Walking 56 miles in 28 days

Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

Hiya to everyone

As some of you know, I had a long awaited hip replacement on December 5th just 12 weeks and 2 days ago. At the end of January I was invited to take part in a 56 mile walk for refuge, to be completed in February over the 28 day period. I was hesitant, it seemed to be a huge ask but having had my own experiences in the past with domestic abuse, I figured it might be possible if I concentrated on 2miles a day. I never asked anyone to donate as January and February are never the best months for anyone’s finances but my wonderful son had, unbeknown to me, rustled up over £100 from himself and his workmates. My family also donated and before I knew it there was £150 target donation. I completed the 56 miles on February 23rd, I couldn’t believe it, I don’t often think that I am good at things but February 2023 has been an extraordinary month for me. My other great achievement was getting back on the horse that I had not been able to ride in almost four years, she has been nothing more than a field ornament all this time which has broken my heart. I didn’t think I would ever get back in the saddle but last Wednesday I had the farrier call and put new shoes on the delighted Penny, though she took a few comical steps after not having had shoes on for such a long time. The icing on the cake came when i saddled her up and climbed up onto her back. Oh my days!!, that was the most amazing experience that I had practically convinced myself I would never be able to do again.

I have been for a short ride, I have to take one day at a time, I can’t rush it as both Penny and I are rediscovering muscles we seem to have lost over the past few years.

My only concern right now is the knowledge that my other hip is going to need surgery in the not too distant future. I have always been so full of doubt about myself in mostly every aspect of my life and the way things were going for me before my hip replacement surgery, I had all but given up on life. Today I have a much more positive outlook and hope for better times, I also have a grandchild due at the end of this month, I just keep thinking of a much happier future. If you guys have taken the time to read my post, I thank you and wish for all of you to have the best life possible, sending fond regards to all who are suffering from the curse that is arthritis, hopefully your surgery/treatment will help you heal and enhance your future. 💕



  • Bookworm12
    Bookworm12 Member Posts: 7

    Well done @Lisbeth that's amazing. I've been loving the pictures of you riding. I'm so glad that life has a postive vibe at the moment. We all know there will be tough times but it's good to celebrate the wins. 😀


  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 171

    Hi @Lisbeth

    well done from me too. You must be feeling so proud of your achievements and Penny looks happy to be with you as well.

    Take care.😊

  • JenHB
    JenHB Member Posts: 130

    Well done!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739
    edited 1. Mar 2023, 23:16

    That’s fantastic, well done Lisbeth! 🥇🏆🐎🥂🎉 You look like I did when I and my wonky new hip recently climbed back on a horse after many years off. Love the victory salute! Penny looks pretty happy about it too. Like you, I’m taking it (literally) a step at a time with my riding, private half hour lessons to gradually build up my leg/core muscles, get my balance and confidence back, with a VERY patient instructor. Haven’t worked up to a canter yet, but looking forward to it. Currently grounded by a bad back (from picking up a toothbrush off the window chill?! 🙄) but hopefully just a short term glitch.

    Arthritis can grind us down slowly over a period of years, it’s great to see what surgery can give back to us. And ticking off the walking challenge needs a Certificate of Honour! I did a five miler up into the bottom of one of my favourite valleys recently, it felt great to get my boots muddy again. The hip’s still work in progress, but I’ll take any improvement 🙂

    So from one wonky rider to another, “sit up, look forward and leg on!”

