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Pregnant and Riding? (plus, who's having 2013 babies?!?)

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  • Pregnant and Riding? (plus, who's having 2013 babies?!?)

    I know there have been pregnant-mommy threads before, but can't find anything recent. Hoping we can all connect!

    Also, would love to hear about others' experiences with riding while pregnant.

    I'll start... I'm 8 weeks along, due in mid-August. Still early, but excited. Doing my best to take care of myself, and also to keep exercising / keeping fit.

    I ride 3 days a week on average. I actually also teach riding (hunter/eq/jumper) part-time and sometimes school clients' horses. However, I'm trying to decide what I will / will not do moving forward. I have one horse that is very trustworthy & I hope I can continue to ride as long as it's comfortable (even if it gets to just walking about). But, there are others I may "bow out" on - or at least limit to flatwork only. I don't have any client horses currently that are really spooky or unreliable - so that's a plus.

    Anyone else balance home + new baby + riding + also have a full-time (non-horsie) job? I know it's a long shot, but I'd love to hear how you handled the whole situation, whether you kept riding/teaching once the baby came, etc. I'm planning to get back to work full-time after maternity leave (we really can't afford not to at this point & I love my job.)

    My hubby is very supportive (he's seen me when I wasn't riding - Crazy Lady! - and knows it's my sanity & exercise), but being a family & being there for my child is going to be the most important part of my life down the road... I don't have a horse of my own anymore, so technically I'm "free" from any obligations to keep riding (could shut down my business at any time - although I would sure miss my students, and being able to ride!).

    Would love to just connect with other 2013-to-be-moms, as well!

  • #2
    I'm interested to see responses. I'm not expecting yet but hubby and I are talking about it. My issue is that my husband never supported me and my horse addiction. So his response to everything is "get read of the horses".


    • #3
      I'm not expecting yet but when my husband returns from deployment, we're going to start trying. I have a 2 year old right now and started riding in May. I've been told that no riding while pregnant is absolutely not negotiable with my husband. I can understand that because he's nervous with me riding and not pregnant but it still sucks. I also had a hard time with the first baby so I'm accepting the down time is a must. I've heard lots of women(even my BO) ride up until the delivery time.


      • #4
        I'll bite. I am 8 weeks with number 2, have a 14 month old little boy that I adore. I don't get to ride very often but last time I rode until I was about 5 months. OP, I am due close to you, aug 17. I am a BO, my son comes out to the barn with me (at our house). That is tricky sometimes, but it is nice that I can come and go throughout the day if needed. I teach lessons too but only have weekend students so my mom or DH keeps DS. Last time, I did all my normal barn work literally until the day I gave birth. I was leaning over the pitchfork having contractions but I HAD to get the stalls done! Honestly, it is REALLY hard to ride for me having a baby. Probably not what you wanted to hear but that is how it had been for me.



        • #5
          I have 7 month old twins and am balancing the horses and a very demanding full-time non-horsey job. The reality is that it's hard - very hard. When something has to give, it's the horse...because while I have to take care of my kids and I have to work, I don't really have to ride (as much as I want to & love it). That said, I am getting to ride about 3X/week, which will probably increase to 4 once the weather is nicer. I didn't ride at all when I was pregnant, but to me, that is a totally personal choice. I have many friends who rode and showed until they got too uncomfortable (usually seemed to be around 16-18 weeks).

          The keys to being able to manage it all (for me) revolve around having capable help & support in all three facets - work, home, horse. I have the luxury of a job with some flexibility, so can work around my schedule a little bit & can spend time working from home. I also have my horse in a full time training program so I don't worry when I can't make it to the barn. We have a full time nanny who is absolutely amazing who takes care of the kiddos during the work day, and occasionally beyond. Lastly, and most importantly, DH is beyond supportive and always willing to step in and take care of the babies when I need to go to the barn or am slammed on a work deliverable. All of these things combined are EXPENSIVE, but they are so critical to making life work on a day to day basis that we make sacrifices in other areas. IE - less eating out, no big vacations, way less fun-money, etc.

          FWIW, our lives have completely changed, but it's worth every single sacrifice and adjustment we have had to make. The babies are amazing, and I feel really blessed to have a situation where I can make it work to keep my horse in the mix of priorities.
          "A canter is the cure for every evil."


