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Riding after broken ribs!!!

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  • Riding after broken ribs!!!

    To those of you whom have broken ribs:

    How was your first ride back in the saddle?

    How long after the breaks did you ride?

    I broke ribs last weekend and I think I am ready to ride again...

    I am hoping to ride tomorrow afternoon....if all goes well...

    Thank you very much.
    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

  • #2
    Then you are a lot tougher than I am. I cracked a couple of ribs in mid-January. It really was 5 weeks before I got back on a horse, and even then I needed help getting the saddle back on the saddle rack (above my head) and picking her hooves.

    Actually, I'm not sure I could get in and out of bed by myself at the end of the first week.

    My first ride my instructor put me on the longe line for suppling exercises. I was stiff and had some anxiety. I was OK at the walk, but at the trot my ribs started barking and I had trouble catching my breath.
    Last edited by stryder; Apr. 12, 2009, 10:47 PM.


    • #3
      You're tougher than I am, too. I broke 6. It took ages (2-3 months? Can't quite remember) to feel like I could ride again. It was mid-winter and my horse was WILD so I had to be sure he wasn't going to launch me and break me again.! If you feel well enough, go ahead but be ready to get on and say "Holy $#!t, this HURTS!" Good luck.
      Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


      • Original Poster

        Well, technically, I only "broke" 1 rib at the top of my sternum on the left side. I think I have a cracked rib on the posterior side along my back as well. I have pulled all sort of muscle and connective tissue. I have a bruise that migrated from my clavicle to my Br#%st. That is a first for me...a migrating bruise. I have not missed work. I am "normal" in all respects...except mentally.

        I am not any tougher than the rest of you.....just stubborn I guess. Fortunately, I have recovered very quickly and well. I am very thankful that I wasn't more seriously injured.

        My horse is a steady eddy type of horse. I want to do an endurance ride in May....I need to get back in the saddle again. I am not trying to rush anything. I feel ready. I feel 100%...minus sneezing...that still hurts like hades.

        Thanks for all of the replies. My heart goes out to all of you that were hurt worse than I was...I know it hurts.

        Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

        Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


        • #5
          I rode the day after I broke ribs, twice.

          Didn't sit the trot for a while, and my ASBs big canter hurt like h*ll for a few months


          • #6
            I couldn't ride for a month after I cracked my ribs.

            But even worse was laughing, coughing, or sneezing! Torture.


            • #7
              a half hour later, give or take.

              went down one morning in a horse show warmup cantering a course on dewy grass, unshod horse lost his footing and fell, tossing me to the ground first then landing on my right side. I broke 1 or 2, and cracked another 3. Paramedics looked at me, but didnt realise what I`d done. I had my poor mother strap an ice pack to my back with a tensor wrap and I rode 8 classes after that. sweet mother of baby jesus that hurt, but i was determined to do it.

              I now have a dent in my ribcage where the two broken ones didnt heal right. The way I figure it now I have an interesting story to tell when I`m wearing a bathing suit.
              Times and traditions in the horse world shift and change, much of the old grandeur has been lost; But for one brief shining moment, there was a gigantic shocking pink d**** in the Hunterdon tack room.


              • #8
                If you only broke one rib but tore up a bunch of soft tissue, don't do it, give that tissue a bit longer to heal.......trust me, I know what i am talking about. Separated ribs on the right side almost 40 years ago, but taped myself up to chase cans anyway, and now I can feel the scar tissue ache with the cold. Of course that may be from the broken ribs a year later.......... at any rate, let it heal some.
                Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                Member: Incredible Invisbles


                • #9
                  I have broken every rib, but not all at once though! It was different each time really. Some were fractures that I could just get back on in a few weeks, others I was glad I broke them in the fall, cause it took a good 4 months to feel better. So I healed over the winter. So, with me, it really depended on the fall and the break.
                  Unbridled Oaks - Champion Sport Ponies and Welsh Cobs

                  Like us on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/unbridledoaks


                  • #10
                    It's been 8 weeks and I'm just now feeling up to riding again. The ribs feel fine, it's the smooshed parts between my sternum and collarbone that still hurts. And I still have the swelling over my collarbone and my neck and jaw are stiff. I'm not concerned about the riding, more what if he pulls as I'm leading him (which he doesn't really do) or what if he gets goofy and yanks the lead line. Hmm, maybe I'll wait another week


                    • #11
                      Been There Done That More Than Once

                      You can almost mark it on your calender - 6 weeks exactly. Sort of hard to get the girth tight, but no problems after that.


