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Risks of riding... Worth it?

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  • Original Poster

    #61
    Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
    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.
    Thank you for your reply. I do want to clarify a couple points. My comment that you quoted was directed at Alabama, not the general "you." The tone of Alabamas posts got my back up, other then that I have certainly not tried to argue with anyone. Like the last post where I quoted you, I was just trying to clarify, not argue.
    As you have said, I am not thinking 100% clearly right now. Yes, there will be other jobs, but I have been looking for a job in this industry after going back to school for this specifically. I was without work most of the winter, it is very hard to find decent work in this industry without experience. I had just found the light at the end of the tunnel when this happened. I apologize if I came across too strongly.

    Thank you again to everyone who has responded.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by CruzN View Post
      Thank you for your reply. I do want to clarify a couple points. My comment that you quoted was directed at Alabama, not the general "you." The tone of Alabamas posts got my back up, other then that I have certainly not tried to argue with anyone. Like the last post where I quoted you, I was just trying to clarify, not argue.
      As you have said, I am not thinking 100% clearly right now. Yes, there will be other jobs, but I have been looking for a job in this industry after going back to school for this specifically. I was without work most of the winter, it is very hard to find decent work in this industry without experience. I had just found the light at the end of the tunnel when this happened. I apologize if I came across too strongly.

      Thank you again to everyone who has responded.
      It's ok. There are those days!
      Many hugs. Now, let yourself heal!

      Comment


      • #63
        OP, you seem to be holding a grudge against your horse. Try to remember that she didn't wake up that morning knowing you were about to start a new job and decide to buck you off so you would break your arm and lose the job. To borrow a bit from Kurt Vonnegut, being mad at her is like being mad at a hot fudge sundae.

        Anyway, if you are not comfortable riding her after this incident, then don't. I guess I would ask how you would feel if she had bucked you off and you had not been injured. I mean, the difference between "whoops, that was naughty, ha ha" and a trip to the hospital is a pretty fine line that has very little to do with the horse.

        I'm not sure if you answered this or not. Has she bucked like this before? Any chance it is physical? The fact that she still bucked after being lunged for a half hour makes me wonder if she hurts.

        Comment


        • #64
          For me the risk of riding is worth it. It brings me genuine happiness. Even when I break bones and become upset the very thought of being on my horse cantering brings a smile to my face.

          Comment


          • #65
            I think your question is quite valid. Obviously it is personal for you, but hopefully you are able to perform a risk/benefit analysis for yourself. I think there are two elements of risk in your situation. One is that your job is dependent on you not being sick or injured. The other is that your horse is potentially riskier than the norm. The benefits are the financial aspects for the job versus the enjoyment you get from that particular horse.


            If it were me, I'd analyze both of my contributing factors and decide whether financial stability or enjoyment of that particular horse is the most important, and then from then make a plan of action.

            Regarding the job- are you able to have the lifestyle you want without this particular job? The job itself sounds moderately risky to me since you could lose it if you are injured or sick for any length of time. If you really need the job, it may not be a good idea to engage in a high risk activity like riding a horse that bucks. Are you comfortable with a job that won't still be there if you are in a car accident or something similar? Are you willing to limit high risk activities in your life?

            Regarding the horse- I would personally be concerned that this particular horse could buck you off again. Is this horse special enough to you that the risk of another injury is worth it? Would you consider getting a different horse so you can keep riding with less risk? Obviously all riding is somewhat risky, but riding a bucker greatly adds to the risk level.

            Is the joy you get from riding this horse worth the risk of injury and the financial problems that will cause? Maybe, maybe not.

            Only you can do this analysis, but I like laying things out like this to make my decisions.

            Best wishes!

            Comment


            • #66
              It's definitely worth it for me now, but if I were to be seriously injured that might change my mindset. A vet I know doesn't ride because he said he knows too many people who have had permanently life-altering injuries from riding, although he himself has never been hurt badly from riding. He rides motorcycles (and feels they are safer than riding horses) so we had some interesting discussions about the risks of riding horses vs motorcycles.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #67
                Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                OP, you seem to be holding a grudge against your horse. Try to remember that she didn't wake up that morning knowing you were about to start a new job and decide to buck you off so you would break your arm and lose the job. To borrow a bit from Kurt Vonnegut, being mad at her is like being mad at a hot fudge sundae.

