Hi. Any horse riders on here

puckpits Member Posts: 4
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:06 in Living with arthritis

I am nearly 67 & have been riding over 40 years & still riding - just! Three years ago diagnosed with arthritis in both hips & lower back. I took up Pilates which helps but currently having problems in lower back. Would love to hear how other people deal with it. Thanks x


  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi puckpits,

    I used to ride love it and unfortunately miss it so much I have cervical spondylosis and osteoarthritis in my spine, knees, hands, feet and shoulders have been thrown a couple of times In my youth I asked if I could still ride 3 years ago and was told no but they said I could dance???? I would much rather ride anyhoo I would check with a professional like a physio have you had X-rays or scans as they will show how good or bad it is hope this helps also as a thought maybe check your saddle maybe it could be adapted

    take care

    love Jona 😊

  • puckpits
    puckpits Member Posts: 4

    Hi Jona. Lovely to hear from you. Sorry that you can longer ride due to your cervical spondylosis and osteoarthritis, you must miss it. I had xrays & consultation about three years ago where I was told I had little space left in my left hip, my right hip not as bad and I have changes at the base of my spine, which at the moment is giving me the most discomfort particularly at night. It was recommended I took up Pilates which I have done and that has been a great help. I am still riding but the arthritis makes me quite stiff & difficult to use my legs equally. I have a brilliant instructress, she usually warms my pony up before I get on. I have thought about a straighter cut saddle but would like to try one first before buying.

    All the best

    Gillian (Puckpits)

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi Gillian,

    Its the most amazing feeling riding and I guess medical professionals don’t take into account how much arthritis stops you from doing what you like doing but I would check with them first, horses are unpredictable they’re moody just like us I actually rode one once and he bucked me and was grumpy I was told later he had arthritis too so he was in the paddock definitely wouldn’t take him out bless him I think he liked me as I always had mints on hand bribery 😊

    I was told if I fell it could cause more damage but I really can’t say I’m not a qualified person at the end of the day it’s a choice , have you thought about an American style saddle with support at the back I found they were easier but best if you can hire as they are really expensive maybe talk to a maker and if there are any adaptations he or she can do to fit you

    good luck

    take care

    love Jona x

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    I used to ride a lot in my youth, but less frequently in later life, but it's something I would still like to get back to, if only a "beginner's" hack or lesson simply for the pleasure of being on a horse again. But I do worry much more now about the damage I would do if I fell off, both before and after I get my new hip. We don't bounce like we used to, and the pain's bad enough as it is. I hate the thought of never riding again though. 😥

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Its definitely the freedom and exhilaration riding loved it we need to find a stable near that accommodate x

  • Lcc86
    Lcc86 Member Posts: 30

    Hi Puckpits

    I have facet joint syndrome with my lower back and also horse ride. Sometimes riding makes my pain worse, sometimes better, and I can't quite figure out why tbh, but I do a few different things to try and help. I put a heat patch on my back before and during riding to help relieve any symptoms (might be a placebo effect but it works for me, particularly in winter when I tend to tense up from the cold). I'll also use a foam roller after riding on my back and legs.

    I tend to keep my rides shorter than I perhaps would like but just listen to my body and try to avoid aggravating things. I bought a gel pad for the saddle which is SO comfortable and absorbs some impacts too. I also try and do groundwork instead of riding if my back is painful, so I'll do some long lining instead. I know it's not the same as being out cantering around but it's something at least and we're getting quite good at it now!

    I hope you can find a happy balance that allows you to carry on in some way.