  • Jewels
    Jewels Member Posts: 201

    You go girl glad everything is looking up for you xx

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46
    edited 4. Apr 2023, 14:15

    @Bookworm12 thanks for the message, you are so right, it is such a feel good factor when life looks better and we have to make the most of that, it’s been a long time coming, I just hate that arthritis can cause such disruption to life. I know I will have to face it all again but not just yet eh😉

    @Fran54 I think Penny was a little bewildered when I turned her down the lane away from the farm haha! She stopped a couple of times, probably wondering why I was taking her away from her friends. She certainly walked faster once I turned her towards home😂thank you for your message 🙂 cheers @JenHB thanks🙂

    @Lilymary how many years have you been out of the saddle? Did you immediately feel like you had never stopped riding, once you got back on? I was quite nervous, not of riding or of hurting myself, just because the farmer and the farrier were watching, I had all kinds of goofy thoughts about making a fool of myself. Once I was on though, I just felt there had never been a time I hadn’t ridden. It’s wise not to rush as the obvious muscle wastage in my thigh will take a while to strengthen, I guess you would know about that🥴 plus Penny is no way fit bless her heart. I think we should start a wonky rider club😉 Ewwww tell me about muddy boots, I’ve spent most of my walks being a wonky shepherd haha!! Sheep poop clogged in the treads of my wellies yuk. When did you have your hip surgery, did you find the first two weeks were really hard? I hope that you are having loads of fun sitting in that saddle, it is the most wonderful feeling when your horse moves along in rhythm with you. I will happily take your advice and I hope you will enjoy longer lessons in the not too distant future🙂

    @Jewels thank you, things are looking much better hopefully for some time to come 🤞🙂

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    Hi @Lisbeth , I had my hip replacement in April 2021 (can't believe it's that long ago) but it wrecked my psoas tendon somehow, which is the one in your groin that lifts your knee. This slowed my muscle rehab, so I still have quite a bit of muscle weakness, although surprisingly just 5 half hour riding lessons really helped with that, another reason to keep it up. The tendon thing means stuff like mounting off a high mounting block, tightening the girth from the right, keeping the stirrups long, and if I lose my left stirrup I can't lift my leg to get my foot back in. I may have to practice riding without either, just in case! The medics keep trying to sort the tendon out, but nothing has worked so far.

    Yes, I found the first few weeks post surgery really hard, it almost gives me PTSD looking back on it, but when you're in it you just crack on with it don't you. I found standing and walking (when energy levels permitted) were most comfortable, so I made sure I was pottering about in the house, garden and village as much as I could rather than sitting on my tender rump, or worse, trying to get through a night on my back. And I developed a real love/hate relationship with those wretched crutches too!

    I've never had my own pony, just a happy hacker at local stables, but it's been too many years to count since I rode regularly, and probably about 6 or 7 years since I last rode at all, mainly due to a bout of ME followed by my hip packing up and the pandemic. Getting back in the saddle was one of my main goals post surgery, and I was beginning to despair of ever getting there. But I got fed up waiting for my pony-ready body to reappear and decided to mount up anyway, with my surgeon's approval. For me, it's not quite the "it all came straight back to me" experience, as my body still feels so different now, but heavens, I was ELATED!! Back in the day I used to throw my leg over any (reasonably sane) pony I was presented with without even thinking, but I was horrified to find that when my instructor suggested I have a little walk in the fields near the arena with someone who liveries at the stable, I almost had a panic attack! (And to think I used to ride out on my own without even thinking in my youth...). Not being able to take your body for granted any more and relearning what it can do sure knocks one's confidence. However, I'm taking it slow and starting from scratch, as I need to teach my muscles what to do and build up strength and balance again. I'm just happy to be with horses again - I always take them back to their stall and unsaddle them etc after the lesson, and give them a fuss, anything to spend a bit longer with them. Some of my very happiest memories are times I've spent with the many ponies I've ridden. Anyway, after my second lesson I went out and blew a (modest) fortune on new boots, hat and jods, so I've got to keep going now! My boots are permanently on display in the kitchen to give me motivation.

    Do keep posting about you and Penny - including lots of pics. Maybe we should start a "riders with implants" thread - I know there are a lot of riders with new knees and hips out there.

