Anyone out there? I have two lovely little horses who have been a very significant part of my life since 2000. While I am not a competition rider, prior to all this rubbish kicking off in Feb 2011 I would exercise them 4-5 times a week and that time was my ‘chill out’ time. I just can’t muster up energy to do that anymore and have ridden only three times for a few minutes since my last relapse started in October. It gets me down because I feel I should do more while I am physically able, and I mourn what I used to be able to do. They are at a livery yard so I know their basic needs are catered for, but even grooming both in one session for a few hours leaves me exhausted & in pain. Today I came back and couldn’t get off the sofa for hours. I always dreamed I would have a cottage with a field and they would be there at my back door. I know this probably seems insignificant when there are folks here who are unable to be so independent, but I worry about theirs and my future
I have horses too, I have two semi-retired on assisted DIY and one on livery. I haven’t ridden since November by the time I’ve groomed or done some horsey chores I am too exhausted to ride, for the last few months prior to that I was having a lot of difficulty mounting and difficulty riding also.
The horses that once gave me some much pleasure are now a chore most of the time and I’m struggling not just physically but financially too. Selling or rehoming isn’t really an issue and I already have a sharer for the one that is properly rideable.
I would suggest getting a sharer to take off the pressure of having to ride and paying for as many of the chores to be done for you if you can afford too that means any time you are able to spend with them even if it’s just grooming them.
Your horses probably wont care if they aren’t ridden 5 times a week.
Just try to enjoy them when you are able rather than worrying about the what if’s until you have too.
I gave up my horse 8 years ago as I could not afford to keep him on livery. It broke my heart and I miss him everyday. He was my only horse and a childhood dream to have my own. He lives about an hour away and I could visit him but I am so sad when I see him it is so hard. I dream of winning the lottery so I could have a place with land and pay someone to do the hard work for me, just to be near them and smell the lovely horsey smell.
I hope you can find someone to help you as Tabitha said get a sharer or someone who can help out for as long as possible, I wish I had kept going a bit longer with him but they are such a huge financial burden.
l too have horses - but am fortunate - very fortunate - to have 3 lovely ladies who help me in return for rides. Even their husbands help with fertilising the fields and cutting back brambles etc. One chap has fitted solar-panels on the stables roof so we now have lights in all the stables/tack/feed room. And a ‘socket’ so we can plug in the clippers - and for the vet to plug in his dremel drill when they have their teeth done. [horses that is not people]. My daughters old pony has taught many little girls to ride - over the years. He is now 40yrs - and still enjoys being saddled up and having a little hack down through the village - only once a week. l do still ride - my cob is now 30yrs old - but still a ‘pocket rocket’. My friend who lives opposite our field - rides with me - and she always grooms and tacks up for me. They even built me a special mounting block that enables me to almost step across the saddle. My dear old chap stands very patiently for me to get on and when we return he takes me into his stable where we have rubber mats - Getting off is a bit of a acrobatic move - sometimes my left foot is on the ground and my right leg still stuck over the back of the saddle. lf l could do that at yoga class l would get a round of applause. Ted stands still while l put him through all this. Once on the ground he can be naughty and give me a friendly nudge and knock me flying. But the rubber floor is not too bad a landing. l have ridden most of my life - and l ,pre -ms did compete in Endurance Riding - doing 30 - 40 miles cross-country. My horses are very use to my scooter - and are quite happy for me to lead them from it. We have 4 - and we never shut them in - they live free-range - the stable doors are always open - so is access to the yard. So they please themselves if they want to go in or stay out. This way they keep very happy and healthy. ln the winter they have a large yard and the stables - so always somewhere dry to stand and eat their haylage. l find it is hot sunny days when they are more likely to stand in away from the flies. Often there will be three of them in one stable. Keeping the doors open - and with rubber mats - they very rarely make any mess. Not that they are house-trained - but they obviously feel more comfortable going out to do their business. My friends also do most of the ‘picking up’ - and a neighbour regularly harrows the three paddocks. My last horse was 41 when l sadly had to have him put down. l had him 34yrs - and still rode him when he was 38. He was a huge lrish Draught - with lots of feathering. Never lame - never coughed. ln the end his teeth had worn down so much - and many lost - that he just could not eat properly. This is now happening to my daughters old pony. He can’t eat hay/haylage - we feed him twice daily on Veteran Vitality - and this winter he has done very well.
