Horse riding!

I have started riding again!! I was devastated when I had to let my horse go and have steered clear of riding for the last 9 years. However I recently got back in touch with a friend who I introduced to riding about 15 years ago.

She now has an 18hh shire x warmblood who really is a gentle giant las Friday I rode in the school for 30 mins and managed to do a para dressage test!! OK it was really rubbish but the sense of achievement was immense.

Andy was walking the dog when I came to get off and my friend didn’t understand how to hold me up as I slid off so I ended up on the floor!! But I didn’t care I was so happy and it was amazing I am still covered in bruises but I am going back on Sunday for another go!! This will be my 4th ride and I am so much more confident already.

Marge (the horse) is so laid back as I lay on the floor getting my breath back- bit winded - she put her head down to nuzzle me and make sure I was OK. This time I will only get off when Andy is there!! It takes 2 people to get me on but once on board the feeling is amazing!!

So I am really happy so just thought I would share next stop para- olympics 2016!! Shame it is in Rio I might suffer slightly but got to have a goal!!

Go for it!!!

There is nothing like the feeling of liberation that comes from being on a horse. So marvellous. I used to forget all about being disabled while I was riding (until I had to get off!!!)

I was on the National Squad and on the short list for the Para Olympic Team for 2012 but I broke my neck and I can never ride again.

I miss my horse and riding and the whole world of horses so incredibly much. There is far more loss and grief for me there than there is from anything the MS has thrown at me.

You follow your dreams. You never know where they may take you… If it hadn’t been for the accident I could have been riding for Australia in the ParaOlympics next month.

Marge sounds like an absolute honey. 18hh is massive though. I’m not surprised it needs two people to help you mount! Have you got access to a really sturdy mounting block? (Or ladder) The RDA use purpose built wooden ramps with a platform at the right height for easy mounting. If you are going to ride Marge regularly at and at the same yard it may be worth investing in one.

Have loads of fun,


Thanks Belinda I am so sorry for your extra disability !! That must be really awful for you, the mounting block is very sturdy and high enough for me to put my left foot in the stirrup, just can’t swing my right leg over high enough to clear the back of the saddle!!

Oh for the days when I used to leap on and off my horse (17hh thoroughbred), ride bareback down to the river, jump off after a really long hack and stand plaiting up for hours to go to a show!!

At least when I am FINALLY on board my tremors seem to vanish and I am getting stronger in my legs even my really rubbish M.S one! I have lost weight tightened up my core and have gone down a dress size!! I can even suck my tummy muscles in again!!

I wish you so many happy thoughts perhaps someone could take you to just stroke a couple of soft muzzles as they are so calming?

I so well remember being able to vault on and off my horses and plait up a stable full of horses for a comp too. And galloping across country jumping enormous fences in the eventing competitions. Days long gone now sadly. Yep, I needed someone to lift my damned right leg over the saddle too when riding with MS but it does do incredible things for the core strength. I have really noticed a decline in my fitness since I stopped.

I can’t bring myself to go down to the paddocks and pat any horses now. I have a lot of friends with horses but I broke my neck rugging my horse when he spooked and flung his head up smashing me under the chin and sending me flying and breaking my neck in the process. As a result I am just too nervous of going near a horse now in case one head butts me and busts my neck again. Probably irrational but I was millimetres away from being a C3 quad and it was only very skilful emergency neurosurgery that saved me. Given that my neck is now mostly titanium, I really don’t feel brave enough to risk it now.

Happy riding,


thats Fabulous well done!!, we are getting a pony for our daughter , he is arriving on Monday after a 2 year break with no horses here, im hoping that ill be able to do some agility with him and she rides, who would have thought a change in job would give me enough energy back to let Jess have one. so excited for her. Well done, I envy you heaps. I hope i do ride again. i miss it so much and i miss my horses so much it hurts, i know they are all fine and well looked after but if I could have them back it woudl be a dream come true, enjoy- bruises and all


Thanks BC I am well happy! Belinda I am so sorry you can no longer enjoy being even near horses my heart goes out to you xx

I truly hope you are not in too much pain with it and you can keep your precious memories in your heart xx much love to you Julie xx

How inspiring, and no wonder you are so happy. I have two little arabs, who I just love to spend time with, even though not riding much recently. I find being around them really lifts my spirits, even if I do end up wiped out. At least I have a grin on my face!

