First ride at the new yard!

This morning I decided I would have a sit on Tommy in the outdoor school at the new yard. This was the first time he had ever been in this school and the first time I have ridden him since we made the move down from the Wirral. He was an angel and I enjoyed it, even if it was a little short but sweet.

Last night I was trying to pinpoint what it is that gives me pain and see if I could concentrate on combatting this whilst in the saddle. Aside from the obvious sites of pain from the PsA, I often experience pain in other parts of my body which, I believe are due to tension in my muscles. The 2 main areas I suffer with this are my shoulders and my upper back but, when riding, the tension creeps down into my arms too. If I have had a particularly tense session in the saddle, it can feel afterwards like I have been run over by a bus and my arms in particular are so stiff and weak.

I am going to experiment with muscle relaxation before riding. I have done a little research and devised a series of short muscle relaxing exercises I can do just before mounting whilst stood next to my horse. I tried them this morning, but have to admit, I didn’t do them as effectively as I would have liked as I was a little anxious about getting on Tommy in the new environment and just wanted to get on and get it over with! But, in the weeks to come I will make them part of my riding routine and see what, if any, effect they have on tension in my problem areas and how much pain I suffer subsequently. Watch this space.

The other area I am concentrating on, obviously, is Tommy’s training. Due to the weakness of my wrists and elbows, I need him to respond to the lightest of rein pressure. I have continued with clicker training and voice command and he understands ‘woah’ very well now (perhaps a little too well as I get a dead stop when I say it!) I am going to be looking more at steering using leg pressure and seat too.

There is so much to do and try but its important I take it slowly and don’t try to do everything at once. He is a willing student and enjoys the interaction. I feel very safe when I’m on him and feel we have a strong mutual trust. All of this is a solid base to build on.

I must stress that I only rode for about 10 mins and all of it at a walk. So, I couldn’t really guage the effect on my joints. On the whole they felt good. The problems I can foresee for the future are that I cannot hold the reins properly with my right hand due to my swollen index finger and my left hand is very weak. Oh, and dismounting was a struggle. Definitely can’t leap off like I used to! Thank God I don’t still have my 17.2hh warmblood!


2 thoughts on “First ride at the new yard!

  1. Riding around outside – I’m jealous! It sounds wonderful. I bet you are in the countryside somewhere? Green fields, blue sky, only the sound of birds? I can only dream as I sit in my daily traffic jam here in Bangkok. Meh.

    Anyway, it sucks that you are still getting arthritis pain. If you are having to top up on NSAIDs every day then the methotrexate is obviously not doing enough. I don’t know what kind of health care system you are under, but it would be great if it covered the cost of biologics. I hope that your rheumatologist gives you a try on them on your next visit. I mentioned previously keeping a pain record, you know – a list of all the places where you get pain and then every time you need to take pain killers you record the level of pain from 1-10, alongside the location, and what you took for the pain? I found that my doctor really appreciated having this as it helped to justify to the insurance company (in my case) his decision that the methotrexate wasn’t enough and I needed to go onto biologics.

    Take care and have fun riding!

  2. lol, kind of. There were green fields, blue sky and birds but also the constant whoosh of the M25! Bangkok? Wow.

    Well, here in the UK, the cost of biologics is a big issue and Rheums will inevitably try and take you down the cheapest route first. Then, you have to be approved to go on to the Biologics by whoever is in charge of that sort of thing in your local area (ha! there is an official title for these people but I have no idea what it is). I get the feeling you have to be pretty desperate and some people still get turned down …

    I will keep a pain log, that is a good idea. Although I confess, I find that kind of thing difficult. My old Rheumy would ask me at every appointment how I would grade my pain on a scale of 1 – 10 and I’d think, hmmm, what score did I give last time ….? He’d always just laugh at whatever I said anyway – he seemed to find me hilarious!
    In the meantime I’ll keep enjoying my riding, thankyou. Hope you don’t get too bored of all the horsey talk 🙂


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