l am so sorry for you all that have had to give up your riding - and l know how lucky l am - and my friends love it as well of course. lt has given them the chance of having the use of a horse without the financial restrictions. They text one another to let the other know who has been fed etc. l usually do all the tack cleaning/rug washing/repair - only because this is at least something l can manage. lts nice to be of some help. Three of the horses are also trained to drive - l used to love doing this - but now l find it so difficult to climb up into the carriage. So l am a lucky lady - to have these super friends - and their husbands/daughters to keep everything running shipshape.
Hi Zig Zag, im so sorry your having problems, my horses went to new homes nearly 2 years ago, and to be honest should have gone before that, I sold my big lad 3 yrs ago as although he was awsume he was not very M.S friendly as it were and is now bombing around dartmoor - his dream to go fast everywhere!!.
i then had a little sweetie on lone to see if it was Alfie that was the cause of my constant tiredness or having horses and i got on well with a little plod, we pootled around for 6 months but then the owners daughter decided she couldnt live without it so that one went back.
then I bought Jack, he was flipping awsume, and in a way i wish I had quite work and kept him instead but my guilt of not earning was to great. he just slotted into our family so easily, a little 14.1 coloured cob- built like a brick out house, we would start off riding and some times i would get off if my legs hurt to much and we would sit in a hedge for a while have a munch of grass and id either get back on or lead him home, I always had my walking sticj folded and attached to the saddle, and more often than not we would be seen doing the last mile with me feet out of stirrups, hugging him round the neck half asleep,
we then went on to do horse agility for a while as riding was to painful for me and we were running 1st in the country- still very proud of that!!. he should have gone sooner but I couldnt let go, i was, by the time he went riding my mob scooter up to the stable, sitting on a stool to brush him and dragging myself around the place, he is very happy now with a young lady near the sea and does lots of fun rides and has just joined the pony club- he will love it i know. all my friends have horses and I find it very hard to hear what they are all up to but there is nothing i can do about it, ill never really accept it but its easier knowing my boys are doing everything they should have been doing and having fun.
take care honey,its not insignificant at all, it is part of you that something else is taking charge of, its not easy.
I should have added that horses have adapted really well to my lack of balance and are very patient with me walking slowly, falling or having to hold on to them for balance.
I’m very lucky that I am still working so am able to afford to keep them.
I too used to ride and eventually bought a mare for my daughter, but I was ble to ride her too. I sold her 2 years ago when I realised I wasn’t able to look after her properly anymore, which had become a big worry. So, Frances I think you are lucky (I know you know!) and I too miss the lovely horsey smells. I try not to dwell on it and feel lucky that I was able to enjoy that life for many years - I rode for well over 40 years.
So, yes your experience is shared by quite a few on here
I dont know the first thing re horses BUT I do know that equine therapy is recognised as beneficial for those with MS. Easily found in a search if you want to read more.
Perhaps those of you that have had to give up may reconsider after reading a bit more on it?
Just a suggestion…
Hi I have also 2 horses youngsters a 2yr old and a 4yr old, they are my world, I’ve had horses all my life and could never part with my 2. My daughter helps with them and have to admit I dont ride very often these days more in hand showing, but I love going out and doing all the dirty jobs, mucking out etc… I hope that I can continue to do so it’s me time when I’m with them and forget my worries when I’m there. Mines are at livery it’s diy but I’m coping with my wonderful daughters help I too worry about the future but I’m not going to dwell on it, as the doctor said last week he could walk out of the hospital and get knocked down by a bus, made me think!! Good luck and enjoy your pony time when you can Laine x