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What will we do when we are unable to ride?

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  • What will we do when we are unable to ride?

    I read quite a few of the threads here and It saddens me to see so many of us in so much pain, daily dealings of old and new injuries. Got me thinking what is going to happen the day we physically cannot ride any longer? I am so afraid of this happening.

    Could be that right now I am ordered not to ride for 2 weeks from back issues that got me thinking while I was only grooming my horses... what if I cannot ride you again.

    I go through spurts of real soreness and daily of the constant dull throb that I have grown acostome to, but what happen if the next time is the "big one' that ends it all?

    How many of not all have had this thought enter their mind too many times to count?

  • #2
    I used to fret about it a lot. Now, I just live life as much as I can while I can.

    According to my dog agility instructor a lot of people that do agility are horse people that are too beat up to keep showing horses. Anyone can do agility, there are people that stand in the middle and direct their dogs from there.
    Pam's Pony Place

    Pam's Pony Ponderings


    • #3
      You don't have to ride.
      Your horse doesn't care if you ride.
      You can do other with your horse, grooming, longing, long lines, driving.
      You can volunteer with a handicapped riding group.
      You can just lurk and/or post on COTH to pass the time.


      • #4
        I plan on driving when I can no longer ride.

        Hopefully I have many, many years left if genetics are any indication. My grandma is still trail riding and in the saddle and she certainly isn't a whippersnapper.
        Semi Feral


        • #5
          Yup ditto driving!

          I heard a couple years ago it is one of the fastest growing sports due to the aging population. Would love to do it before then to though! lol

          A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


          • #6
            The trouble with driving is that it is harder than riding, takes much longer to get everything ready, it is rough to go bouncing around and the worst wrecks I have seen around horses, handling, riding and competing, bar none, have been driving, when things go wrong.

            I don't think the reality of driving is the sedate, easy, cruising smoothly around most have in mind, even if you are not doing marathons with four in hand but driving a pony to a cart.


            • #7
              I found the actual act of driving to be less strenuous than riding, but getting my behemoth of a draft gelding hitched took some serious muscle. If I return to driving, I'm getting a pony

              If I ever find I get to the point where it's just too painful to ride, I'll continue to bond with my horse out of the saddle as Bluey mentioned. And if my horse passes on after my riding days are done, I'll probably just take on a docile retiree that I can feed and groom and hand graze as we totter around the farm together.
              "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
              -Edward Hoagland


              • #8
                I had to quit riding. Physically it was too hard on my joints, and financially, it was just getting way to expensive. I was able to give my horse to the barn where I boarded --- they'd used her a couple of times a week for lessons anyway --- and of course, I am free to visit anytime I want and ride if I want to.

                So I got into training and showing dogs in obedience. It's a lot easier to go to shows when all you have to do is put the crates in the trunk and the dogs in the backseat!

                Do I miss horses and riding? Yes. But I can accept that it *WAS* a part of my life that isn't there now. I don't dwell on it, I try to do what I can do now. I've met many more friends through the dogs, and it's a lot of fun. And I've been surprised at how many former horse/horseshow people I've met in the dog world who can't ride anymore.

                If I had my own place, I'd still have my mare. And I'm sure I'd always have a couple of pasture potatoes around for company. Since I don't, I made arrangements with people I know will take good care of my horse, and set off on a new path.


                • #9
                  I have major back issues from a rollover truck accident and the only way I can continue to ride (or get up every morning) is to take lots of Morphine. However, I try not to worry about what will happen in the future. I have bad days when I can't ride so I have my trainer ride my horse instead but I really just try to take each day as they come. I managed to survive a horrific accident that I shouldn't have walked away from so I am very thankful for that. If someday I can't ride due to my back problems then so be it. At least I will still have them
                  RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                  May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                  RIP San Lena Peppy
                  May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                  • Original Poster

                    Diamond .. sorry about your accident I hope you are finding happiness in other aspects of your life now.

                    I guess I am feeling bummed because right now I cannot ride, my horse is sore and it got me thinking about the "what when's" of it all.

                    Bluey... easier said then done as I want to always ride. Come a time when I can't .. there will be two of us out to pasture my horse and I.

                    What does interest me is, in fact, driving... would like to hear a bit more about it too ... anyone?


                    • #11
                      I wasn't able to do horses for many years due to gaining tons of weight and financial issues.

                      IF I have a physical issue when I am older I will figure out some way to remain horsey. I hope to be lucky enough that I could have a piece of property big enough to have a horse at home just to love. Even if it is a special one that needs time and love. I just love to groom and smell, not even ride.
                      Insignia MC - Spanish PRE mare
                      Tuggy - RIP at the bridge (9/12/2016)
                      Theodore the Boxer - RIP at the the bridge (10/5/2017)


                      • #12
                        I actually am keeping my 3 hours GN trailer around because even though I may only be healthy enough to bring one horse back from TN I might need room for that nice cart I have always wanted. Why not? My mare drives. I am taking the one day at a time approach. When I saw my girls at Christmas it didn't matter that I didn't ride. Heck, I didn't even groom. It was enough to hug on them, cry in to their manes, and listen to them happily slurp their Christmas morning mash.
                        "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                        you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann


                        • #13

                          My neck is all sorts of a mess, but driving is easier on it than riding.

