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Risks of riding... Worth it?

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  • Risks of riding... Worth it?

    Long story short, my young mare bucked me off last week, which resulted in a broken arm. This is the first bone I have broken in my 20 years of riding. I was supposed to be starting a new job tomorrow, a physical type job that requires the use of two arms. the job sounded fantastic, good pay, good hours (lots of barn time), benefits and a pension after a probation period. Only problem is that they cannot hold the job for me for the 6-10 weeks it will take me to heal. There is a possibility that there could be a job available when I am ready, but no guarantees. So basically, I am jobless. (This was a career type job)

    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?

  • #2
    At my age, I'm having the same thoughts. I've always been indestructible. Not now. It's hard for me to reconcile my physical and, yes, mental shortcomings when it comes to horses. I keep pushing ahead only to hit a brick wall with the 'what ifs'. I'm going through that now with my big rescue gelding. I saddled him yesterday (turns out I'm sure he's broke, just don't know how well) and couldn't make myself go farther. So, my daughter is coming to visit this summer and she'll be the one to throw a leg over first. I can't take the chance even though my Sammy stood there and looked at me.

    No, I don't think it's worth it is the short answer. With a steady eddie, probably so.

    ETA: I should add, I'll never give up horses, only changing the way I interact with them.
    Last edited by goneriding24; Apr. 28, 2013, 01:52 PM.
    GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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    • #3
      Well, you could choose to work in a field that isn't so physically demanding, and then solve that issue.

      But the actual question is a case-by-case decision for each individual person. I can't imagine not riding, yes, even my little baby with the rearing habit. But I do tech stuff so apart from actual death/coma, there is little reason I wouldn't be able to work with a broken limb.

      Perhaps, instead of stopping altogether, you need to ask yourself...."Can I currently afford to own a YOUNG horse, vs the old packer trail horse who is going to dump me only in the event of the apocalypse?"

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      • #4
        To me, the risk is worth it. I'm aware that every time I am around a horse, or horses, whether it's on the ground or in the saddle, I'm risking being fatally injured. I've broken bones before, cracked a couple different ribs, and just been banged up and bruised in general. However, I don't picture my life without horses. My opinion on that could change down the line, though, as life itself changes and I become less resilient physically.

        Ultimately, I think you'd need to decide if the risk is truly worth it for you and come up with a game plan from there. Even if you scaled back your riding or moved on to a steady eddie type of mount, the risk is always there (though maybe not as great).

        You're going to get a variety of replies, but I imagine most people on this BB keep, ride, or at least have a keen interest in horses, and the risk is worth the pay off (so to speak). It comes down to what you feel comfortable doing, whether you still see a benefit to risking your well being, etc. No one else can decide that for you, but I am sure you're aware of that.

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        • #5
          The risk of riding vs the risk of life?

          You could slip and fall and break your arm.

          I mean, when you explain the situation that the riding accident cost you a good job, then no, it's not worth it.

          But when you put it all in relations, it was still a case of 'sh*t happens' and you can't protect yourself from that.
          Drive down the road and get T-boned....would you consider giving up driving?


          i wish you speedy recovery and keep my fingers crossed that the job will be there for you when you are mended - at least this job, if not something much better!
          Originally posted by BigMama1
          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
          GNU Terry Prachett

          Comment


          • #6
            I've had some riding injuries. The most serious was a broken femur when I was 14. Surgical repair with a metal rod and screws. But I've also injured myself in various other non-horse related ways. The thing that bothers me most in a long term way is a back injury from overuse of a rowing machine about 8-9 years ago. And chronic sesamoiditis in my foot from running.

            I figure life is full of risk. Really full of it, when you get right down to it. There are many ways to get hurt or killed. Look at the victims of the Boston bombing. They were not taking crazy risks. I almost blew myself up in my house once by stupidly turning the lights on when my house was full of natural gas from a gas leak in my water heater.

            I was also nearly in a head on collision on the interstate a few years ago on my way to work. Someone spun off of an on ramp.

            If you can enjoy riding despite the risks, then keep doing it. If you worry so much that you can't enjoy it, then stop. That makes it more risky for you anyway, because none of us ride our best when worrying about the what ifs.

            I personally would find my life a waste without horses. Especially when in life, you can trip over a crack in the sidewalk and break your arm, ya know?

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            • #7
              I think the answer is different for each person and even different for the same person at different times in their life.

              For myself, it's an ever-changing assessment. As I get older, I find myself making different decisions on things like starting a horse under saddle, riding a green horse, or wearing protective gear than I might have made when I was younger, all in an effort to keep the risk level down to what I find acceptable.

              I fully expect that at some point, I will decide that I won't ride anymore. In fact, I've said for years that at eventually I'll probably stop keeping "big" equines and switch to minis, possibly driving or maybe just showing in hand.
              "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
              that's even remotely true."

              Homer Simpson

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              • #8
                Well, a co-worker tripped coming in to the bank. She bashed her head and broke her upper arm. Accidents happen everywhere.
                "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

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                • #9
                  If you got into a car accident and broke your arm they wouldn't hire you either.
                  http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                  • #10
                    It really all depends on the level of risk you are willing to bear, and what level of risk your lifestyle can support.

                    My stepson recently broke his ankle skateboarding and lost a part-time job (with potential for full-time), that required standing/walking/etc...because of it. He's pretty disappointed, of course. He's a college student with no dependents, so it's mostly a big inconvenience for him and means he'll have to cut his budget to the bone for a while, until he is able to find another job.