My horses are all that keeps me going really, they don’t care when I’m slow and clumsy and are always happy to see me :slight_smile:

I stopped riding for a few months as my balance was so poor, I couldn’t really rise to the trot any more and getting on was beyond embarrassing and difficult.

Riding gives me the freedom and independance to go places I would struggle to get to under my own steam and my horses brighten my day and have helped me keep a positive attitude.

I would urge anyone who loves the outdoors and is fond of animals to try horse riding or carriage driving.

That is a wonderful story & I can understand why you are so happy.

I had to give up riding several years ago now, not because of MS though, so I started carriage driving again instead (I had done both for years). My mare had been broken to ride & drive when she was 4 years old, but was a danger on the roads, I rescued a foal with the aim of driving him…during the time I was bringing him slowly back to health I gave Kaja a try in the cart I had bought for him & she was a good girl…

I have never looked back & Kaja is still going strong at the age of 22, now I also have a 2yr old called Gaius who I have had since weaning who will be broken to be a ride & drive and also Chester a 5yr old shetland. I have a wonderful friend who just happens to be a fab horsewoman & a really sweetheart of a teenager who both love the horses & help me.

I hope your riding continues to go from strength to strength.



This all sounds great, you’ve brought back many happy memories for me. Maybe I’ll try riding again one day but as I’m now working f/time there aren’t many hours left in the day! Great to hear all about your experiences, tho.

B x

Thanks everyone! Wish it would stop raining as I am going first thing in the morning 8am!! I have all my stuff ready to stick on luckily I have most energy first thing so should be good. Will try the dressage test again and hope to do better than last time. I still can’t manage a trot but better than sitting at home crying about not doing anything, and I am going to plait her up afterwards as my friend says she is rubbish at it and needs some lessons in it!! I bought white plaiting bands never used them before as always used black on Cocco!

Will report back after the excitement!!

I only managed 10 mins plodding round before my leg gave up and had to get off! I was sad but knew that I was going to struggle if I tried for any longer. I have been wiped out since then at least I was smiling!!

I have been cross with myself for trying too hard, and my lovely cleaner tells me off when I try and help her!!

I have bought a new riding hat as Helen said my old one stank- might have had something to do with it being 14+ years old!! I never threw it out as I thought I might just manage to sit on someones steed one day!!

Julie xx

wonderful news, keep on riding!

carole x

Hi It’s great if you can ride again, I used to ride but sadly I just don’t feel safe, I had a friends little 12.2hh welsh pony take off with me 5yrs ago dumped me in the woods where no car could get to me, it put me off, did buy my daughter a 14.3hh gypsy vanner last yrs she was 4yrs this June she is an angel I’ve sat on her a couple of times love her to bits but I will be keeping me feet on the ground my balance is just not good enough to do anything else, so I’m so pleased to here others can still enjoy riding. Wishing you all the very best and have great fun Jane x


Reading these posts tonight has just made my day :slight_smile:

I was diagnosed in September 2012 with PPMS. I have owned and ridden horses for years, I’m 51. The MS has affected my left leg, my mounting leg but I still ride and own my horse. I need help to mount and am lousy at dismounting, quite often having to grab the saddle so I don’t fall over. I love to ride my horse as I don;t feel like I have this dreaded disease when I am out on her…I must say though that I don’t gallop around the countryside and jump everything in sight like when I was younger.

I have a husband who does the heavy mucking out work for me and some truly wonderful friends who look out for me when we ride in a group. My horse is wonderful and very sensitive…she has been with me over the last few years while I have been deteriorating and losing the strength in my leg but she also takes so much care of me.

It’s wonderful to read your great stories and I hope you are all still getting out there on those horses - I am inspired by you all.

Michelle x

I have a horse. I’ve only just been diagnosed but I plan to hold on to her come hell or high water! Time with her right now is the only time I don’t think about ms. There is something very serene about a horse that is good for my soul x


I feel exactly the same way as you Humbug, come hell or high water I will continue to ride & such good exercise for my leg

I am so pleased there are others out there the same as me and even though we have been diagnosed with this damned nuisance of a disease, our horses still come first

Take care xx