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Hi @Lilymary

    It sounds like you have had a pretty tough time of it. Having the pain before surgery is bad enough, complications post op must be very frustrating for you. Its good to know that the medical team are working with you to try to rectify the problem. I've seen my physiotherapist twice in the past 12 weeks, all he has done is look at my scar and give me a booklet with exercises I need to do. I thought I would get a few sessions but I just have one more appointment before he waves me goodbye!! I think that if you can manage to ride without stirrups, its well worth a shot, it is a marvelous discipline for a rider's balance. Now you have put the idea in my head, my balance is apauling, I will have to see if I can ride Amber bareback (Penny is a tad too high for me to risk coming off her haha!!) just take care when you do attempt riding without them.

    I felt very alone when I got home after surgery, My daughter stayed for two nights but she has such a heavy work load and her family to look after I didnt want to take up her precious time, I put on my big girls pants (with great difficulty hehehe) and told her I could manage fine but should I have an issue, she was just a phone call away. I know what you mean about the crutches😣 I was so glad to be rid of them. Emotionally I was all over the place, depression set in after a few days which lasted quite a while then frustration hit.... oh my days it wasnt my finest hour. Sleepless and painful nights didnt help as you say.

    You sound just like me with the ponies, I started lessons when I was 7yrs old, never had my own but would ride anything that had a leg at each corner, a mane and a tail. Nothing was too crazy or stubborn and never heard of the word "danger" Now I am aware of what can happen and no matter how much you trust your mount you have to focus and stay alert, when things go wrong it is always human error. Sadly not many people understand that. Its absurd how expensive the gear is, I live and die in my wellies, they need to be tough and in all fairness my previous pair lasted 10 years so they were a good investment when I renewed them two years ago. I hate wearing my hat, it looks so big compared to the old style riding hats that are probably illegal now, without chin straps. Horses are healing souls, preferably on a one to one basis, we have five together living out all year round, its not safe to spend time in the field with them before they have all been brought in and fed. thats a time consuming procedure as when Im on my own I have to bring them in one at a time🐴 after they have all got full bellies I can safely walk around them. They are so funny, I love them all dearly.

    Great idea to open a thread on riders with implants, we could all learn a few useful techniques😊 you may regret requesting photos, I have so many I love to share of the fab five, they all have their own personality, we have two welsh cobs that are considered OAP's (23 and 25 yrs old) a 10 yr old welsh cob, hes the naughty school kid, spoiled rotton, nosey and a proper air head. The beautiful Penny and her bestie Amber. joined us seven years ago so they are bottom of the pecking order. I will post some photos I have of them all but its difficult to get them all in one shot.

    Thank you for your message, thank you for telling me about your struggles and triumphs, you are an inspiration for me, this is a journey we can do together. I have to go up the farm tomorrow to get the heavy winter rugs back on them, the forecast is looking pretty chilly for next week. Have an enjoyable weekend, take care and well done to you for being so determind to ride again

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739
    edited 3. Mar 2023, 23:59

    More later, as it’s past my bedtime, but this was me first day back in the saddle! He was a bit wider than my hips would have liked, but safe as houses. My old hat practically covered my eyes, as it was so old the padding had disintegrated! (Hence the new one, although I resisted the temptation to get one with added glitter!)

  • Dianes1
    Dianes1 Member Posts: 43

    Hi Lizbeth, great to hear your positive post again. Such motivation for others. We do seem to be going through our ops at similar times. My left hip also needs doing, showing bone on bone on xray, but not in too much pain. Seeing surgeon again in nine months.

    Are you getting any discomfort from the hip you had replaced last December? I am not yet pain free and wonder if this is normal. Take care.

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Hi @Lilymary I love your photo, I’m in love with coloured cobs, he is a beauty fair play🥰 they are known for their wide backs and incredibly difficult to keep the weight off but it’s all part of their charm. I had a 3yr old filly on loan three years ago for my granddaughter to learn to ride, that went south pretty quickly but I kept her almost a year as she was such a sweetheart. Haha!! Everything horsey seems to be sparkly, glittery or matching these days. Years ago we were lucky to have a whole bridle and that would probably have been a mismatch of an array of old bridles put together 🙈

    I’ve just come from the farm, it’s bitterly cold up on the mountain, the odd snowflake fluttering down, it was good to get back home.