          • #6
            I'm not preggo, ATM. We're talking about adding a second, but it's putting the horses on hold again that's holding me up. I'm finally at a good place with my mare that I can see us going forward from well.

            Anyways. With #1 I rode up until 6 months or so. If I'd had a steady eddy type at an indoor I probably would have kept tooling around. My problem was that I had no core strength (duh) and didn't feel like I could sit as well on the big 17.3 hander that I was riding. I'm like mps in the cleaning stalls through contractions. Somebody had to do them. It was good for me to be out in the barn and moving everyday. I spent a lot of time on the ground, grooming. I could have gotten sucked into the couch pretty easily if not, I think that it helped me bounce back 10x's faster. My OB rides as well and said that 99% of the riders she has are more efficient pushers than her 'couch dwellers'. So there's that too.

            It was afterwards that I really struggled, since I had teeny DD attached to me. I breastfed, so it made getting to the barn a bit harder since I had to make sure that she had enough. Now that she's 10 months and weaned, it's A LOT easier for me to leave her with DH and go ride when he gets home. My advice would be to get yourself set up with a routine, and stick to it. DH loves putting her to bed (it's 'their' thing) and I love getting out to go ride. I was back in the saddle after about 3 weeks. There was a horse that needed light work coming off an injury that I be-bopped around on. I broke my mare 8 weeks PP (or something like that). It stops and starts with DH's job and I get frustrated that I don't get out for days at a time, but I know that Herself doesn't mind and it won't last forever. Good luck on your new bundle! They ARE a lot of fun.


            • #7
              I'm 11 weeks pregnant, and currently not riding. However, if I had a horse available to me, I would be riding! I leased my horse out last fall because my DH and I moved to California. I hadn't been able to find a place to ride before we found out the news! I might still take some lessons through the 2nd trimester, but not sure yet. I may just be taking a break until after the baby's born.


              • #8
                Congrats! I had a baby a few months ago and am still trying to figure everything out.

                To start I was lucky and was able to ride until about 5 months. I took everything a day at a time. If I wasn't comfortable I stopped and one day it just didn't feel right so that was it. My horse had the summer off and loved it. I was back to riding 6 weeks after the baby and it took a long time to get my core strength back.

                Once I went back to work things got crazy but with a supportive husband and planning it can work. We now plan everything, days at the barn are laid out in advance and my dawdling had diminished. I have reduced my rides from 5-6 to 3-4 but luckily my horse is a bit older and doesn't need constant work. And as was previously said if something has to give it is riding.

                My schedule is balanced by my husband's hobbies too. With a young baby you need a distraction, it can be overwhelming. We both still do our own thing, just to a lesser degree

                I am planning shows for the summer and now have to think about a junior to babysit while I'm riding when my husband has something going on but it will be fun. Plus in a few years there will be lead line classes!

                One thing, don't let others guilt you into not doing what you feel comfortable with. You will know when something is too much. People always have advice when your pregnant, mostly unsolicited. Listen to your body and your heart. Enjoy!


                • #9
                  I'm 11 weeks too! I stopped riding at 8 weeks because I didn't really have a suitable horse to ride. I was planning on taking my older gelding out of retirement, but over the last few weeks his leaser from the summer has fallen off 3 times so I've decided not to risk it. I'm currently selling my one horse and don't plan on buying another. But there are always a handful of horses to ride at the barn. Up until 8 weeks I was schooling two horses regularly. Both hot (in this cold weather) forward types that tend to throw in some good bucks if they were fresh enough. I'm not really complaining in this weather though, it's cold and miserable and I'm not missing it yet. I still go up a few times a week to visit and groom, and plan on going to all the horse shows to watch (before baby arrives).


                  • #10
                    I'm 11 weeks and stopped riding at 8 weeks as well. I know lots of people continue well into their pregnancies but it just didn't feel right for me. I miss it terribly but don't think I'll change my mind. I have been doing lots of grooming and am looking for some fun groundwork exercises to help my horse and I stay bonded even though I wont be back in the saddle until August. I found someone to trail ride a few times a week but my horse will mostly have the winter off until my trainer returns from Fl.

