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Riding whilst pregnant - all opinions and experiences welcome!

24 replies

Quilty · 30/11/2012 12:35

A horsey section on mumsnet - I love it!

Hi I'm new to these forums, am 11 weeks pregnant and haven't been riding since 6 weeks due to feeling so nauseous and tired.

I'd love to know what people think about riding whilst pregnant and any experiences you've had, good or bad.

If I get my energy back after (fingers crossed) these rubbish first trimester symptoms pass then I'd like to ride again. I was having weekly lessons but certainly not on easy horses although I could ask to ride something less highly strung!

OP posts:
Floralnomad · 30/11/2012 12:47

I rode rarely when I was pregnant but mainly because I had hyperemesis on both occasions and its hard riding and vomiting at the same time. If I hadn't had my own horses I wouldn't have bothered though .

Pixel · 30/11/2012 16:49

I did ride for a while but soon gave up as I felt I was being selfish and couldn't enjoy it. Fertility probs might have contributed to that feeling though as it had been a long road to getting pregnant at all and riding seemed like pushing my luck, I appreciate that some people are more relaxed about it all.

N0tinmylife · 30/11/2012 17:22

I think what is important is how you feel about it. If you feel confident getting on a horse while pregnant go for it, lots of people do. If you don't feel confident then I would stop, because the horse is likely to pick up on it, and you are more likely to have an accident.

Personally I carried on ring until my bump started to become obvious at about 5 months. I stopped then because I was worried I would bash it, and hurt the baby.

DolomitesDonkey · 30/11/2012 18:16

Similar problems with hyperemesis. I used to have to sit down to brush my hair - riding was out. I did however have a massive blow-out at 16 weeks with a mile long gallop through the forest which was amazing. Then at 28 weeks I rode around the yard.

I did carry both of mine very small though.

I also had jumping lessons when pregnant with my second.

tazzle22 · 30/11/2012 18:31

I agree that its up to how confident you feel .... and about how confident you are in the horse too. The baby is well protected from impact from falls especially in the first half half of pregnancy imo and few people land on their stomachs ...... injury to abdominal area far more likely from kicks I would say.

I only had access to riding when preggers with my third DC and was riding a bit TB who was very sensible on the whole. I rode till 4 1/2 months and only stopped then because the only road out of the farm was along a narrow lane with deep ditches either side and I had a slight worry he might just drop a foot in the ditch if he was getting fresh and I could be rolled on. This small risk I could accept non pregnant but wa sjust a little too risky with a bump.

With my current welshie I would have no hesitation in riding for as long as I felt comfortable and able to get on.

There is always always the risk of a fall ... but in my case I would be at more risk in a car and having an RTC imo... one does not stop driving whilst preggers. So as in everything we assess the risk ( possible consequences and likelyhood of it happening then factor in the benefits.

Congrats on BFP Grin... enjoy

and if you dont think riding is possible...... you can always do horse agility Wink . oh just looked back and you have lessons at a RS. maybe they will teach you about lunging / groundwork etc

Quilty · 30/11/2012 18:57

Thanks for replies it's interesting to hear what people think.
I definately agree with tazzle, there are risks in all aspects of life!

Have to admit when I found out I was pregnant I told my dad and he said " you'll have to give up riding" and that did annoy me a bit! It's not like anyone ever says don't get in a car!

I haven't told my instructor yet and it has crossed my mind that she might not be happy for me to ride whilst pregnant anyway, we all know how strict health and safety is these days!

OP posts:
horseylady · 30/11/2012 19:20

Go with how you feel!! If you're not happy don't do it!!

I rode up to 37 weeks. I had ds at 39 (I had fully intended to ride the Saturday I went into labour!!) I was competing at 32 weeks. However, I was very lucky in that I was all bump and even that wasn't very big. Most horsey people didn't know I was pregnant until 30 weeks. Id kept it quiet for that reason!! I also noticeably slowed down as the weeks progressed. After my final comp I did one more schooling session and decided I was too unbalanced so stuck to hacking.

I didn't jump (mainly because she doesn't like jumping and shes very difficult to jump and not consistent/green). I also only rode my horses and if I didn't feel like riding, I didn't.

However, it's your body, your pregnancy and you have to do what you feel right doing. There is no right or wrong answer. Most people were very supportive about me riding, some made nasty comments.

Good luck with the pregnancy!!

Booboostoo · 01/12/2012 08:53

I think it's different for each person so don't feel pressure either way.

In the first trimester I rode as normal, including lessons and hacks but by 5.5 months I was just not comfortable anymore. The bump was too big for me to ride effectively so the schooling was pointless, hacking was too dangerous on my lot and I was beginning to feel scared, which is not usual for me on horseback (well, at least when nothing is going wrong!). By the third trimester I was having trouble even handling because I was so unstead on my feet and slow to get out of the way.

