Riding is a remedy!

Well haven’t blogged for a few days. Its a busy time for me right now as I’m preparing to start a new job in a weeks time and I’m trying to get the kids settled in nursery and keep a lid on my nerves if I can! I’ve been shopping today for some work clothes and spent a good few hours wandering round town carrying bags. I’m paying for it now as I have pain in my ankle, wrist and elbow and tension has crept into my shoulders and upper back.

Managed to ride Dottie for a short time on Wednesday with Claire who used to own her before me. We recently got back in touch via Facebook (see, it does have positive uses and is not just a blatant time-wasting device!) and she is going to start riding Dot again which I think is so lovely and a very happy reunion! The old girl is fat as a pig and needs to get fit but otherwise is in very good health and loves to get out and about (I’m talking about Dottie here, not Claire! )

So, my husband is away working at the moment which I love as I can pretty much live on tea and porridge (gluten free of course) and I can spend my evenings surfing the net without feeling that I am neglecting him. I’ve been reading up on arthritis in general and in particular about arthritis and sport / exercise. More and more, gentle exercise is being recommended and encouraged as a way to combat the symptoms and progression of arthritis. In fact I read of one hospital in Portsmouth that was offering exercise classes for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-12893821

The kind of exercise that is recommended for arthritis sufferers is that which targets flexibility, strength, aerobic workout, resistance and relaxation and it got me to thinking – this is describing riding!? Isn’t it?! To ride a horse, you must be flexible, it helps build strength, it gives an aerobic workout, there is resistance involved when using the legs and the arms and the seat and, it is incredibly relaxing. What are my chances of getting it prescribed on the NHS?!? lol

Perhaps the trick is to try and overcome any fear of pain that riding may cause and actually look upon it as a type of therapy? Exercise definitely improves energy levels and helps to keep the muscles and ligaments that support our poor, arthritic joints healthy. Now, if I could only find someone to give me a massage afterwards, that would be perfection …. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Riding is a remedy!

  1. Hi Ellie,

    What’s up? Hope you are still carving up this PsA thing like Johnny English with a bad attitude. Look forward to reading about the next episode in what you are doing.

  2. Hi Ellie,
    Replied on Twitter but you can’t say alot and I wanted to “chat ” about your tweet about not getting everything done and your frustration about having to go to bed early. I suggested a fellow tweets blog @GGFightsFatigue, for some interesting ideas. Its not rocket science I know and you have probably thought all these things yourself as well. But I hoped it might help a bit.

    You are in a different phase of your life to me, you have young children, you said you were going back to work, you have horses to care for (and ride) whilst managing a debilitating condition all this is always going to be a challenge. Lets face it all the things going on in your life would leave a very well/healthy person exhausted.

    As I have got more well, (I can’t say better because I’m not.)I have slowly taken on a bit more but not much compared to”normal” people. But I don’t measure myself against normal people anymore and I don’t measure myself against my “old self either” its futile and would just frustrate me. Yes I’ve started riding again after a false start back in July left me with back problems and its great. I am limbering up more so my muscles a as supple as they can be and working hard on my technique to take the pressure off my back and fingers crossed after two sessions its going ok! Like you I love horses and initially just helping out once a week at the Forest Riding for the Disabled (FRDA) was enough for me to feel closer to horses and get some satisfaction about doing something worthwhile. As I mentioned before you get drawn back into the world of horses though don’t you.

    Recently we started building work on the house, its an old cottage and passers by have always stopped for a chat but more so now as the work takes shape. This chatting provided me with another opportunity and made me think of you. A woman I got chatting to mentioned she was on her way to see to her horses in the nearby field. So we talked horses as you do, then I saw her in the Forest riding and again in the field when she invited me in to meet her two horses. This has now developed to me going down once a week to help out, grooming feeding etc.. Its lovely to make a new friend and have another opportunity to be with horses. I dont know how anyone manages horses on their own its such a huge commitment and of course everyone has other things to attend to as well as the horses..

    I noticed you and a friend were riding in your last blog and I am sure you have a great network of friends, but in thinking about your tweet, I thought about my chance encounter and how it has turned out so mutually beneficial to us both. All the “girls” at RDA are horses mad about half have their own horses the rest of us wish we had. I bet you’re thinking get to the point Alison and I am sorry for rambling. Can you offload any of your work/ committments with the horses or in other areas of your life to make things easier. So many people, women particularly love horses and would love an opportunity to help you, there may be things you can offer in return . I know you wouldn’t want loads of strangers riding your horses or having to organise a rota of helpers could be as time consuming as doing it yourself, You may not want anymore friends and feel you don’t have time for that and the whole idea is a non starter. It seems to me though there are people out there who if put together could be mutually supportive, could there be one or two people out there who who could benefit by helping you?
    Enough now sorry for going on
    take care
    Alison x

    • Alison, how are your horsey adventures going? I have just read back through this post and am pleased to discover that I am already doing or trying to do what you suggest. I have a new sharer for my old mare, but unfortunately, she has been very unwell for the last couple of months with uveitis and ulcers in her eyes (the mare, not the sharer!). But, once she recovers fully, I will see if I can find someone else to ride her in the week as the other girl can only do weekends. Her illness has put a massive strain on my time and resources as she has had to be medicated every 2 hours and finding the time to do this has been very hard. I have ended up paying the yard manager to do it most of the time but this is very expensive as I’m sure you can imagine. But, I think we may be finally out of the woods so lets keep everything crossed.

      My youngster is coming on well but needs more work and so I do have a girl interested in sharing him too. I’m hoping that will work out but he needs someone willing to put in the work and time with a baby and he will not be everyone’s cup of tea at this stage in his education. He bucked me off the other day and it was a little reminder of how unpredictable babies can be!

      I have applied for flexible working at school and am waiting to hear whether its possibe or not. My ideal would be to work there 3 days a week. I plan to spend my time not in school getting my riding back up to a decent standard again if I can as I have ambitions to get back in to teaching riding but it is just a seed of an idea at the moment and I don’t want to talk about it too much as it may not happen and I have always been someone who likes to keep my cards close to my chest. I have many other ideas too, I have always been an ideas person. Bringing them to fruition gives me so much satisfaction and really motivates me.

      I think I am in a much better place than I was when i wrote the post that prompted your response above and there are 2 reasons for this. One is that they have changed my medication which had been really effecting my mood without me really realising it. I feel much more positive now. But the second reason is because I have begun to put in place strategies to ease my burden, exactly as you suggested, and so I feel as though now there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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