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Post Accident Riding Frustrations?

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  • Post Accident Riding Frustrations?

    Hey Everyone!!

    Wanted to see if I was the only one with this frustration.....I started riding again about 2 1/2 months ago, 2x a week, no lessons just hacking my boy. I keep noticing & feeling that even though I know how to ask for things, or where my position should be I physically can't do it. My left knee was hurt in 2005, after the reconstruction surgery and time off I rode again. Was having problems with keeping my leg where it needed to be and after 2 yrs of attempting to ride (Showing IHSA & Riding at College) I stopped riding. Hard decision but I just didn't feel secure & safe.

    Now that I started again, I'm so happy to be back in the saddle & at the barn for that matter...but my body doesn't seem to get what it is supposed to do anymore. I'm never sore after riding except for the first 2 rides...whoa that was painful I know that I'm supposed to grip w/ my lower leg, not my knee and all the other position things for a former Hunter & EQ rider.....my body just doesn't seem to get it. As soon as I realize the gripping w/ the knee I rectify myself but then as soon as I stopping thinking about it back I go to gripping with the knee. My left leg is a little non existent when riding, My boy doesn't even realize or want to realize that I am applying left leg. Right leg is no issue.

    Any words of advice for those that came back after an injury, Please tell me this will get better! It is so frustrating! Especially when a friend asks me to critique her EQ and I can tell everything that is right and wrong. I guess the brain to body connection will take some time....but it's so frustrating!
    "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author

  • #2
    It will get better.

    The more you ride and the less you think about your legs will help. I had a stroke and lost a lot on my left side. I had really kind horses and I never rode without safety stirrups with baskets on the front, so my foot couldn't slide through. I always carried a crop to reenforce my left leg,You may need to have your leathers at different lengths to keep your knee from pinching. Just keep experimenting and you'll get it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Keep riding and don't stress about being perfect at this point. I have had two left knee surgeries, plus nerve damage on the left due to sciatica/herniated disc in the lower back. It WILL get better, you need time to get the muscle back. I took months to get the "right fee" back in that leg after my last surgery.

      Might I suggest wide-foot-rest stirrups for a while, and play with your leather length--I had to adjust mine down, then back up as my leg "relearned" what to do. Give your leg support and give your need for it to be right a rest for a while.

      Chin up! You have a new reality with our body. Embrace it and just enjoy the ride.
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks its nice to know it will get better. When I was still riding a lot after the accident (after surgery & rehab) I used to ride this same horse with a left spur. Though now he isn't getting ridden except for me, and he can be a goof ball so I decided for safety purposes no spur. Will try the crop idea.

        It is so frustrating I know what my body is supposed to do and when it is supposed to be where and why but geez for the life of me my brain & body (left leg especially) are missing that connection.
        "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author

        Comment


        • #5
          I am just starting back after 8 months off a horse! For me, this time, it is my left shoulder/arm. I am a bit frightened to ride again, but only because I really, really don't want to break anything else. I feel like every time I come off (about once every 3 years), I break something.

          I have a packer. I have a good trainer. I am pretty darn experienced. Yet..I tend to roll off to the left when my horse stops at a jump. Now, this only has happened twice in the last 3 years, but each time, I've come off. This time, though, I landed in/on the jump, resulting in a terrifyingly bad break of my left shoulder.

          I know my arm is weak, and it hurts, so riding is a trial. I've been partially cleared to "ride a bit", and that's all I'll do. I tell my arm to do its thing...but it just kind of quivers at times. Frustrating.
          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

          Comment


          • #6
            I think this is where the off barn cross training helps - in connecting your body parts to your brain and strengthening and limbering. Yoga, pilates.

            And seriously - use Leena as your inspiration. It doesn't take so much strength as lightness. Easier said than done for me, but that's the path I'm trying to take.
            www.specialhorses.org
            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I'll try some of the out of the saddle stuff. I'm a little limited in what I can do. I'm 25(well next month I will be) and when my knee feels great I tend to be overactive....my knee doesn't appreciate that much & gets pretty swollen and very painful. I had this in the Netherlands for a few months, when I came back to the US my doc could barely touch my knee and I would start crying. Thus getting me banned from everything until the whole inflammation went away.

