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Pregnant riding - did you ignore the ache?

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  • Pregnant riding - did you ignore the ache?

    Hi Everyone -

    I am 5 months pregnant and still ride a few times a week. I keep it relatively mellow with trail riding on my old trusty TWH. We mainly walk with the occasional run up a hill, but nothing too dangerous. He's got a consistent little bounce to his step and the movement has started to make my lower abdomen ache when I'm finished riding. My doctor said it's due to the growing uterus and additional pressure on the surrounding tendons while bouncing. When asked, he said it won't negatively affect the baby, but will be uncomfortable for me. Well, I'm a horse lover and glutton for punishment (aren't we all?) and honestly can't imagine 4-6 months of not riding so I'm wondering - did any of you feel this and did it stop you from riding? I live in a very isolated place in order to have our horses on property and riding is my main outlet. I may turn into a bitter pregnant lady if that is also taken away. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Horsecare101; Oct. 11, 2019, 11:03 AM.

  • #2
    I had some occasional discomfort in the mid-20 weeks, kind of a cramping feeling around my hip usually just one side or the other. If it happened I usually just stopped or walked for a minute and it went away, and I could continue riding. I rode up to my due date, and now have a healthy 10 month old - of course it's different for everyone, but definitely possible if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy and trusty horse.
    http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
      I had some occasional discomfort in the mid-20 weeks, kind of a cramping feeling around my hip usually just one side or the other. If it happened I usually just stopped or walked for a minute and it went away, and I could continue riding. I rode up to my due date, and now have a healthy 10 month old - of course it's different for everyone, but definitely possible if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy and trusty horse.
      Side question here. What KINDS of riding did you do and for how long? I'm a jumper but have small horses and some trusty steeds.

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      • #4
        LittleGrey My primary discipline is dressage. I rode ~5 days/week including 1 or 2 dressage lessons (usually about 50 minutes). I jumped every so often until about 6 months, and also trail rode throughout. I did my last rated dressage show at 6 months, and a schooling show at about 7.5 months. Horse is a 15.3 hand thoroughbred.
        http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          I kept riding through both of my pregnancies (3-4 horses a day with the second). But I noticed that if I took a single day off, the round ligament pain was much more noticeable. If I rode every day there was no pain and no real discomfort (all the way through the end). So I don't know if it helps, but I know that I would have had a tough time only riding a few days a week.
          __________________________________
          Flying F Sport Horses
          Horses in the NW

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          • #6
            If it hurt, I did not do it. Aches and pain are warning signals that you are pushing things, need to back off.

            Can you get horse to move without the bounce? Flat foot walk? See if that removes the pain after a ride. Your changing body is already stressed, stretching to accomadate all the changes. You do not want to hurt yourself during a ride with over exerting in your new body condition. Sudden move, a jerk correcting position, could strain something badly. If just walking works, you might have to "settle" for less exciting rides, stay off hills because your body-balance will be changing every ride now.

            I quit riding my VERY trusted steed, best soft gaits on a horse, at about 6 months. I was too off balance by then, it was not safe. Not wishing to risk a fall. They ARE horses, sometimes react unexpectedly to common things. My Dr was pretty horrified that I rode at all back then, so I didn't tell him! I had no other issues while pregnant, normal delivery. I did walk a lot at work, couple miles a day, keeping me pretty fit, muscular for delivery. That helped make it go quick, only 6 hours for a first child, 8# 13oz.

            Sorry to be a downer, but sometimes you have give things up for a time, to allow body and child to stay safe. You would feel badly if some accident happened. Husband did barn stalls the last 2 months for me, so i could avoid the weight lifting. I brought the horses in, fed, groomed, turned them out daily. No hefting bales the last month to prevent back strain.

            Congratulations on the coming baby and best wishes for a fast and easy delivery!!

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            • #7
              Old menopausal woman here, but aren't there supportive garments made for pregnancies? Would that help?

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              • #8
                I'm 8.5 months right now and am still doing the odd ride on my mare when I need that dose of pony therapy, but I haven't ridden properly (e.g. working/schooling ride) since 6.5 months.

                Up until 2 weeks ago I was still doing casual hacks and relaxed arena rides (~75% walk with brief trot stints). I'm now solely walking and only for 15-20 minutes.

                I never had the round ligament pain but I have been suffering from SPD and riding is probably one of the worst activities for it. It doesn't hurt while I ride, but getting off is usually an adventure/grit through the pain and I can't walk for a few steps after dismounting, then I start to loosen again and I'm manageable again. The evenings I'm always uncomfortable but riding days are typically worse.

                My midwife has been supportive as she gets that riding is my therapy. I'm down to riding maybe 1x a week though - partially for the discomfort and a lot because mare is now further away and work is busy as I prep for mat leave.

                My mare is young but has been a total rockstar so I've felt comfortable continuing to ride even though my balance isn't as good as it was pre-pregnancy (I don't feel super insecure, but I definitely realize I would no longer stick a hard buck or a sharp spook). Two weeks ago when riding in the outdoor the two (10 yr+ old) seasoned event horses in the ring with us started acting up because of a trailer being parked next to the arena. My mare just moved to the far corner of the arena and watched until she decided the trailer was actually not a threat.

                When I get off I basically have to hook my arms around her neck and slide down her side so that I can hold myself up with my arms until my hips come right again. When she feels me lean forward to grab her neck, she plants all four legs and tenses her neck as a brace for me until my hips come right and I can stand/walk normally.

