.

                We were both a lot younger and stupider way back then...
                Aelfleah Farm, Scurry, Texas
                BLUE STAR Arabians and
                Arabian-influenced Sportponies


                • #9

                  It took 3 years to get pregnant of my first child, so when the test was posiitive, I freaked and stop riding because i was scared of losing the baby.

                  Second baby was a surprise and I was much more relax about that second pregnancy. I rode dressage untill 5 months. After that, I was strugling with getting on and off the horse. The baby was also bouncing on my bladder so it was very uncomfortable. I sent my 3 coming 4 y.o. mare to train with a pro rider untill 2 months after I gave birth.

                  Good luck!


                  • #10
                    I rode until my babies grew out of the protected area between my ribs & hip bones, which for me was 4 to 4.5 mos. Then, 2 mos. of healing the who-ha and hanging out in jammies nursing & napping. Total of 6 mos. off per child. Just go easy, use common sense & listen to your body. Congrats!


                    • #11
                      As long as you can!

                      I stopped when I couldn't fit in any breeches, boots or half chaps. I will not admit when that was. I didn't want to buy a bunch of stuff special. I sat on a couple and walked them out in my jeans after my asst. Trainer rode them. I was on very quickly after - a couple of weeks. I have to say my chest really hurt me while riding the whole time I was nursing. Getting back to my routine quickly - although painful @ first really helped me drop the weight. I had a situation where she could join me @ the barn, though. That was awesome!


                      • #12
                        I had to stop pretty early because of pelvic pain I think I was around 14 weeks the last time I rode? That and my high risk doctor was freaking out and I'm also on blood thinners, so it just seemed easier to stop.

                        Probably would have ridden longer if I'd had more OTTBs around to ride - they're narrower and generally very sane. My own horse is very wide, and also spooky, so it was a little less safe and also hurt more.

                        Oh well, he is enjoying his vacation and winter off very much!
                        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                        My CANTER blog.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fatorangehorse View Post
                          I stopped when I couldn't fit in any breeches, boots or half chaps. I will not admit when that was. I didn't want to buy a bunch of stuff special. I sat on a couple and walked them out in my jeans after my asst. Trainer rode them. I was on very quickly after - a couple of weeks. I have to say my chest really hurt me while riding the whole time I was nursing. Getting back to my routine quickly - although painful @ first really helped me drop the weight. I had a situation where she could join me @ the barn, though. That was awesome!
                          Equissentials will custom make a pair of breeches, then alter them after the baby is born.

                          I didn't have Equissentials when I was having babies so I got a cheap pair of breeches and cut the front out and sewed in a maternity pannel. I rode until a few days before each of the three was born.
                          I wasn't always a Smurf
                          Penmerryl 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
                            I rode up to the last week or so. One thing to say for it is that even though I didn't take any pre-childbirth classes or exercises, I was really good at pushing, because you use the same abdominal muscles as for riding. Between doctor's shifts (one had left and one was still in the parking lot) the nurses thought I should practice pushing a little to get the idea. One push, and they said, "Whoah! Let's wait till the doctor gets here!"

                            Getting back on the horse after birth was a lot harder, though. I got pretty frustrated about that. (I'm small, and my kid was big.)


                            • #15
                              It feels like it was centuries ago (kids are 15 and 18) but I rode up through my eigth month with my first. I stopped honestly because I had so many work related projects coming due and there just wasn't enough time to fit it all in before I was to go on maternity leave. With the second, I rode through my 6th month but had to stop because I got so big and uncomfortable with my son. In both cases I showed my horses through my fourth month (that's when I couldn't button my show clothes anymore) and was back in the saddle 2 weeks after delivery. I was lucky in that my pregnancies were easy as were my deliveries. I also didn't get any flack from friends, relatives or doctors for continuing to ride. All were in favor of it; but, then again I've been riding since I was a wee one and I was riding seasoned horses (not greenies or rehabs).
                              Ranch of Last Resort


                              • #16
                                rode up until the day. However, make a really big mounting block with a large surface area so you don't fall getting off and on. that was the only scary time was mounting/dismounting.


                                • #17
                                  I myself did not ride at all through my pregnancy, but that is because I had lost 2 prior to that. Plus I had had a bleed sometime early on in the pregnancy, which they couldn't explain. I chose to not take a chance at all. I had already retired my event mare, bred her and was raising that baby and riding, but not competing, on a regular basis.
                                  I do know of a good friend that had to literally be taken off a horse because she was going into labor...she wanted to continue riding!!
                                  I know that the doctors in the ER (I had a c-section) were thrilled that my abdomen was all muscle and no fat (thanks to riding) so the surgery was a breeze for them I was however doing stalls and turnout up until the very last minute...and started stalls again relatively soon after I returned home. Probably not the best idea, but that was/is my quiet time!
                                  Talk to your doctor and LISTEN to your body! Best wishes for a healty pregnancy!
                                  Mirror Image 2001-2007


                                  • #18
                                    Rode through the 7th month!!

                                    Bonus! That one is now a rider!!!!
                                    Taking it day by day!


                                    • #19
                                      Rode through the 7th month!!

                                      Bonus! That one is now a rider!!!!

                                      LOL, Yeah both of mine are too; but, I never made the connection because my mother (though she has helped me with feeding, braiding, etc from time-to-time over the years) is deathly afraid of horses and has never ridden. Now I have several other family members who rode and from which I'm sure I inherited the horse addiction gene from but definitely not my mother
                                      Ranch of Last Resort


                                      • Original Poster

                                        WOW! These stories are amazing! Thank you all for adding your experiences. My husband and I are so excited about this baby. I love the story of the woman having to be pulled off her horse because she was in labor! I can see me doing that! :-)