                    I do have dependents (and bigger bills than he has!), so I can't bear as much risk. But, I don't have a physically demanding job, I'm a "knowledge" worker and could continue to work with a broken arm or leg (I can even work from home if I have to). It would take a catastrophic injury to prevent me from working and I am covered by short and long term disability, to help mitigate that risk.
                    Last edited by Canaqua; Apr. 28, 2013, 03:38 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I would say, while riding is risky, I think getting in your vehicle and driving down highways is a bigger risk, so maybe you should stay at home until time to go to work and then hope nothing happens before you get to your job site?

                      While we should not take unnecessary, stupid risks, like starting a colt if you are not a colt starter, general, everyday, normal activities and what may happen while being sensible and cautious should not be something you worry about.

                      You could have tripped walking into your job place, slip and broke your arm before you entered and still lost your position there.

                      Hope you heal well and another job opens there for you soon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Driving your car is risky, but you're not replacing that risk with riding, you're adding to it. So my friend could get in a car accident or trip and break a leg or get caught in a terror attack...and I have the same risks PLUS I could get injured/killed in a accident involving a horse. My risk of injury is higher than hers.

                        Is riding worth it? That's a decision every individual has to make for themselves. Riding is risky. Understand that, accept it and do what you can to mitigate that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gaitedincali View Post
                          Driving your car is risky, but you're not replacing that risk with riding, you're adding to it. So my friend could get in a car accident or trip and break a leg or get caught in a terror attack...and I have the same risks PLUS I could get injured/killed in a accident involving a horse. My risk of injury is higher than hers.

                          Is riding worth it? That's a decision every individual has to make for themselves. Riding is risky. Understand that, accept it and do what you can to mitigate that.
                          well, at what point do you let it impact your quality of life?

                          Life is a <female dog>, no two ways about it, but do we spend it on the front porch watching life pass us by or do we get to be participants?
                          Originally posted by BigMama1
                          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                          GNU Terry Prachett

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's a concern. My daughter had to give up riding after a car accident and a TBI. It was her last in a long line of concussions. She just can't take a chance anymore. She needs her brain.

                            As far as comparing the risk of riding to other activities, hate to burst the bubble, but it's pretty dangerous.

                            "The risk of serious injury from riding is greater than even car racing, reveals a major review of horse-accident literature commissioned by the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation."

                            http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/saferide/...ingrisks.shtml

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For me, yes and no.

                              Yes it's worth the risk to keep riding *my* horse. We work together well, I only ever fell off him once and that was still during our "getting to know you" phase. I will do some things that put me at a greater risk of falling, but within reason.

                              No it's not worth the risk to me to ride greenies, brats or ill-tempered/mannered/trained horses.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm so uncoordinated that I figure that horses are the least of my problem. Add to that, I drive 37 miles one way to work every day... I try not to think about the odds.
                                "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Well I am a little surprised at the number of respondents claiming that "life" is dangerous. Yes, I could get in a car accident, yes I could trip and fall. But, the difference is that those are ACCIDENTS. I would not classify what happened to me as an accident, my horse did not simply trip, she took off and then rodeo bronced across the field. I lasted 7 or 8 bucks. I did not hit the ground by accident, I hit the ground because that's where she wanted me. I have started more then a few young horses- I did not fall because I was not up to the task, I can sit a buck as good as the next guy.

                                  I appreciate what people are saying, but it does seem a little crazy to me that my hobby (lifestyle?) just cost me a very good job. Without a job, there is no hobby... 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.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Sure, as much as any hobby that could potentially injure us is worth it.

                                    But when I was getting ready to go on my Everest trek, I stopped riding my horse a few weeks before departure. I've fallen off in the past, never breaking any bones but getting banged up. No falls in the past 1-2 yrs. But still, the trip was a huge investment and a bucket list item for me, so I wasn't taking any chances on it being scrapped.
                                    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                                      well, at what point do you let it impact your quality of life?

                                      Life is a <female dog>, no two ways about it, but do we spend it on the front porch watching life pass us by or do we get to be participants?

                                      If someone is involved in a hobby they aren't 100% comfortable with and are constantly worrying about their safety, do you really think finding another equally enjoyable hobby where they aren't constantly anxious is going to degrade quality of life?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by CruzN View Post
                                        Well I am a little surprised at the number of respondents claiming that "life" is dangerous. Yes, I could get in a car accident, yes I could trip and fall. But, the difference is that those are ACCIDENTS. I would not classify what happened to me as an accident, my horse did not simply trip, she took off and then rodeo bronced across the field. I lasted 7 or 8 bucks. I did not hit the ground by accident, I hit the ground because that's where she wanted me. I have started more then a few young horses- I did not fall because I was not up to the task, I can sit a buck as good as the next guy.

                                        I appreciate what people are saying, but it does seem a little crazy to me that my hobby (lifestyle?) just cost me a very good job. Without a job, there is no hobby... 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.
                                        well, that is a different view point than 'coming off'

                                        yes, I had a ride like that at one point, not a chance to stay on, the destination was programmed in before the first crow hop.

                                        so yeah, bronc busting is probably not in your best interest.
                                        But that was not the original question you asked.
                                        Originally posted by BigMama1
                                        Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                        GNU Terry Prachett

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