                Anyway, if you are not comfortable riding her after this incident, then don't. I guess I would ask how you would feel if she had bucked you off and you had not been injured. I mean, the difference between "whoops, that was naughty, ha ha" and a trip to the hospital is a pretty fine line that has very little to do with the horse.

                I'm not sure if you answered this or not. Has she bucked like this before? Any chance it is physical? The fact that she still bucked after being lunged for a half hour makes me wonder if she hurts.
                No, I don't think I have a grudge against her, some of the others posters were insinuating that this was an accident, and I believe that she wanted to put me on the ground. As I said before, it wasn't one or two feeling good hops. No, I obviously don't think she woke up that morning planning to ruin my career, horses aren't capable of such things. But, in that moment, she wanted me off.

                Yes, she has bucked before, but no, I don't think it's physical. She's young and very green, along with me not having an indoor arena means she doesn't get worked regularly enough. Unfortunately she is a quick learner, and I have been riding her in a bosal. She figured out that once her head went down, I couldn't get it back up. I have been considering putting a bit in her mouth, but hadn't gotten around to it yet- my biggest mistake. The last time this happened, she had been off for a while due to the weather. I had a great ride on her at walk and jog, so thought I would ask for the lope. Too much, too fast, and I knew it. That was my own fault. However this time, I had just gotten only and only walked maybe 10-15 steps before she blew up.

                Comment


                • #68
                  OP, I am perpetually conflicted about continuing to ride -- and the worst I've endured is a bruised rear and lower back problems from incorrect mechanics in the 2-point (nothing like what you're going through).

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #69
                    Originally posted by Right on Target View Post
                    I think your question is quite valid. Obviously it is personal for you, but hopefully you are able to perform a risk/benefit analysis for yourself. I think there are two elements of risk in your situation. One is that your job is dependent on you not being sick or injured. The other is that your horse is potentially riskier than the norm. The benefits are the financial aspects for the job versus the enjoyment you get from that particular horse.


                    If it were me, I'd analyze both of my contributing factors and decide whether financial stability or enjoyment of that particular horse is the most important, and then from then make a plan of action.

                    Regarding the job- are you able to have the lifestyle you want without this particular job? The job itself sounds moderately risky to me since you could lose it if you are injured or sick for any length of time. If you really need the job, it may not be a good idea to engage in a high risk activity like riding a horse that bucks. Are you comfortable with a job that won't still be there if you are in a car accident or something similar? Are you willing to limit high risk activities in your life?

                    Regarding the horse- I would personally be concerned that this particular horse could buck you off again. Is this horse special enough to you that the risk of another injury is worth it? Would you consider getting a different horse so you can keep riding with less risk? Obviously all riding is somewhat risky, but riding a bucker greatly adds to the risk level.

                    Is the joy you get from riding this horse worth the risk of injury and the financial problems that will cause? Maybe, maybe not.

                    Only you can do this analysis, but I like laying things out like this to make my decisions.

                    Best wishes!
                    Thank you for your reply!

                    To clear a few things up- I was just about to start this job tomorrow. If I had already been working for them, especially past the mandatory probation period, I would not have lost my job. This was just a case of horrible timing.

                    You ask if I would be able to have the lifestyle I want without this job. Without this job I am unemployed, so no lifestyle is available to me. . I have been applying to jobs all winter without much luck- partially due to the economy, but a major factor is that I have no experience in this field, I went back to school for this in the fall. So this was a major break through for me. Especially because this job in particular gave me lots of time to support this lifestyle, as well as the wage to do so. Most of the jobs in this industry certainly have the wages, but the hours worked leaves much to be desired. (60+ hour work weeks is usually where the hours start and go up from there.)

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      I never ever thought about it the whole 40 years I was riding. Never!