                      • #12
                        Took me 24 days to get back in the saddle after 2 broken ribs, a punctured lung and 48 hours in the trauma unit. I lasted 40 minutes in the saddle. I purchased a Tippery vest prior to riding and I must say it did make a difference in providing support and helping me feel better.

                        If it still hurts to sneeze then you are probably not ready yet.


                        • #13
                          Wow, you must have a very high pain tolerance if you broke a few ribs last week and are ready to ride again! I cracked one and torqued some muscles last year and was completely off for a week and rode the steady-eddy for another week then hacked the mare around for another week (I figured when I didn't feel the need to scream every time I sneezed or laughed I was ready to go again). Good luck!
                          It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.


                          • #14
                            I broke four ribs and went on a 4 day riding vacation (on my old Appy) five days later.

                            I was ready to jump as well as trail ride but was strongly discouraged. so I just trail rode (for 4+ hours/day) I was warned by the Doctor that the big risk is if you fall off your broken rib could puncture a lung.

                            I didn't break my ribs on my App and I felt 100% safe on him, so I went and had a great time.

                            I wore my eventing vest, though and I hate that thing.


                            • #15
                              I cracked a rib in early January but didn't know it for nearly a week - the pain from my horribly bruised hip overshadowed it But I rode the very next day in a jumping lesson, and a dressage lesson the day after that, because I was riding with out of state clinicians. I should NOT have been riding LOL ... but I doped myself up and someone else helped tighten the girth etc.

                              HOWEVER, after those lessons I didn't ride for about a month to six weeks, except for one bareback stint around the arena at a walk. Between the hip and the rib I just couldn't imagine putting that much effort in, and it was also January in South Dakota so it was easy to decide not to ride.

                              I'm known for an insanely high pain tolerance, but man ... that one got me. The coughing and laughing was definitely the worst!
                              If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                              ~ Maya Angelou


                              • #16
                                yes exactly. ride but do NOT cough or laugh.



                                • #17
                                  I didn't ride for about six weeks, but that was only because my mother wouldn't let me (I was a minor at the time).

                                  I broke one rib (which punctured my lung, causing my lung to then collapse), and cracked one or two more.
                                  If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                                  Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                                  • #18
                                    I also had a really bad collarbone break, along with 4 ribs (upper ones, broken near the spine, which I am told is much more painful), and a punctured lung. I had my first ride 4 weeks and 1 day after the fall but it wasn't much; a friend led me around on her very gentle pony until I got tired, which took about 10 minutes. I was sore enough to take a Percocet right afterwards, rather than waiting until the evening.

                                    About a week later, I got on the horse I had fallen from (not his fault) and his owner led me around. Next ride, I was off the lead, and the one after that, I trotted for about 30 seconds.

                                    I was back to WTC about 2 1/2 months after the accident, but it took at least another 2 months to really heal, and the ribs still get achy if I overdo it.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                    • #19
                                      I've broken ribs several times (always the same side too, they must be weaker from being broken repeatedly ), and I think the longest I've waited to ride was about a week, and the least I've waited was a day. Of course I was training professionally during all but the first of my accidents, and I couldn't afford to take the time off if I didn't have to. If I broke them and my livelihood did not depend on it, I'd probably wait a bit longer (the first time I broke them I was 15 and doing a summer WS job with a trainer I had really wanted to work with for a long time...I wasn't about to let broken ribs stand in the way of my lessons ). If its just broken ribs I think if you feel okay it is probably okay. Of course the smart thing is to check with your doc, which I never do but I always know I should.

                                      I'd hold off due to the soft tissue injury, though. That takes longer to heal than bone, and if it doesn't heal right it can really mess you up. This is the voice of experience talking, btw. I could write a short novel about the amount of recovery I've had to do because I didn't take enough time off after one stupid accident three years ago. I broke my neck but the bone is fine, it's all the soft tissue that I tore that is giving me problems now.
                                      exploring the relationship between horse and human


                                      • #20
                                        I broke my ribs last summer. I also dislocated my shoulder at the same time. I rode two weeks later. The problem I had was mounting. It hurt horribly! Once I was in the saddle I was ok unless I got jolted unexpectedly. It was tough but it may have been due more to my shoulder. I say if you feel like it do it!