    I am posting a photo of the beautiful Miss Bella (the little coloured cob I had on loan) her photos are all around my home. If I hadn’t been in so much pain at the time I’m sure I would have still had her now. She captured my heart.

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46


    thanks for the message, yes we had our new hips just days apart if I recall, mine on 5th December and you a few days later? I don’t want to tempt fate but I am pain free in my new hip, sadly the other hip and my right knee are getting to be a bit of a pain so is my left shoulder. Apparently I have RA sero negative 🤷‍♀️ whatever that means. I just concluded that my body is becoming more of a ruin than it is a temple as I steam onward towards my 62 year milestone🙈 My chosen passion for horses is probably helping the deterioration process but hey ho!! I’ve spent too many years in pain. Im currently enjoying the break👍

    I hope that you will soon be pain free with your new hip, have you maybe stretched the wrong way or overdone exercises. You may have aggravated it without realising. I know my surgeon told me I will never ever again, be able to stretch my right arm down beside my right leg to pick anything up. I almost forgot that a few times though 🫣

    it’s good to hear from you, take care and keep in touch 🙂

  • Jewels
    Jewels Member Posts: 201

    Just wanted to say she's beautiful x

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    I hadn’t realised you’d had your new hip so recently! Wow, getting back in the saddle so soon! That’s some determination! But it must have been so bitterly frustrating for you not being able to mount up for so long. I remember your tales of struggling out in all weathers, in awful pain, to tend to your crew. I think you’re amazing.

    Bella’s beautiful, but she looks a bit spicey for a learner! Just wondering, have you heard of SEU on Facebook?

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    @Dianes1 , I’m not sure I’ve ever had that miraculous pain free revelation after 2 years, but then I’ve come to realise my body is a total drama queen 🙄😅. Still, it’s sooooo much better than pre-op, I could barely walk at all then.

    Seriously though, if you’d had an accident that resulted in deep cuts through major muscles in your thigh down to the bone, a dislocated hip and a compound fracture of your femur, you would expect to be in pain and rehabbing for some months. What we’ve had done is a controlled version of that. Sometimes we need to remember to cut ourselves some slack.

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Hi @Lilymary I had to smile when you said Miss Bella looked a bit spicy, that was the most lively I ever saw her, it was taken from a short video for that very reason, totally out of character and as bit of a shock to see her kick back her heels..😂😂

    I have had a bit of a dip in my enthusiasm, I’ve had a rotten cold for almost two weeks, it’s put a stop to all things equine. It’s left me pretty down and annoyed with myself. I hate the snow too, I managed to get the warmer rugs back in my lot and that was all I did achieve🙈

    Ive not of SEU, on Facebook, what is it? I hope all is well with you and your still having your lessons🙂x

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    @Jewels thank you, she is a beauty.🥰

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46


    This is Amber she hates her rug, the face says it all!!🫣

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739
    edited 10. Mar 2023, 14:49

    Amber's a sweetie! Funny how horses hate their rugs, they're for their benefit after all!

    Don't be hard on yourself. There's a lot of viruses around at the moment, the latest cold is a nasty one. Catching a cold isn't your fault and doesn't mean you're slacking. Take it easy and let your body recover. You'll be back out there soon, and the weather should have improved by then! YOu can catch up on some physio while you're stuck indoors, so you'll be in even better shape when you mount up again.

  • Lisbeth
    Lisbeth Member Posts: 46

    Hi at Lilymary Amber has shredded 5 rugs since December 1st 2022, that’s the highest number of rugs she’s wrecked in one winter. She was nekkid 🫣 in the rain for a few weeks after I had my new hip, her rug was found with all the clasps done up, even the buckles on the chest and the back leg straps were still fixed in place… one of life’s little mysteries that, try as I might, I’m left scratching my head… how on earth did she shimmy out of that🤨 trouble is that she now has a touch of rain scald. I managed to get out on Penny this morning which was a treat, I had all but forgotten what a pleasure she is to ride🥰