                          When I get really old (65 ) I'll get my cob tail hackney. I'm not sure if I've seen anyone without blue hair drive one. Right now I'm just happy with my harness horse.
                          Visit my Spoonflower shop


                          • #14
                            THIS is a great post - more posts please- i do it all the time but i guess i weigh the pros and cons -DO NOT LET IT GET TO YOU- only if you have a life theat - medical but but get a horse that is past his age or a gentle giantwe horse women can.t think like this because of the connection or we will lose the connection.hoof123


                            • #15
                              Can't ride or groom but still hope

                              I can’t ride. Can’t groom either as hoof picking is killer. And I’m only 25yo. I have gone from riding daily as a living to n.o.n.e. Horses are gone, farm is gone, lessons are gone. Notta.

                              Dog agility. Yes there are lots of horse people! This makes sense because doing a course it similar to stadium (the course map is posted, you walk it sans animal, then you run it with), it involves an animal partner, it’s often outdoors. Agility people worry about footing almost as obsessively as horse people .

                              Spectate at shows, hang on to horsey friends, stalk COTH. Yes it is bitter sweet. Yes I drove away from Morven Park’s Spring HT as gloomy as the dark clouds but ultimately it is good for me to hear the hoofbeats & squeaking tack & snorts and smell the manure & sweat and watch & wish. The wishing keeps me

                              Searching for a fix. I am going to two dr appts this week, five next week, and three the following week. May bank account is scary low to the point where I am skipping meals because my money is going to ‘innovative’ read that as not-covered-by-insurance treatments. I sometimes curse if all the time, money, and energy I have poured into my back problems over the past two years was poured into horses, I would be realizing my eventing dreams. But wishing to ride keeps me pursuing a solution in the face of physical/mental and financial exhaustion.

                              It is what it is and I keep searching for something better. In the mean time, I acquired a new dog to take into the agility ring and spend my time training him up rather than melting into a serious depression.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ozone View Post
                                Diamond .. sorry about your accident I hope you are finding happiness in other aspects of your life now.
                                Thanks Ozone!! My accident was 5 1/2 years ago and the first couple years I mourned the loss of my life as I knew it........I think that is maybe what you are now experiencing. Once the doctors got my pain medicine right I was able to focus on what I had left and what was the most important to me. I used to be a fantastic gardener but I just can't do it as much anymore. I ended up landscaping all my flower beds and putting down bark. They don't look as nice but this is what I have to work with.

                                I do forsee the day when I can no longer ride because of my back I am only 42 years old but I feel much older because of the pain I live with daily. Since I know the day will come I just try to focus on what I have now.........which is riding and showing in reining. I don't ever plan on not having horses.......maybe when I can't ride I will start rescuing horses again that are pasture pets and need a home like mine
                                RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                                May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                                RIP San Lena Peppy
                                May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                                • #17
                                  I should add I also do dog agility and my instructor skipped me a class/level two different times and said repeatidly "are you sure you've never done agility before?" The similarities are ridiculous between the two sports. It's really all about body language and it's SO much fun to do dog agility too. I love it. I will admit I am using it a bit to fill the void the horses used to take up while I'm out of commission. Of course, I'm just now getting healthy enough to even THINK about doing some dog agility as my puppy (service dog in training) is growing up.
                                  "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                                  you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann


                                  • #18
                                    This is a great thread. I'm only (almost) 19, but feeling the effects of degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and a lot of scar tissue in my knees. There are days when it hurts to walk across my apartment, and I wonder how long I'll be able to baby my joints until they go ca-poot. Then I slap myself upside the head and stop worrying about it. I don't currently ride (finances), but I play a lot of very intensive sports (hurling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurling and shinty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinty) so I risk my health and joints on a daily basis there. I don't let it get me down; I go after it with everything I've got. It could be my young mentality being that I am still a kid essentially, but I've learned through others (some horses particularly) that disabilities can't keep you back from doing what you love now. There may come a day when I can't physically get on a horse, or sit down with my knees bent (driving a cart), but I will find other ways. For now, I try my best not to think about it

                                    Wonderful advice from all. Another passion I found long ago was showing and breeding rabbits. There are some amazing communities around that will take you up under their wing and encourage you as best they can, as well as get you started. It can be expensive, depending on how big you go (I know people with rabbitry barns as big as some stables I've been to :| ...) but it can also be a very cheap way to pass your time.

                                    Agility and obedience is also another wonderful way to stay involved.

                                    What about showing minis in-hand, or coaching? Just some thoughts.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by Diamondindykin View Post
                                      Thanks Ozone!! My accident was 5 1/2 years ago and the first couple years I mourned the loss of my life as I knew it........I think that is maybe what you are now experiencing.

                                      I do forsee the day when I can no longer ride because of my back I am only 42 years old but I feel much older because of the pain I live with daily. Since I know the day will come I just try to focus on what I have now.........which is riding and showing in reining. I don't ever plan on not having horses.......

                                      It is like you read my mind and posted it before I could write it

                                      Being young and feeling older is a huge reality check... which in turn brings up the question of what would life be without the horses. Ouch to even think about it.

                                      I used to, and want to ride the hot horses, the bouncy horses, any horse that would give me a ride for the money. Now ... sigh.. I look at them and shudder knowing if I did get on, that may be the horse to do me in for good. Now I have a safe (to me) horse. Been around along time that I know him enough not to hurt me.

                                      Bottom line is I feel if I could not ride them, then why keep them? Why hold back their abilities because I am unable. As crappy as that sounds I would rather them make someone else happy and be ridden if they still are able then to sit in the pasture with my sorry sap coming to the fence with a carrot.

                                      Sorry to be the dorry downer here For now I will ride.. well in a few weeks when I can


                                      • #20
                                        I am liking this thread more and more we should keep it going like all others so we can know what others are doing in the horse world the progress of staying connected to their equine friends and not letting the horse pleasures fade away for what ever reason or change i life that is thrown to them