I went through several riding places until I found the right fit. My instructor worked at a disabled riding program. Keep trying. You want the right fit.
Poohy to the riding stable, lots of disabled people ride, infact I just got sent a link from my able bodied friend of all these people riding who were very disabled and doing a great job, because I was sooking about what the doctor had said.
Most of our riding schools have step mounting blocks and they are happy to assist, even if they lead you on a horse from another horse. If you can sit in the saddle, hang on and just go for a nice walk through the trails or something. Jeez, my daughter used to help run our riding classes for the disabled and the MS Society local riding days, she had people riding horses who were in wheelchairs. Come to Aussie, I could find you somewhere to ride :-)
My horse is yeah a baby, only just 4 but was turned out to grow and mature, it's spring here and all the lovely grass is coming through, I love him, but it has scared me a bit, I am not a teenager anymore and the bounce has gone.
I also know a lady here who has MS who rode horses up until recently but she now works them from her electric wheelchair, she is inspirational and amazing, she is performing soon at Equitana a horse show in Australia. Her determination to keep working and doing things with her horses is so inspiring. Wish you could see what she does.
Take care, I hope you do find somewhere that you can have that ride.
Bad news! I just spoke with the stable owner over the phone about making a riding date to which she seemed willing enough at first, but, in trying to delicately convey to her my situation, during our conversation she hung onto the fact that I use a cane, wanted only a slow, walking horse, and had asked about using a mounting block. All that must have started spinning through her mind at warp speed because by the second half of our conversation, instead of firming up the date for my first ride, I was hearing her use the very word I had feared would come up in response to my situation - "liability" - and she was fast in closing the paddock door on my riding adventure.
Oh, boo hoo!! I feel so bad about this!!! She did say that I could come over and just visit the horses which, I guess, will provide some bittersweet consolation because I agree with JemmAus that even just smelling those wonderful creatures is YUM!!!
Sigh, does anyone know where I can get a mechanical bull? I think that's as close as I'm gonna get to riding a horsie these days.
Udkas, I'm sorry you fell. I've done that plenty as a kid on horseback. It's great you don't let anything stop you from riding! Thanks for the words of encouragement! I'm going to contact our local MS office and find out if anyone in this area offers riding for us special folks.
Udkas, I'm sorry you fell off - I've done that plenty - especially while on my green-broke
3 1/3 year old!
coming in late with all this, and really just saying the same as everybody else. Tell the stables that you have some issues, then they can make sure that they give you the assistance and the right type of horse to make this experience enjoyable.
I ride, I always use a block to mount and dismount, I often have assistance getting off and on. I have a saddle that holds me in, but obviously not well enough, I come off 5 weeks ago, but the horse was not a school horse, a young one being a twit, reckon most people would have come off. Most people able bodied or disabled seem to use mounting blocks, it's kinder than us pulling ourselves up onto the horse. I just couldn't get on.
I limit the length of time I ride as I find it fatigues me if I do it for two long, then it is not pleasurable, as I have to deal with the after affects. I try to ride in the morning when it is cooler and I have more energy. My instructors are all aware of my balance and weakness issues etc. My neurologist encourages me to ride, but always asks if I have a nice quiet horse,,, hmmm under debate that one. He has recommended that I don't jump (wonder why)
Our stables here have lessons for people with Multiple Sclerosis etc., it is good for self esteem and good for our muscles, circulation and our soul, but you do need the right type of mount for this, not all horses are suited. I think riding just helps me keep fit and work on my balance etc. I had my ENT specialist tell me because of my balance that perhaps I should give up, but I am not going to! My fall was not caused by my balance or in anyway related to my vertigo, but there has been times that I have not felt confident riding due to vertigo etc. and riding has made the problem worse.
Good luck with it all, I look forward to hearing how you go, perhaps it could work as a type of physio each week, to help with relaxation and movement. Are riding schools expensive?
Udkas. (horse, dog cat and crazy animal lover)
You know, whether we fail or succeed at this, it truly brings a tear to my eyes to see just how much pleasure the noble horse brings to us. Man, how I love them!
And even if we don't manage to get up in the saddle, just smelling them is YUM!
HVAC, thanks for the info about the mounting block. I AM being honest - just discrete and selective about what info I share. If I don't feel right when I'm in the saddle, I'll tell them then. Maybe they'll get a clue when I ask them for an elephant saddle and a seat belt. I already let them know I'm only currently interested in a plodder.
I drove out to the stable yesterday so eager to see horses, but the gate was locked and there weren't any horses visible. It is really odd that some very expensive homes with 3-car garages were recently built on the street leading to the stable. When I was there the air was quite heavy with horse puckey aroma - don't know how they sold those pricey homes - maybe the residents are all horse lovers!
Sllowe, I hope to get back into the saddle sometime in the next 2 weeks. Will keep you posted.
JemmAus I'm crushed you were unable to keep your riding date. Was so looking forward to hearing about it!! Please keep us informed on how it goes.
This is so exciting - and so far removed from our hectic world of medical inquiry. Mirth is bubbling up inside me . . .
Oh, poop, Jem. Sorry you had to cancel.
WaF, when are you scheduled to get back in that saddle?
WaF, I had to cancel. I felt like a big pice of cr*p on the day, not to mention it was pouring rain.
I'm rebooking soon............*sigh*
A mounting block is like a sturdy step stool. Being honest is key. It is not fair to you, the horse, or the establishment if you are not. They started me on an easy going, shorter horse. I have different spasms at different times and have to tell my instructor so I can stop. My instructor asked me to post my second lesson.
There is a lot with cognitive too, if you have cognitive issues.
Thanks for your responses.
I was going to be honest with them - just discrete - because I'm afraid they'll turn me away otherwise. I was going to tell them I'm weak - just not that I have balance issues because my balance issues are only when walking, so sitting on a horse, I should not have balance issues - right? Don't think I'll be able to post - not strong enough.
What the heck is a "mounting block"? Is that like a platform that you get on the horse from? I would need that for sure! No way could I mount or dismount the usual way. A hoist sounds good. A belted, strapped-in elephant saddle sounds good.
JemmAus, did you go riding on the 10th as planned? Let us hear how it went. Did you have balance issues in the saddle?
Thanks for your responses!
I'd be honest as well. Most stables make you sign a waiver anyway, so you can't sue them if something goes wrong. Well, that;'s the case in Australia anyway........
I think the onus is on you to be honest, and also to let the instructor know that you WILL dismount if you feel unwell or not able enough to ride in a safe manner.......
I recommend telling them. Find someone there that you think you can talk to who might understand. What I am thinking is that they may really want to help you and perhaps modify some things.
I think a mounting block is key here. Also, I am thinking that someone could help you dismount and take some of that 'shock' on themselves. I'm not sure how that would work---I always jumped off (a long time ago). Stables that do Hippotherapy have to have a way to dismount safely.
Alex brought up the lungeing idea. That may be a good idea in the beginning. Get used to the stirrups and how to place your weight.
I think that you need to get back in the saddle---it's great therapy!
I was honest with the instructor I have. She was going to start with a lunge line and help but quickly found I did not need such help. Things come up when I am riding I have to be honest with and some days I can't ride at all. Yes i have a mounting block but I can't touch the back of the horse getting on or off and I have to jump off from the saddle with no stirrups without a block. I also have to groom the horse before and after and clean the tack so it is a three hour venture.