                    The decision to not ride was fairly easy, based on some issues that meant it was important to stay super safe, but the decision about what to do with my horse was agonizing! I don't have access to a trainer until mine returns, but I didn't want my horse to be turned out for 9 months either. I think I found a good solution with a young girl from our hunt who will trail ride and do light ring work but not "train". I want him to remember his manners but the thought of someone undoing all of our hard work over fences was making me sick!

                    I would love to hear what other people did with their horses, no matter when they stopped or cut back on riding. Also, does anyone have any good ground exercises or activities that kept you connected to your horse when you stopped riding? (and yes, I do realize that being around horses on the ground has its own dangers)


                    • #11
                      Oh, I forgot to ask, does anyone have any advice about certain things to stay away from at the farm? My older guy is on lots of medications so I told my vet that I was pregnant and asked her what was safe to handle. She didn't have all the answers but did say to definitely stay away from Furazone, any anti-fungal topical medications and Prascend (pergolide). Anyone else have barn no-no's while preggers?


                      • #12
                        I'm 25 weeks now, due in April. I rode and showed regularly (when not completely nauseous or puking) through the end of the first trimester, and have ridden off and on through the second. I would be riding more, but the barn is an hour away and I'm just too tired to fight traffic and trek out there evenings. Plus, horse has his "winter" attitude now in the cold, and I just don't trust him to not be an idiot on cold evenings.

                        When I do ride now, the trot is too much bouncing for my mid-section to handle, so we skip that and just walk and two-point the canter. Hubby is not particularly concerned, he knows I'm not going to get on (or that I'll get right off) if horse is being difficult.

                        Horse is in a full care/training program, so I don't worry about him and know that he's getting better rides than I can give him right now.


                        • #13
                          My doctor told me it was fine to ride until 20 weeks but after that the baby was no longer protected by being down in your pelvis. I stopped at 18 weeks because I started showing and the 'what if something happens' thoughts made riding no longer fun. I just knew I couldn't deal with the guilt if I had a fall.

                          I think, like many things pregnancy related, it is a personal decision. What is my comfort level may be completely different than yours. I didn't die with a few months of no riding and have a healthy baby boy to show for it .


                          • #14
                            I rode and showed a few trustworthy horses until I was 6 1/2 months. Only stopped because I was getting cramps when trotting. My doctor luckily has a daughter who rides and gave me permission to ride until 7 months.

                            I rode a handful of times 2 weeks after my daughter was born and then didn't get out much for a while. I too nursed, and it was winter, so that didn't help.

                            I went back to work full time as the manager of a national retail store. I left again after 6 months. I was working 55-60 hours and I had barely enough energy to play with my daughter and have a relationship with my husband, much less ride. The extra income wasn't worth the exhaustion and time away from my family.

                            It's not for everyone, and the transition from full time work to staying at home was hard at first. It was still difficult to get to the barn, I rode maybe 2 or 3 days a week at first, but it was better than before. I leased out my older horse, since I definitely didn't have time to ride two.

                            The older she has gotten, the easier it has gotten. She will be two in a couple days. I am able to ride 4-6 days a week now. The absolute biggest thing though is that my husband is completely supportive of my riding. He stays with her so I can ride.

                            I occasionally miss working, as well as my other horse, but I'm so lucky to still ride as much as I do, and stay home with my amazing daughter.

                            It's hard, and it's a huge adjustment, but as everyone says, it is completely worth it.

                            Best of luck to you!


                            • #15
                              19 weeks with #3, due in early June. Don't feel comfortable on the new horse, so am having fun with DD's pony. Galloped racehorses through my 6 month with #1, and went back to riding when she was 10 days old. Rode a little with #2, and will do whatever I feel like for as long as I feel like with this one. I use a midwife group so they don't forbid anything, just tell me to use my judgment. I am still working out and swimming. Horses at home and I don't work off the farm, so no help with scheduling difficulties.
                              Originally posted by The Saddle
                              Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


