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Risks of riding... Worth it?

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  • #41
    I would not choose to ride a horse that seemed likely to buck to intentionally unseat me. If I had any inkling that was coming, I'd be done with that horse.

    My horse is as safe as they come, and she and I have never parted ways. She works hard to stay under me even when I am a total idiot. I think I'm probably safer on her than off her, given my level of coordination.

    I'm fortunate to have work that requires no more than my ability to think and speak. I did go out and get disability insurance when I started riding again as an adult. At this point, quitting riding would be quitting joy, so that's not happening.

    Comment


    • #42
      Having recently turned 30 and coming up on a decade of living with rods in most of my back and almost gotten killed at 17 by a bad tempered broodmare, and having taken a HARD fall and riding out a couple of major bronc sessions off my friend;s horse while mine is healing from an injury.... I find myself pondering this frequently.

      My decision? I'm going to be as safe as I can while doing it, but I'm not going to dumb it down into something I can't even enjoy anymore. I will still take on project horses, ride greenies, etc. BUT I'm doing it on my terms. If it's got major holes in training, etc... that are obvious, I'm filling in those gaps on the ground rather than trying to cowboy it out. It's amazing how training you can accomplish with long lines. If it really thinks dirty, I'm probably not gonna put my leg over it.

      Additionally, I minimize risk in my work area. The barn I'm at has a major discipline problem with it's youth riders. Long and short of it, if there are "eejits" around, I'm not so much as getting my horse out to hand walk.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #43
        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?

        Comment


        • #44
          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.
          You're asking a bunch of horse people why your non-horsey SO doesn't get it. You know, don't you, that your target audience isn't really going to be helpful with what you want.

          For me, I won't ride idiots (though there are probably some that think my gelding is an idiot) and, generally, I won't ride other people's horses. I ride my horse(s) because they are known quantities. I ride sound, sane horses that don't want to kill me. They actually kind of like me. Would I ride my donkey since he likes me, too. NO. He'd try to kill me - because he's too dadgum reactive and prone to panic.

          Everybody has to make their own choices. The trick is trying to make smart ones.
          "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

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          • Original Poster

            #45
            Originally posted by alabama View Post
            You're asking a bunch of horse people why your non-horsey SO doesn't get it. You know, don't you, that your target audience isn't really going to be helpful with what you want.

            For me, I won't ride idiots (though there are probably some that think my gelding is an idiot) and, generally, I won't ride other people's horses. I ride my horse(s) because they are known quantities. I ride sound, sane horses that don't want to kill me. They actually kind of like me. Would I ride my donkey since he likes me, too. NO. He'd try to kill me - because he's too dadgum reactive and prone to panic.

            Everybody has to make their own choices. The trick is trying to make smart ones.
            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.

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            • #46
              I'm not arguing with "all" your posts. I'm not arguing with any of them. You asked some questions that I chose to answer. I'm not "debating" anything. I'm saying what I would do. Isn't that what you asked?

              You didn't start out saying you were just venting. If you had said you were just venting, I'd probably have ignored your post because people who are venting, really don't want other people's opinions.

              You seem a bit like my donkey - reactive. If you didn't want answers, I don't know why you asked.
              "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

              Comment


              • #47
                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?
                I don't have a job that depends on my mobility really but when i did get hurt I inconvenience a number of people. I don't want to do that again so I I only ride a horse i TRUST. And i'm real careful in the garage
                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.

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                • #48
                  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.
                  I guess the pain, the loss of your good job and the pain meds do afford you some leeway.

                  But you are the one who is arguing with every answer.

                  I don't know what you want, really.
                  Life sucks. Sometimes crap happens. You want to know about the risk of riding. But you know it.
                  You want to explain it to your SO, but you already know his position. Ok, maybe you overlook that he might have some worries that the next bronco ride might cost you not just an arm and a job.

                  In the meantime you argue with us when we offer our sympathy and our experiences. Which BTW you asked for. The stories, not the pity.

                  So, for now, have some lemonade. I don't think wine is indicated with heavy duty pain killers. The arm will heal, there will be other jobs.

                  And other horses, should you decide to go that round.