                If she wasn't proving to be such a good babysitter (as a 4 year old!!) I definitely would have stopped riding weeks ago.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
                  Old menopausal woman here, but aren't there supportive garments made for pregnancies? Would that help?
                  OP - I'd look into a support belt for when you ride. Should help by taking the load off your muscles/ligaments so they don't get as sore!

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                  • #10
                    I stopped riding after the first trimester. My horse tripped one day when I was riding. A small trip while walking and everyone stayed upright but it was enough for make my heart jump in my throat. After that I decided it wasn't worth it. My horse is a total saint, but you just never know what will happen. Horses are horses and not robots. That was a risk I wasn't willing to take so I settled for grooming and loving on my horse from then on. It was only a short riding break in the grand scheme of things and I still got my much needed barn time in.

                    I got back on my horse 3 weeks after delivery, but I wouldn't totally recommend that. I had a c-section and while walking was fine trotting hurt.
                    "There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humor and the other is patience."

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                      I kept riding through both of my pregnancies (3-4 horses a day with the second). But I noticed that if I took a single day off, the round ligament pain was much more noticeable. If I rode every day there was no pain and no real discomfort (all the way through the end). So I don't know if it helps, but I know that I would have had a tough time only riding a few days a week.
                      I think this is a big problem for me. It helps to know more riding made it better for you. I want to ride more, but due to some major construction right next to my property that can spook my old guy and the inability to throw my western saddle, I'm limited to when my husband is home to tack up and weekends. I've noticed the longer I go in between rides, the worse it gets. I also called my old guy "trusty" because I know him really well and understand his movements, but he's actually a hot head. He won't buck or be too naughty at this age, but he can definitely bolt and jump a bit. The less I ride him, the worse that gets as well. I'm thinking if I can maintain a consistent schedule in our arena in between trail rides it would be the help we need to keep riding longer. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by EventingMaff View Post

                        If she wasn't proving to be such a good babysitter (as a 4 year old!!) I definitely would have stopped riding weeks ago.
                        Your mare sounds incredible! I love my old gelding to death, but he is not nearly as in tuned as your girl. He can be reactive and while he tries his best to keep me safe, I don't think he has any concept of the changes happening to my body. I am hoping to keep riding well into my third trimester so this gives me hope! Thank you!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Horsecare101 View Post
                          Your mare sounds incredible! I love my old gelding to death, but he is not nearly as in tuned as your girl. He can be reactive and while he tries his best to keep me safe, I don't think he has any concept of the changes happening to my body. I am hoping to keep riding well into my third trimester so this gives me hope! Thank you!
                          Considering your horse temperament and your condition (hurting), I would stop the riding part and focus on in-hand/liberty work.

                          It’s not just the horse who doesn’t see/feel all the changes happening to your body. Balance, suppleness... A friend of mine realized her balance was suddenly way off, right after she felt on the ground... at 7months.
                          I was there, horse didn’t even spooked. (we believe she also had a little dizziness moment)
                          Rushed to ER and all...
                          Everything ended up fine, but.


                          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                          Originally posted by LauraKY
                          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                          HORSING mobile training app

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                          • #14
                            With my first pregnancy I rode up until the day before I delivered No aching or pains at all.

                            With the next 2 pregnancies I rode less and less due to my own discomfort. I would either back off to just a walk and see what happens with the pains, but personally I wouldn't do anything that might compromise your baby.

                            The pain is there for a reason.

                            ETA: I rode my older gelding only( who I knew inside and out.) My younger mare got an extended time off. If your horse is reactive I wouldn't continue to ride.
                            Last edited by candyappy; Oct. 12, 2019, 03:45 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I rode into about 8 months, but I listened to my body.

                              Hormones are making your body structures flexible and unstable, not to mention your change of balance. When I felt good, I'd ride, but I got some bad SPD and would not ride on those really bad days, because I didnt want to push it.

                              For me, I found I would give myself a week off or so and then I could go back to riding a few days again.

                              My horse has a big walk step, but is comfortable.

                              I just feel I wouldn't push through the pain... that will come, no need to make yourself sore.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                If it hurt, I did not do it. Aches and pain are warning signals that you are pushing things, need to back off.
                                ...

                                Sorry to be a downer, but sometimes you have give things up for a time, to allow body and child to stay safe. You would feel badly if some accident happened. Husband did barn stalls the last 2 months for me, so i could avoid the weight lifting. I brought the horses in, fed, groomed, turned them out daily. No hefting bales the last month to prevent back strain.
                                This. My Dad was an OB/GYN and this was his advice to me with my first: if it hurts, don't do it. He said I'd know when to quit, and I did. Stopped riding entirely at 7+ months. Was back on horses at about 6 weeks.

                                No matter where you go, there you are

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                                • #17
                                  I’m in my second trimester now and haven’t ridden in a few weeks; my mare injured herself towards the end of my first trimester. She had about 6 weeks off.

                                  Now I’m itching to get back on, but am not sure if it’s a good idea. I worry about her being fresh, I worry about me being out of shape, I worry because one of the first phrases out of my doctor’s mouth was ironically “no sports with a fall risk like horseback riding.”

                                  I’m 99.9% sure my mare will be perfectly well behaved. I’ve considered calling my instructor out for a lesson to have eyes on the ground, but then I don’t want my instructor to push me too far at this point.

                                  It’s looking like my horse might be getting yet another extended vacation at this point...
                                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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