Sunday, January 11, 2015

Riding Guilt

I had an MRI on the "good hip" on new years eve. I have been limping around and it feels almost as bad as the other on did pre surgery. The results are what I expected. I have a tear of the labrum (rim of the socket) and breakdown of the acetabular cartilage (the part lining the socket). That means the second I can have more FMLA (July) I will be back under the knife. That leaves me wondering what to do in the meantime. 

I feel like crap 90% of the day but far as just riding goes so far I feel pretty damned good. I have major limitations but I am so grateful to be in the saddle that I am happy with anything. My neck is sore and I have numbness in hands and right leg from the accident. However, of all the things I do in a day (including sitting on my arse) being on a horse is the least painful. Getting on is tricky but there is a tall mounting block and Dickie tolerates the flailing required to keep my hips lined up correctly during the process. 

Once I am on I feel great. Dickie doesn't have much rib cage and my saddle has a really narrow twist so he isn't a strain on the old lady hips. I won't be ready to canter on him for a long time, maybe not until after surgery #2. I am reallllly careful about my surgical hip I know what kind of pain is ok and I avoid that pain. We walk a bit, trot a bit, then leave the arena for the trail. I actually feel better after a ride for a few hours. 

Here's where my guilt comes in........ I am cutting back on work due to pain, seeing multiple people to treat the car accident injuries, limping around, and planning for yet another surgery. Non-horse people have to wonder how all of that compatible with getting on a giant animal. It's impossible to explain that not all riding is created equally. And for an experienced rider what I have been doing is easier than walking to the mailbox. It just feels like people are thinking I am reckless for riding right now. Or that I am being dramatic, if I am well enough to ride a horse I am well do other things.  

I don't know what I am looking for by saying it aloud. I guess I just needed to tell someone I am being smart about my riding. That I am not one of those people who says they are injured then spends all weekend at a tennis tournament. There's my useless worry for the day. My brain always has more where that came from. 


  1. We get it. Any chance your doctor could back you up?

  2. It's difficult for non-equestrians to understand how much riding can help us recover mentally and physically. They also don't understand that riding actually takes the weight and pressure off of your hips while building strength and mobility. Maybe if you explain it ad part of your PT/recovery program, it will make more sense to them. If someone doesn't understand, it's not really their business or concern and I wouldn't hesitate to inform them of that. It's your body, you know what you can and can't handle and what helps you. Wishing you the best :)

  3. Don't feel guilty. Guilt serves no purpose and is a completely useless emotion (even though I'm saying this I also feel guilty about things so please don't feel like I'm preaching or anything). Like Jodi said, non-equestrians just don't understand. I like the idea of calling it part of PT. It's kind of like swimming is great exercise for some injuries because it's low impact you know? Just because you are injured doesn't mean you can't exercise if there is a suitable form of exercise available. You are not doing anything wrong. Hang in there! I hate that you feel so awful, but the light at the end of the tunnel is visible. After the second surgery nothing will be able to stop you!! :D