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after three vertebrae fractures, vest?

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  • after three vertebrae fractures, vest?

    After not hitting the ground in over 10 years, I have had two accidents within 7 months. Once I was bucked off resulting in an L1 burst fracture, then 7 months later, I had a carriage accident resulting in fractures of L2 & L3. The fractures were treated with kyphoplasty both times. I am 67 and my bones are obviously not in the best condition. My husband does not want me riding or driving anymore, as he is afraid the next time I may end up paralyzed.

    As you all know, horses are an addiction hard to give up. In trying to come up with a way to protect this possibility, would a safety vest protect my spine enough? I know there are no guarantees, and I am obviously not getting back on this unpredictable horse.

  • #2
    Sorry to hear you're going all of this in such a short time frame! i hope you're feeling better.

    I don't have any advice on a vest, but I have similar possibilities if I fall off too. I had L4-L5 fused at 18 after a number of falls off of young horses. My surgeon and family that don't ride wanted me to give it up. I feel that life is much too short to not do what you love! Accidents happen, even if you gave up riding you could slip and fall one day and do the same kind of damage. I'm just very careful on what horses I ride or handle. If I start to feel unsafe on a horse I just get off. It can be limiting, but it's much nicer being able to ride safe horses than never being able to ride again. I hope your healing goes well and you're back on a horse quickly!
    A Kiwi living in New England
    Grade V Para Dressage rider


    • #3
      Have your Dr explain to your family that, if you have spine problems, you are more apt to tweak something making your bed in the morning or vacuuming than riding and the rare time you may fall off.
      Should you give up making beds and vacuuming also?

      Life is about taking risks all the time.
      The trick is in knowing which risks are avoidable with sensible restrain and which ones are just not that much of a risk.

      Trying not to ride horses that act up makes sense.
      Not riding because we may fall off, not so much.

      My Dr told me that with my broken/crushed vertebrae the wrong kind of twisting motion is what can do damage, avoiding that was important, riding sensibly was ok.
      You need to ask your Dr what they think is best for you.


      • #4
        After a couple of dumpings a few years ago, I got myself a vest. I can't say for sure if it will prevent further injury to you, but I would research vests and then talk to your doctor and show her/him the one you think you'd get. FWIW, I have the Airoware.


        • Original Poster

          Well, my doctor says the vest would do nothing to protect my spine from the compression fracture. I have some sole searching to do, I guess.


          • #6
            You might want to research that more-- I thought a forum member RAYers--who I think works in the safety area-- had some data on that recently (usually posts in eventing forum) on the effect of vests and spine injuries.


            • #7
              My sister fell off her young horse when he spooked and bolted with her a couple months ago, and broke 4 transverse processes in her spine.
              She was in a corset for a while, and is now riding again (not the youngster but a more reliable mare) and has ordered one of those inflatable vests xc riders wear. She is also consistently wearing a helmet.
              She is close to 60 and wants to be riding (trail riding and trekking) for many years. Last year she also shattered her ankle when her older horse fell on her at a walk going down a grassy field....bad luck, hopefully her unlucky times are over now!!
              Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!