Pixel · 01/12/2012 18:03

Yes the chores can get harder too so riding as well seems a step too far! I was ok with dd as I had a small bump, my balance wasn't affected and I carried on mucking out and everything until two days before she was born. Ds on the other hand was a big low bump and I remember crawling across an icy yard dragging a water bucket because I knew I was going to fall over and break something otherwise and I was all on my own. I was only about 20 weeks then but it was extremely bad weather. You just don't know how the pregnancy will affect you. A girl at our yard didn't even know she was pregnant until she went into labour! We all saw her riding as usual, she was only wearing jods and t shirt as it was summer but none of us noticed a bump, and you'd expect someone to knowing how gossipy horse places are. He was a good sized baby too, goodness knows where he was hiding!

goralka · 01/12/2012 18:10

funny you say that Pixel there was a girl I knew years ago in denial about her pregnancy who was working on the yard, riding, cross country the lot until one day she disappeared to have a healthy baby boy!

rogersmellyonthetelly · 01/12/2012 20:17

If the horse you are riding is "safe" ie you feel confident it's not going to do anything stupid where you might fall off, and assuming it will stand along side a fence/ladder for you to get on once the belly is in the way, then go for it. I rode regularly until about 28 weeks both previous pregnancies and occasionally until the end. This time I haven't been on board since I found out as current horse sadly not bombproof, and while I'm confident I can stick on when not pg I find the bump makes me less balanced and I daren't risk falling off, 17.3 is a long way down. Oh and he won't stand for a mounting block either so even getting on would require a miracle.

alwaysGOLD · 01/12/2012 20:56

With my first i rode up till 2days before i had him, my other two i rode till 8months, but out of my three i rode my sanest as i know she is 100 per cent in everyway. I didnt do any jumping. And just schooled for a long as i felt comfortable with,
Just go with how you feel, good luck with your pregnancy and enjoy it :)

allinagoodcause · 03/12/2012 13:12

Hi - I agree with the rest of this thread it's really down to how you feel. If you don't own your own horse you might struggle though. Daisy Dick won Badminton when she was 5 months pregnant. I rode up to 8 months with my first and like you I've stopped at the moment as I'm 7 weeks and just feel to sick and tired. I will be getting back on though as the thought of not riding for nearly a year plunges me into depression!

octanegirl · 03/12/2012 17:26

I'm 8 months and still riding, but no jumping or competing. I only ride one of my horses though, I know her backwards but even so I have one finger looped through neckstrap for cantering. I'll keep going for as long as I can as at least if gets me outside....

RooneyMara · 03/12/2012 17:31

I think see how you get on.

I don't know about horses (they're higher up...yikes!) but I rode bikes all the time before I had babies...and with ds1 I kept riding till about 7 months.

It was Ok - I had strong muscles, he was small, the bump was small. I was 29. But moving the bike becamse increasingly difficult and painful, and one day when I was around 6-7 months I dropped it while trying to push it up through the back gate.

Andthen lifted it up by myself Blush
After that I realised it was not comfortable any more, and realistically I wasn't handling it - not so much while riding as the other stuff you have to do.

Second time I can't remember if I had a bike or not. This time, I'm 39, have been in a lot of pain with SPD since around half way and I can barely walk let alone manoeuvre heavy machinery - so I sold the bike and frankly it's a relief.

So it's up to you - see how you feel, but I wouldn't stop till it becomes physically difficult, or till you feel unsafe and that your balance is being affected...I do find now that i'm abit like when I have bad PMT - constant aching/discomfort makes me very clumsy and my spatial skills are all but gone. You'll know when it's time to stop.

RooneyMara · 03/12/2012 17:33

Oh and just be aware that the hormones (relaxin?) make your ligaments loose and your muscles a bit floppy - so it's more likely you'll do some overstretching or damage even, when you're pregnant, than when you're not.

aamia · 04/12/2012 23:12

I rode fairly normally until about 24 weeks, then only a safe horse for another ten weeks or so. Hacked out in walk at 39 1/2 weeks lol. I do have my own though, backed all of them and know them inside out. Was not even vaguely interested in riding anyone else's as soon as I knew I was pregnant.

Nuttyfilly · 05/12/2012 01:23

I rode right till the day i had my son, im still riding now this time round, but only my own horses.
Listen to your body though and only ride if you feel safe and sure. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

monsterchild · 05/12/2012 01:31

I stopped due to my age making it harder to get preggo and I didn't want to wast time getting pregnant again if I'd lost this one. But I did notice that my endurance and my breathing got pretty compromised by my third trimester, and that would have made riding hard too.

I have been doing a lot of ground work with the fuzzies though, so it's actually been useful!

Sparklesandglitter · 08/12/2012 14:10

I rode till 40 weeks, I reckon trotting helped being on my labor lol Smile

Weissdorn · 09/12/2012 12:12

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VitosFleurZ · 10/12/2012 15:42

I'm still riding at 30 weeks. I evented until four months pregnant, then the season ended. I did some show jumping but have now decided to stick to dressage until the baby arrives. This was because I did not want to be jumping if I was afraid to fall off! You need to be committed and if you're worried, you're more likely to ride half heartedly and risk a fall. For the same reason, I only announced the pregnancy after I quit jumping. I did not want lots of negative talk about how I shouldn't be riding! I think it is important to listen to your body and see how you feel.

sleeplessinderbyshire · 10/12/2012 21:58

Remember May King won Badminton at 20 weeks pregnant! I rode til 32 weeks with DD1 (after this I was too busy for a few weeks not because I couldn't ride) main problem was dismounting with bump in the way.

Millie2013 · 12/12/2012 08:32

I'm not riding at the moment and haven't done since I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks. I had horrid nausea up til about 16 weeks, so just didn't feel like it and my horse is sharp and quite spooky, so I discussed it with OH and decided not to risk it. That said, if I had the urge, I would have a plod on our HW cob, as he is literally as safe as houses.

I think it's very much a personal decision, but for me, the risks in riding mine outweighed the benefits and madam is loving her life of leisure!

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