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        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.
                        Just my opinion here.

                        I think instead of "is it worth the risk to keep doing what I'm doing" maybe you should consider it "is it worth the risk to keep doing what I'm doing the way I'm doing it".

                        I don't know the story behind your mare - I don't know if she's new to training, re-training, or what the deal is with why she acted that way. I do know, however, that there are other mounts out there who are more reliable. I'm not talking about going out and getting a 20 year old deadhead, or even getting a dull horse. I'm just saying that maybe a more reliable mount is what would be better for you.

                        To use myself as an example, I have an Arabian gelding. A hot horse, no doubt. However, he's reliable in his hotness/attitude. He isn't mean, and bronc bucking isn't in his repertoire (his zest for life is expressed by doing airs above the ground. Don't know where he learned them - I blame youtube. Makes me look like a really awesome rider!). Yes, there's of course always a risk that I will fall and get hurt, however, I mitigate the risk by restricting myself almost exclusively to my horse. (I am occasionally asked to ride another boarder's horse but it's pretty rare.)

                        IOW, maybe the solution for you is just to get a different horse.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #72
                          Originally posted by DancingArabian View Post
                          Just my opinion here.

                          I think instead of "is it worth the risk to keep doing what I'm doing" maybe you should consider it "is it worth the risk to keep doing what I'm doing the way I'm doing it".

                          I don't know the story behind your mare - I don't know if she's new to training, re-training, or what the deal is with why she acted that way. I do know, however, that there are other mounts out there who are more reliable. I'm not talking about going out and getting a 20 year old deadhead, or even getting a dull horse. I'm just saying that maybe a more reliable mount is what would be better for you.

                          To use myself as an example, I have an Arabian gelding. A hot horse, no doubt. However, he's reliable in his hotness/attitude. He isn't mean, and bronc bucking isn't in his repertoire (his zest for life is expressed by doing airs above the ground. Don't know where he learned them - I blame youtube. Makes me look like a really awesome rider!). Yes, there's of course always a risk that I will fall and get hurt, however, I mitigate the risk by restricting myself almost exclusively to my horse. (I am occasionally asked to ride another boarder's horse but it's pretty rare.)

                          IOW, maybe the solution for you is just to get a different horse.
                          I don't disagree with you, it is something that I am definitely considering. The most optimal circumstance would be that I send her for further training. However, without the job, I can't afford to do that. So, I have to figure out how long I can keep her, especially if I can't immediately find work after I'm healed. If I knew I had a job waiting for me, I probably wouldn't consider selling until I had at least attempted to get more training on her. But that's not the situation I am in, at least not for today.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by CruzN View Post
                            Thank you for your reply. I do want to clarify a couple points. My comment that you quoted was directed at Alabama, not the general "you." The tone of Alabamas posts got my back up, other then that I have certainly not tried to argue with anyone. Like the last post where I quoted you, I was just trying to clarify, not argue. .
                            When you get off the pain meds, come back and apologize. I haven't said a thing out of line. You're just being pissy.
                            "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by alabama View Post
                              When you get off the pain meds, come back and apologize. I haven't said a thing out of line. You're just being pissy.
                              Wow. Out of line. And exceedingly pissy yourself.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                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 what I was getting at earlier. My own job doesn't require much in the way of physical fitness, so that buys me some peaced of mind. But, in case of a catastrophic injury, I do have short and long term disability and health insurance. Life would still suck for my family if I were seriously hurt, but at least no one would starve for my lost income. We have two wage earners in the household too.

                                At 50, with kids, husband, house, bills, I ride sensible horses too.

                                If you share a household, bills and obligations with someone, or depend on someone else for financial security, it's something to discuss with them. In the case of my young adult stepson recently breaking his ankle skateboarding and losing a job, we won't let him starve, but we aren't going to 100% bail him out and make sure he's super comfy either. My DH did have a talk with him about how common sense might tell him that doing skateboarding tricks might not be the best decision when he's working jobs with no benefits or security of any kind. Leave the dangerous stuff for when he's in a more secure position.