                  I am thinking you are upset a bit more than you normally would be, because it seems you overrode the little voice telling you that that day was not a good day to pilot a firecracker. Even though it's been over 20 years, I think I did the same. I just fell and bumped my head slightly, no nominal damage. Not on that launch....but some days sucking it up and ride anyhow is a bad idea.


                  So quit biting everybody. we are actually with you.

                  Have some icecream, double fudge.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Sorry about your arm. I always land on my rear, so I've never broken anything. (Including the time my uncle and I were racing and his horses took off and when they hit the paved road, I landed on the center line.) When I was a kid, our dentist tried to keep my parents from letting me ride or get a horse. Dentist's niece was paralyzed in riding accident.

                    You can fall down, trip over a dog, get in a wreck, etc. I believe in predestination. I think we can take a lot of caution in how we ride, but we can die or be severely injured in the bathtub. I was hit by an 18 wheeler on I-75. I have friends who paralyzed in wrecks. None of them rode horses.

                    Growing up only wearing "caps" in horse shows, we all rode bareback without helmets all over the city of Savannah. Now I wear a helmet. But every time I get in a car or truck, I think I'm in more danger than when I'm on my horses. (However, I do try to pick horses who will not kill me. My horses have always been hot, but they are not dangerous.)

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      Thank you to those who have responded thoughtfully.

                      Alabama, I don't appreciate being compared to your donkey, thank you very much. It took you 5 posts to actually answer my question, like you said you are doing. I thank you for your input in your second paragraph of post 44.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        I had a (in my opinion) helluva wreck on a young mule in the Summer of 2011. I severely strained/partially tore a hamstring, had road rash down my back from hitting the fence rails (mule bolted and ducked and slung me into the arena fence). I didn't hit my head, but whiplash meant my vision slid off to one side a few days later. Scared the ever living everything out of me. Like you, CruzN, I've started colts and ridden some idiots... but I was really rattled at age 40 to find myself full of anxiety about getting on...any more strange horses. Not my own, no: I have good horses- I won't have one I don't feel safe as can be on. My personal horse can be a moron but he would never in a million years try to flip over or buck anyone off. Ever. Even now I'm funny about strange horses- I suppose I finally realized I'm mortal and no longer 19 years old.

                        So sell the witch and get a good one. You yourself said you'd be reconsidering what SORT of horse you'd own. So, get the good sort.

                        Horses that buck with intent can go be someone else's headache. I'm not in the market for morons of that sort.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          This is a bit of an odd question to ask on a horse owner/rider bulletin board. Since I would wager that most members are aware of/have weighed the risks and if they decided they were too large, well, would not be members. It's not a question anyone can answer for you, as it's an individual decisions. Sorry about the horrible timing of your accident, that does truly suck. But there really is risk calculation in everything you do and only YOU can decide where to draw the line.
                          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                          Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                          We Are Flying Solo

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                          • #53
                            Said the same thing in post 21. You just saw fit not to see it.

                            If you don't like getting compared to my donkey(who I love, btw), well...
                            "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              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?
                              I justify the risks by observing that I try to be as safe and prepared in all things as it is within my means to control. That's all you can do in any activity. I always wear a seat belt but that doesn't mean I can't meet my demise by being t-boned by a drunk driver, or smooshed on the highway by an unsafe trucker.

                              My husband of 36+ years is decidedly not a horse guy. On the whole he's always been afraid of them. And he positively HATED a gelding I owned for 28 years (and it was sort of mutual, said gelding was not fund of any adult males though kids, regardless of gender, could do anything they wanted to him or with him). When said horse detected that I'd lost a stirrup angling a fence in a pair race and dropped a shoulder and deposited me, said husband was watching while clutching our infant first-born. If he'd had a gun handy he would have attempted to use it on the horse. However- he has never begrudged me my choice of horses, never said he wanted me to stop riding or sell any horse, just as I have never gotten after him about his chosen hobby, flying. Sure, either one of us could bite the dust at any time doing what we love to do. I'm okay with that, and so is he. The mouths to feed and bills to pay will be coped with by survivor with help from family and friends. That is true of any death in the family.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                OP< this is what you said that I'm keying in on:

                                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.