              I started feeling better, so I started riding again. I'll see my doc on Monday & see what he says about everything. Days when I am in pain, make me ready for a knee replacement. Too bad I'm not older & it wasn't so frowned upon for people my age to think about one.
              "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author

              Comment


              • #8
                it's going to take time, sorry

                I'm older, a LOT older but it took me 2 years to get my full riding strength back after 11 weeks of total non weight bearing.

                You probably won't get fit to ride by riding. For me it took dedicated cardio....45 min on the eliptical...and strength training being very careful to use my weak side and not let my strong side do all the work

                It's been five years and for the first 4 I did most of my exercise on the eliptical and BowFlex which was really good at making me aware of working both sides equally. I also swam in the summer.

                Now I also do Curves SMART three times a week for the social aspect as much as the exercise but it is easy to cheat on their machines and use the body unevenly. I still use the Bowflex several times a week to check for symetry

                FWIW, I broke my ankle slipping in the garage. How lame is that???? It took a whole TWO YEARS before I could balance on that one leg. Stand on one foot, no big deal right? I can now get up on that toe and balance for several seconds, but I'm still the wierdo doing calf raises in the checkout line at the supermarket


                ETA: Ice is your friend. You can make reusable ice packs with Soil Moist granules they sell at the garden center. Hydrate them and seal them in Foodsaver bags. Freeze them and carry them with you when you exercise or ride. I had an insulated pouch I carried them in and left it on my mounting block when I rode. There were times when I would dismount, loosen my mare's girth, remove my boot and ice the ankle before I could walk to the barn to untack her.

                Dismounting and the first few steps are still quite ugly sometimes.
                Last edited by carolprudm; Sep. 20, 2010, 10:11 AM. Reason: Edited to add
                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.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks everyone for the encouragement that it will get better.

                  Not sure if I'll be able to physically keep riding but I will keep trying. Just came back from my surgeon and not looking so good. He is happy that my nerve blocks worked to calm the nerve pain...unfortunately my arthritis pain has come back full force. We are doing the last resort things now. We're going to start 3 Synvisc injections to lubricate my joint up. My doc said I'm too young for a knee replacement. I agree but the days I'm in pain make me think otherwise.

                  I'll keep trying though....its just a little frustrating.
                  "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SmplySweet1021 View Post
                    My doc said I'm too young for a knee replacement. I agree but the days I'm in pain make me think otherwise.

                    I'll keep trying though....its just a little frustrating.
                    If the injections don't work (and I'm certainly hoping they will) try a second opinion on the knee replacement. Not all surgeons rule them out for younger patients.

                    And remember, ICE is your friend
                    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.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                      If the injections don't work (and I'm certainly hoping they will) try a second opinion on the knee replacement. Not all surgeons rule them out for younger patients.

                      And remember, ICE is your friend
                      I'm crossing my fingers. I've already had 2 types that didn't work. So we are trying one of the types again for a hopefully better results.

                      This doc is my third knee doc. I have been with him for 4 years after my 2nd doc that operated, told me after a year of treating me that it was all my fault my knee was having problems. If I had just spend 2 hours a day in the gym like his football & basketball players did after ACL surgery then I wouldn't have had problems. Lovely, since I had a more complex surgery and couldn't even walk let alone attempt the gym.

                      This doc that I am with now is the team doc for the Bengals and the U of Cincy Bearcats. He is amazing and is genuinely trying everything to find a solution for me. He has contacted other doctors, his assistants have contacted researchers to see if anything has been documented about patients my age with severe osteo-arthritis. So far we are drawing up blanks on patients my age with a total knee replacement. I still have more good days than bad so I am waiting till those days begin to reverse before I go ahead with the TKR. Yet those days when things are bad.....whoa I am ready for the TKR those days!

                      Thanks for your advice and words of encouragement everyone. They are truly wonderful and helpful to me
                      "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author

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