                                I wasn't riding when my husband and I married, I had taken a number of years off, so it wasn't a risk he took on voluntarily at the beginning. He wasn't worried until mare and I have been jumping more recently, as we've both acquired more fitness. Now, he has visions of Christopher Reeve in his head.

                                DH doesn't like to hang around the barn, but I told him to come watch a lesson this week and see that we are jumping tiny things, we aren't galloping cross country over fixed obstacles, the mare is sensible and has a good sense of self-preservation, she's not mean, etc... Trainer and I are both well-educated and conservative, no one is being overfaced, and it's important to do things correctly, if we're coing to do them at all. It's not scary! Sure, something could always go wrong, but it's not an outrageously risky endeavor. Husband needs his peace of mind too and if jumping really terrified him and caused him to lose sleep, maybe I'd switch to dressage, he is my partner after all. I wouldn't be very happy if he decided to take up cliff diving or motorcycle racing or something .
                                Last edited by Canaqua; Apr. 29, 2013, 08:05 AM.

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Wow, what a surprising number of mean-spirited responses! Even for COTH!

                                  Honestly, the idea that people have never considered whether the risk of riding is worth it is baffling to me! I wonder if many of these people are either supported by others or have no dependents.

                                  Of course riding is "riskier" than driving to work - it's a choice that we make voluntarily, to partake in a sport where we sit on a 1000lb animal and hope that they don't misunderstand our directions! Driving to the grocery store - sure, there are risks involved there also, but we have to eat. It's sort of a necessary evil. Riding, not so much (unless you make your living by riding.)

                                  I started riding when my kids were very small - 2 and 5. And thought I must be crazy to even consider learning to ride with kids that needed me. Even a minor accident (broken arm) could be very difficult to manage; something bigger - TBI, would be devastating.

                                  Then there was my job; could I manage it with a broken arm? Probably, but it would be inconvenient. But what about something more serious? What would happen to my career, and my income? Watch all the Aflac commercials you want but a long term injury is not a joke!

                                  I have ended rides that were going badly because I would be angry with myself if I persisted and came off and got hurt. To me, it's not worth the risk to fight with a horse. Horses are one (important) part of my life, but not my whole life. And I like my life.

                                  I think it's useful to review the risks of our situations (not just riding) - e.g. if you have a young horse that is unpredictable, maybe it's not a great match for you if you can't afford even minor injuries. I recently bought a steady mare and will retire my thoughts about turning my other mare into a hunter because she dislikes jumping so much (to the point of being difficult and occasionally dangerous). I know other people would have pushed through and made it work; but not me, nor do I want my kids to try to make it work. I can't risk their safety either.

                                  I hope you heal quickly and the job is somehow still available!

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    I think this is an EXCELLENT question - not only related to riding either! A family member of mine who is a white water kayak enthusiast/competitor gave it up when he had his kids (he may take it up again when they are on their own but not with three dependents!)

                                    I had a bad accident and that really does get one thinking! I totally agree with what people are saying about reducing the risk, i.e., wearing a helmet, and/or crash vest, riding one's own or more reliable horses, doing different kind of horse activity (trail riding as opposed to bronc riding), and so on. I do those things (no crash vest yet but not opposed). And then I guess one hopes for the best. I love riding and could not imagine not, even if it meant I had to ride only those 20 yo deadheads.

                                    As far as the horse goes, one of my horses (the one who dumped me) does have issues and it took me almost two years to ride him again. I did get back on after coming back from the hospital but when I felt him hump up, I got scared, never had that happen and it is really humbling. After that, when I would find myself, on beautiful summer days, thinking I would rather do laundry than ride, I knew something had to change and we got a really nice big packer. I rode my other good citizen or the packer with my husband, but not my bucker until we had drug him all over creation packing (mostly we'd manty him up with hay bales and go on day rides). Finally husband rode him, then I did. He has been pretty good since but I do not trust him as I did. And it is not worth it to me to get hurt again, or worse. This horse has feet issues that make selling him unrealistic, so my husband rides him. I found there is a point where I had to set my ego aside and say to myself that I am old(er), and just not willing to get hurt like that again, if I can reasonably avoid it.