                                Yes, that sounds like a very good idea! No ijits.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  It doesn't matter what anyone thinks about it. It matters what you think about your horse bucking you off. Clearly, it is a "horse" problem. It is not your fault, and I'm sorry you are going though this. I don't personally think it is worth the risk getting back on that particular horse until the horse's issue has been resolved..job or no job. You have already experienced the consequences of the risk to your job. I started a new job years ago and broke my finger 3 days later, because a kid bopped a basketball in my direction, and I smacked it and broke it. My job was to type...I didn't lose my job, but I could have. Three years ago, I spent 8 months in a wheelchair after a non-horse related accident in my home, and it does worry me sometimes, because I don't want to be stuck like that again, however, I ride everyday, but my horse doesn't have those particular issues. So, it is entirely up to you.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    It's worth it to me, but only on the kind of horse I own. He's kind and steady and although there is always a risk of falling off I try to mitigate that by wearing a helmet, and depending on where I'm riding, a crash vest. I'm also fortunate that I make my living in a career that is not physical so I can work even if I were to get hurt (within reason of course).

                                    You might want to wait until you're more healed and off the heavy duty pain meds to make any decisions but I don't see how anyone could fault you if you decide to sell your mare and get a horse that is a better fit.

                                    I'm 53. I managed to sprain my knee last week just getting on (horse was standing statue still). I would not ride a horse like yours. For me, that risk would outweigh the benefit. On a Steady Eddie type I feel that the benefit outweighs my risk.

                                    I hope you heal quickly and uneventfully and can can reach a decision that you're going to be happy with.
                                    Last edited by mswillie; Apr. 28, 2013, 06:51 PM. Reason: I can't type.
                                    "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      I have thought about giving it all up but because my health reasons make everything...all the work...seem like mountains to climb. And there is risk of getting hurt because I'm not physically strong, agile or talented in the saddle.

                                      I always ask myself this: If I didn't have my horse, what would I do instead with the vacancy? I can't see me EVER not having my horse or riding. I would go back to driving again if I couldn't ride.

                                      So you have to ask yourself, in weighing the risk, will you really be happy without a horse...this one or a different one? If you are unhappy with being horseless, would that misery be better or worse than the one you're in now...wondering about jobs and injuries.

                                      You won't be riding anything for the near future so I would put the decision-making process on the back burner. Get healed. Get the job situation settled. And tell SO that hammering you about having the horse, getting hurt and having it fall on him is a deal breaker. Is this going to be his reaction EVERY TIME he needs to step up to the plate? I'd be more concerned about that!
                                      Ride like you mean it.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Riding is, of course, a risky activity. But you can find ways to mitigate that risk as best you can. And you've obviously identified the first step - being careful about what horses you will get on. This particular mare seems nasty and unsafe, from the little we know of her.

                                        Jumping also increases risk. I personally still jump a little, but small jumps in an arena. I'm a wuss.

                                        Some saddles can also help reduce the risk.

                                        And, of course, managing your horse's feed, turnout, and exercise schedule can reduce the risk level.

                                        And more.

                                        I used to ski. I got pretty banged up doing that. Horses give me so much pleasure. I will try to reduce my risk as best I can, but right now I cannot imagine not riding.

                                        Good luck.
                                        Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          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?
                                          The answer to this is going to be different at every point in your life. I went through many things as a teenager with horses (drug under trees, scraped off on a hay bunker, thrown, stomped, fallen on, etc.) -- got up, dusted myself off, and went on riding. I didn't ride much in my early 20s, and by the time I started again in my late 20s, I was much more cautious. But still eager to ride everything I could.

                                          After several scary accidents in a row a few years ago, though, I decided my fear was getting the best of me, and that my brain was worth more than the next ride, and that I can enjoy my horses just fine as pasture pets. I do not have health insurance, and cannot afford massive bills if I get hurt riding. I cannot teach or write if I'm brain damaged (though I do ride with a helmet, things happen). I would be SOL, my animals would be SOL, and that is not a risk I am willing to take at this point.

                                          This might not have answered your question entirely, sorry -- but maybe it gives you a different POV.
                                          Last edited by Alex and Bodie's Mom; Apr. 28, 2013, 09:01 PM. Reason: to add something

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