View Full Version : Horseback Riding

11-23-2010, 08:51 PM
Just wanted to drop a quick update...I am 8 months post revision of my spinal fusion to correct a sagittal imbalance. I just returned from visiting family in GA and was able to go horseback riding :-))) I kept it to a walk, when my horse wanted to trot I slowed her down, but I went 3 days in a row and my back felt great. I will be going back to work in a couple of weeks so life is getting back to normal...Just in time for the holidays :-)

11-23-2010, 09:33 PM
Congratulations, Kristy! That's wonderful.

What kind of work will you be doing?


11-23-2010, 09:59 PM
congrats! that sounds like fun! Glad that you are doing well.

11-23-2010, 10:02 PM
you're brave! i used to love to ride & rode with 2 fox hunting clubs; since i developed back problems and especially after going thru this surg, the last thing i would ever do is trot a horse or even mount

11-23-2010, 10:04 PM
That's fantastic, Kristy! Horseback riding, wow!
I'm only four weeks out, and sometimes it seems like the nagging pain is never going to go away. I keep in mind that by the time my birthday rolls round in May, things will be entirely different. Your post reinforced that, and snapped me right out of the blues; I have a long way to go, too long to be getting frustrated yet.

My doctor did tell me that when I'm healed up I can go back to riding roller coasters. I never though I'd be able to do THAT again!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

11-23-2010, 11:36 PM
Hi Kristy,

That is terrific news. It's also a great thing to share here. Horseback riding seems too extreme for those of us that are post-oppies. It's always nice to know when milestones are reached, it gives everyone hope. I ride, but my Buddy is very gentle. He was trained for handicapped children, I feel like I'm cheating a little;).


11-24-2010, 05:40 AM
My daughters were released to do everything except bungee jumping after 8 months.

They have a friend who does hunter/jumper who is fused. She is also allowed to ride.

I ride dressage and I am guessing it is some advantage to be fused if it helps with keeping neutral spine and good position. With good position you can ride from just a small area of the lower abdomen. I can round my horse with my posture alone but of course he is quite sensitive. I think even a lumbar fusion would not necessarily compromise correct riding but I am not sure about that.

Once it's fused with no pseudoarthrosis, it's fused. I suspect it would take a really really bad fall, not just an average fall, to compromise a good fusion but I don't know that. And you can avoid many falls.

I'm not fused but I don't fall off because I am afraid to do so. I'd do an emergency dismount if necessary before I would fall off if at all possible. Or spin him. That worked pretty well when my horse started rearing because he was convinced the rotor rooter hose was actually going to kill him. :)

11-24-2010, 06:48 AM
That is great news. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving


11-24-2010, 10:24 AM
I may have to clarify my horseback riding activity!!! I really did keep it to a walk, trotted a very small amount but the bouncing motion scared me too much to continue since I know I am not considered fused for a year. It did not hurt though. I know I will be able to do more next time we go. My long fusion did help me to keep a good posture and my hubby tired out long before I was ready to stop. He doesn't have scoliosis of course, but does have lower back pain from herniated discs. AND, he has always grown up with horses so is much more experienced than me, so I felt (secretly) good that I could ride longer than him. I would not want to fall off of a horse after 2 scoliosis surgeries, another reason I took it easy. I drive easy in my car too for that very reason...I am so very protective of my back after going through this 2 times. But, I wanted you'all to know that you won't be a robot after fusion to the pelvis...lol.

11-24-2010, 11:51 PM
Kristie - that's great that you were able to horseback ride! And that you got a new job! Sounds like it's time for another Indy reunion to catch up with you and Evelyn and me. I've been cooking tonight; getting ready for tomorrow. Michael (my son) flew in from NY today and Jennifer (my daughter) doesn't have to work tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

11-25-2010, 08:59 PM
if i really loved horses that much, after scoliosis surg i'd get a racking horse
i rode one once; totally smooth back thru the gaits

11-26-2010, 12:04 AM
Hi Junosand,

What was your experience like? How long is your fusion? Did you find it difficult to get in and out of bed once you got home? I am worried that my bed might be too soft and make it difficult to keep my hips and spine in line when getting in and out of it. Has anyone else had issues with this? Any advice?

11-26-2010, 01:05 AM
Hi, LaurieAnne!

My bed is pretty soft, but I solved alignment problems by using three pillows to help support my shoulders and lower back/hips, with another for under/between my knees. It took a couple of nights to get them just right, but it's been great ever since.

I didn't get a chance to try the foam topper, but Ed swears by it. Perhaps it might help even out the support so that the hips don't drop so much on a soft mattress.

Be sure you have several pillows in a variety of firmness for when you come home!

loves to skate
11-26-2010, 04:20 PM
From my personal experience, foam toppers only work on a firm mattress. I tried one on my soft mattress and it made it even harder to roll over in bed which in turn makes it harder to get out of bed. It is now on our spare bed.

Naptown, I am so happy for you that you can now ride a horse again. It's a great feeling when you can get back to some of the activities that you once enjoyed before surgery.


11-26-2010, 05:18 PM
I have a relatively soft bed but I also have about a 3 inch Memory Foam mattress on it which makes it feel firmer and I absolutely LOVE it! Actually, the bed and foam were given to me by my sister who at first just wanted to store it here while they were in Mexico for a year but they're back now and bought a brand new one so I get to keep this one. The Memory Foam is wonderful and super comfortable.

11-26-2010, 06:16 PM
I thought about this thread as I was riding today trying to maintain neutral spine every microsecond in every gait and in every transition between gaits.

I would not be shocked if people with long fusions that essentially locked them into neutral spine would have a huge advantage. Huge.

I'd have to see data before I would say it is so huge as to be unfair but again, I would not be surprised if people with long fusions mastered dressage much faster than the average person. It's all posture (and timing).

11-27-2010, 01:51 AM
I am so happy for you... and for the good news! I have put off fusion for years because I thought I wouldn't be able to ride afterward. I have ridden all my life and have barrel raced, tried to rope (my attempts were comical but I had a lot of fun), team penned, a little reining and cutting-- basically I liked the speed and athleticism and the unity of thought and purpose it all required. I LOVED that. I haven't been able to ride for a little while now because of my back-- you know-- one bad move and all of a sudden I'm locked up and can't move, even to get off the horse. Scary for me and for the horse.

Anyway, I can't put it off anymore, so I'm having surgery (t3? to pelvis) and these posts have lifted my spirits so much! I don't care if I can only trail ride and lope circles, I'm fine with that! I just need to ride again. My horses aren't really what you'd call super gentle, but they seem to know I'm fragile and they're really careful with me now.

Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this. I am so happy for you being able to do this and wanted you to know what an inspiration you are for me and others.

Did you have any trouble getting on? I've heard it is hard to lean forward after fusion and wondered if I'd be able to get a foot in the stirrup and step up!

12-07-2010, 12:17 PM
our bed is quite high and would have been difficult to climb into as well as roll out of so i slept on a couch or in the lift chair that i rented for the 1st 2 months postop; i returned to the bed after about 5 weeks but using a small step stool to help getting in