My future riding and caring for my beloved horses


I’m currently 12 days post total hip replacement surgery.

I have 5 horses in my care, sadly I have had to hand over the general day to day care to others which I only wish was not the case, unfortunately help is thin on the ground, especially at this time of year.

my ultimate goal is to recover to a high enough standard where I can get back to looking after my beauties myself. I know this will take time and too many people think that I will not be able to achieve this.

does anyone here have a similar problem. Please feel free to share any experiences, I need more encouragement and less criticism.

Many thanks in advance.xx

ps here are my herd, currently content and hopefully staying warm. ( this photo was taken last weekend) before the snow)


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,722

    What a lovely photo! They certainly look content.

    As for getting back to looking after them yourself, I really don't know but I do think it's much too early to be fretting about it. Once everything has knit together again internally (and that takes quite a bit longer than externally) well.......maybe. I'm not sure what's involved in bending and lifting. Why not ask your surgeon at your follow up appt?

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 149

    Yes - a lovely photo! As a former instructor of both able-bodied and disabled riders as well as past owner of many equines and mum to three lifelong horse-riders I well understand your concerns and your fears.

    Widespread OA kicked in for me in my mid-40s and with the help of our three horse-loving teenagers I was able to keep going as an owner/rider (non-competitively) for a further ten years. The passage of time and our tribe flying the proverbial nest showed how my OA was developing and gave me time to adjust to the reality that things would need to change. Thankfully this happened gradually and I haven't needed THRs although a number of joints are quite 'dodgy'. I progressed to riding horses owned and cared for by other people until at 65 OA in my shoulders made things increasingly difficult and I knew I needed to plan my final hack out. By then I was ready to make the big change and have had no regrets. (A subsequent shoulder replacement put paid to any chance of returning to the equestrian world.)

    As Stickywicket suggests - don't make quick decisions unless you have to; accept all the help offered and see how things progress for you. There are active dressage riders competing with two THRs so anything is possible but the most important first step is to allow yourself time to recover fully before putting undue stress on your new hip. Tell your surgeon, discuss your aims with your physiotherapist and follow their advice. Full healing will take some time so keep your spirits up by recording every bit of progress in a diary/journal and see how far you can get.

    Hope it goes really well!

  • Skinny Keef
    Skinny Keef Member Posts: 1,138

    I wish you well and a speedy recovery and don’t listen to the negative criticism.

    I think the only time you should consider passing the care on to someone else is if the horses’ welfare is at risk. Other than that keep on keeping on.

    I decided to give up my motorcycles on doctors advice after years of riding and also being a police motorcyclist about 18 months ago and I regret it every day and there’s no going back now.

    get recovered and carry on looking after your lovely herd for as long as you can.

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Hey guys

    I had my first physio session this morning, the scar itself is unbelievable, the physiotherapist asked if I was sure the procedure was actually only 14 days ago.

    I spoke to him about my goals regarding my herd and he was amazingly positive. He will focus on the exercises that he believes will help me achieve my passion. I have to work on the basics for the immediate future which I totally am 100% with.

    Thank you for your encouragement and the hope you have given me. Nobody in my family has any interest in my horses, they seem to think I’m living on cloud la,la land. I understand where they are coming from, (its a fair way down to the ground from the bigger horses) I have no intention of dicing with death by tackling the grand national or eventing, I know my herd and both they and I enjoy a placid plod on the weekend or a gentle hack during the summer evenings.

    I am seeing the surgeon tomorrow so I will bring this subject up with him and hopefully he will be as positive as possible.

    You have all been wonderful, I’m so grateful, thank you♥️

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    As others have said, don't get too active too early, as it can compromise the healing process (both bone and soft tissue) and bedding in of the newly implanted joint. But as a (non-owner) ex rider, I totally get why you want to stay as involved with your herd as possible, and ideally ride again. Everyone heals at their own pace, so let your body dictate that. BUT....

    ...I have heard of some superhuman riders who were back in the saddle just a few months post op (must have had great muscles to start with, and presumably no complications), my sister has ridden again with two new knees, and I'm finally back in the saddle - very carefully, with my new hip. In my case it's c 20 months post op, but only because I had some unusual tendon complications which we're still working on. I got bored of waiting for things to improve so with my surgeon's permission I climbed back on board. He said I'd have to try really hard to dislocate it at this stage. The surgery etc have knocked my confidence, balance and muscle strength a bit, but we're working on it, and I've got a great sympathetic trainer who has worked with RDA.

    You know your horses, so you are best placed to know whether they're safe for their newly "wonky" rider. And you know your body. Don't discount the possibility of getting a good part of that lifestyle back, eventually, but you will probably need to make some adaptations along the way (in my case long stirrups and high mounting blocks!). Surgeons know that horsey lasses are a breed apart and hard to hold back, but do listen to their advice. Meanwhile, give them lots of hugs. They're great therapy.

    (Very impressed with the condition of their rugs btw! Hope they stay like that!)

  • CCM
    CCM Member Posts: 113

    I would say that the best treatment you can have is to do the things you love best. Do not be defined by your condition and be happy.

    Take care (they do seem a long way off the ground!)


  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Just a feel good update, I’m on track for my first time in the saddle on March 1st, depending on the weather of course.

    I herded a line sheep for two miles this afternoon after it had been missed when the flock were moved, last Sunday. I am amazed at how much my hip replacement has enhanced my life. Watch this space for my riding comeback👍

    You are wonderful people and I thank you all for encouraging and supporting me, I hope I can be of help to you all and others alike.x

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    I’ve had the best day, my ultimate goal, post hip replacement was to get back on the horse, well this morning I achieved my goal. 11 weeks and 2days since surgery, I am over the moon. Thank you Penny for being so gentle and careful with me.💕💕💕

  • toast
    toast Member Posts: 4

    I am so glad you made it.

    Your guts and determination combined with the love of your horses. will always get you through.

    I hope to return to horses in one way or another soon as I can.

    Thank you, you are an inspiration.