                                    I will say my mom, who is 80, was riding one of my horses in VT bareback (!!) and fell off, and broke her pelvis in four places! And three months to the day, she was back riding - not my horse but a really nice packer. her good friend, also 80 or so, has broken her collar bone, hip, arm and whatever else and still rides because there are few things like a good lope on a soft long stretch of trai to make one reallly appreciate life!!

                                    I hope your job is still available and healing is smooth and uneventful!

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #78
                                      Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                                      Wow, what a surprising number of mean-spirited responses! Even for COTH!

                                      Honestly, the idea that people have never considered whether the risk of riding is worth it is baffling to me! I wonder if many of these people are either supported by others or have no dependents.

                                      Of course riding is "riskier" than driving to work - it's a choice that we make voluntarily, to partake in a sport where we sit on a 1000lb animal and hope that they don't misunderstand our directions! Driving to the grocery store - sure, there are risks involved there also, but we have to eat. It's sort of a necessary evil. Riding, not so much (unless you make your living by riding.)

                                      I started riding when my kids were very small - 2 and 5. And thought I must be crazy to even consider learning to ride with kids that needed me. Even a minor accident (broken arm) could be very difficult to manage; something bigger - TBI, would be devastating.

                                      Then there was my job; could I manage it with a broken arm? Probably, but it would be inconvenient. But what about something more serious? What would happen to my career, and my income? Watch all the Aflac commercials you want but a long term injury is not a joke!

                                      I have ended rides that were going badly because I would be angry with myself if I persisted and came off and got hurt. To me, it's not worth the risk to fight with a horse. Horses are one (important) part of my life, but not my whole life. And I like my life.

                                      I think it's useful to review the risks of our situations (not just riding) - e.g. if you have a young horse that is unpredictable, maybe it's not a great match for you if you can't afford even minor injuries. I recently bought a steady mare and will retire my thoughts about turning my other mare into a hunter because she dislikes jumping so much (to the point of being difficult and occasionally dangerous). I know other people would have pushed through and made it work; but not me, nor do I want my kids to try to make it work. I can't risk their safety either.

                                      I hope you heal quickly and the job is somehow still available!

                                      Thank you for your reply! I think you have said what I was trying to get across, probably a little clearer though!

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                                      • #79
                                        Yanno, it struck me, maybe while you're healing you could see your way to find a steadier mount for the meantime. Then, when you retire or quit or win the lottery, you can indulge in the young ones. Only problem would be you might be too far gone to do young'uns. However, without a job and money, you can't do anything anyway. Now with a broken bone, you sure aren't going to send her off for more training because the job isn't there. It's round-robin to me. If I had my choice, I'd ride young horses all day long because I thoroughly enjoy showing a greenbean the ropes. Since I'm not made of money, nor is hubby, I'm taking what I can in horses and fooling with them. I have no desire to show, only to own and enjoy at my pace. So, figure out what you want to do with horses, what you can afford to own and train, be realistic, no head in the clouds and do that. Just because you are riding an older steady eddie today doesn't mean in the future you can't find a great greenbean without a tendency to buck and you can do the training on that one.
                                        GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by CruzN View Post
                                          So, my question is, is it worth it? Yes, we could hurt ourselves a million different ways, but obviously chances of serious injury goes up when we are talking about 1000lb animals with a brain of their own. I love my horse and riding and showing, but I literally can't afford to get hurt and not work. So, I keep asking myself if it is worth it?
                                          YES!.... Everyone dies sometime. Might as well be on a horse. The mere fact that you are asking... sell the horse and take up badminton. If you are going to ride with constant "fear"... then don't. I broke my collar bone coming off my mare, when she and I were both green. As soon as I could I got back on. Been kicked, stepped on, and come off more times then I can count. I wear a helmet, personal choice. Also have a nice pair of steel toed boots. So sell your horse or get over it.
                                          The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

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