    How are you doing, I hope all is well with you, take care and when you are back in the saddle, enjoy the wonderful freedom that only a horse can give you. Sending you pain free thoughts.😊

    todays pin up is our eldest resident

    “Peggy Sue” she’s 26 (we think) never been ridden and only joined the herd about five years ago. From about a 2 yr old she lived permanently down the woods and she had no human contact apart from seeing the tractor when hay was put out for her and her previous gang. She is the ultimate big mamma when it comes to the pecking order and Penny is petrified of her🥴 please excuse her forelock, a stupid man with no common sense took a scissors to it😡 it was so beautifully long that it almost tickled her nostrils before he scalped her.x

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    Hi @Lisbeth, I've seen film of horses working together to free each other from rugs, ie one pulls at the neck end while the rug wearer drops her head and backs away. Might be worth setting up CCTV to see if you can catch them at it! Peggy Sue is lovely, that sweet face doesn't look like the type that would put other ponies to rights, but that's mares for you!

    I hope you're doing ok and have managed to get back in the saddle again. How is your hip doing? I hope you're starting to get more confident and comfortable now, it does improve, promise.

    I've got an appointment in a few weeks for a second opinion on my hip problems, I emailed them last week with an update and they replied with an appointment a few days later. Could have knocked me down with a feather! No idea what the outcome might be, writing me off, more treatments, or even surgery. At least they haven't given up on me yet. Meanwhile, I've got fed up waiting for my body to behave to I'm going to sign up for another ride and see if anything drops off. I'll only find out by trying.

    btw, I've messaged you re SEU - not sure if you're familiar with this but the envelope in the top right hand corner of your screen should show a pink marker, click on that, and hey presto, messages appear.

    LM x

  • LisaO
    LisaO Member Posts: 4

    Your post has given me hope...Thank you for writing this!

    I stopped riding 2 years ago due to me painful hips/knees locking... I have just had steroid Jab in my left moderate hip so awaiting my right due shortly👌🏻

    I miss riding so much on my rescue ponies- one of whom is 5 with a diagnosis of juvenile arthritis so we often both feel each others pain. I am sure he senses how we both feel some days!

    Well done!!! You have made a difference to not only your cause but equally to other 50+ ladies out there mussing their horse riding.

    I hope one day I get back in the saddle like you and the other readers I can see in the chat🐴👌🏻

    Thank you, Lisa

  • MaureenB
    MaureenB Member Posts: 29

    Hi Lisbeth, brilliant news and so pleased it is going well.

    I had my second hip done 7 November 2022 and was walking well shortly afterwards. I was not very impressed with the NHS physio as it was a bit basic and the exercises were not personalised. My left foot kept turning in and they were no help with that. I ended up walking too much and spent much of January and February in a lot of pain as I was walking from the hip and my muscles seized up. By then I was in Greece, where a physio costs Eu50 for an hour, and over a number of weeks he freed it all up.

    The good news is that I have been able to go hill walking since then and am pain free.

    I have worn discs on my left side, the same side as the new hip, and I am now free from symptoms from that for the first time in over seven years. So having the replacement has stabilised the whole lower back area. If anyone is considering having a replacement and has lower back problems, that is a factor to consider in decision making.

  • Therese
    Therese Member Posts: 3

    Well done. I also had a recent hip replacement, recovered well and quickly and will need another in the not too distant future. I returned to my Fitsteps class after about fifteen weeks , it's fitness exercise and strictly style dancing..Our teacher had a rewards night and gave me one for quick return and managing the full Cha Cha Cha routine.

    This is nothing as remarkable as your achievement though.

    I was disappointed a few weeks ago when , after a full game of Croquet I was aching badly , my back , I think and it was still cool weather . Last ye.ar after the operation I played gradually during a warm spell without any serious follow up pain. I have not played since but really want to enjoy it again. Yes, arthritis is a curse and no effective cure yet found for all of us who suffer. Exercise definitely keeps us active.