                              • #16
                                I can't believe my baby is almost a year old! But I rode and was reserve champion in our region for World Champion Hunter Rider and the final show for that was at my 13 week mark. I was happy to be done at that point (and none of my riding clothes fit anymore anyway). I started up again at exactly 6 weeks. I had a cesarean but didn't feel like there was any issue at that point.
                                FWIW- with my first baby I rode up until 12 weeks and had an easy natural birth and was back in the saddle at 6 weeks.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MissMilly View Post
                                  Oh, I forgot to ask, does anyone have any advice about certain things to stay away from at the farm? My older guy is on lots of medications so I told my vet that I was pregnant and asked her what was safe to handle. She didn't have all the answers but did say to definitely stay away from Furazone, any anti-fungal topical medications and Prascend (pergolide). Anyone else have barn no-no's while preggers?
                                  I was totally afraid to get zapped by the electric fence and avoided it like the plague when I was pregnant. I saw a movie years ago where a pregnant woman was using a knife to get a stuck piece of toast out of a toaster and got shocked and lost the pregnancy. I have no idea if that could happen in reality or not if one got zapped by an electric fence, but I wasn't taking any chances. I was really high risk, so I didn't ride, either, but plenty of friends I have did ride all through their pregnancies and were just fine. Heck, Mary rode the donkey, right?

                                  I also stayed away from spraying fly spray if I could and when I had to, I made sure that the breeze was wafting it away from me.

                                  Definitely stay away from DMSO or handle it very carefully if you have to.

                                  Big huge congratulations to everyone that is expecting!! Yippe!!


                                  • #18
                                    Regu-mate is on the list of no-nos as well. I'm sure it's a no brainer, but just wanted to chime in with it. I work at a breeding farm, so it was around.


                                    • #19
                                      I have a 2 year old son and rode/competed until I was around 16 weeks pregnant. I would have felt comfortable riding longer, except I didn't have my horses at home at the time.

                                      Having a full time job, a family, and a horse is certainly a balancing act. You just have to figure out a program that works best for you, your family, your horse, and your budget.

                                      While I was pregnant, I talked with my trainers about my goals for riding and we constructed a program, with a horse (that I purchased at 9 months pregnant), that would work best for me, my family, and my schedule.

                                      My full time job is 2 hours away from my house (a 4 hour round trip commute) and my trainers are a 2 hour plane ride away. I don't get to ride or practice as much as I'd like, but I make it work somehow. I compete about 10-12 times a year at the A shows and I try to take a few lessons with trainers in my area before the bigger shows.

                                      Having a baby is certainly an adjustment, but it's a blessing. Congratulations!


                                      • #20
                                        I am pregnant with my 2nd, due May 22.

                                        With my first I rode up until 20 weeks or so, then leased my horse out for the summer...he came home about a month before I was due and I would hop on for pony rides. Its all about what YOUR comfort level is and how healthy your pregnancy is. At no time did I feel I was putting myself or my baby in any more danger than I was driving to work every day.

                                        At first, I was able to manage everything really well...I work full time as does hubby...I was able to get him home by 6 one day a week, hand the kidlet off and head to the barn, one day a week his Aunt would meet me at home at 6 and I was able to hand off the child to her and head out...Saturdays I got up early and rode quickly and then Sundays was our family day at the barn.

                                        Then the wheels fell off...hubby began having to work later and later, Aunt was no longer physically able to care for a mobile child, etc. Then I found out I was pregnant again, so, I leased my horse out.

                                        Its tough, support is key...it takes a village. My closest able bodied family member is 100 miles away. My work hours are not flexible and hubby works 14-16 hours a day. During the summer with the long days it was easier simply because I had more daylight to work with...but two weeks would go by in a snap and I would realize I hadnt seen my horse, let alone ridden. I think people with flexible hours or help close by take it for granted...they are the first ones to say "oh just take the kid to the barn, etc"...well, that doesnt really get you alone time does it? I got a lot of flack from a couple of "friends" when I leased my horse out..."if you wanted to ride that badly you would find a way"....its not always that easy...I dont have the luxery of flexible work hours, my husband does nto have set hours, etc...

                                        Work it out NOW...make sure your hubby realizes this is important to you and your sanity and your marriage...you NEED your alone/barn time and he needs to be willing to help you get there.
                                        Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
                                        Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
                                        Green Alligator "Captain"