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For many years my main hobby in life has been horseback riding. I have only two left- one an old rusty trusty girl and the other younger, steady mostly but shy of people.

I haven't ridden in about a year- have been too tired til recently but now I am nervous about getting hurt, especially since the younger needs miles on her to be a good horse. About 3 years ago I took a good spill and since then have not really healed well.

I also raise some goats which are good for a laugh almost every day but take a lot of work.

Is anyone out there riding or is it too dangerous to get hurt with this condition? There is a serious hole in my life without riding- within a few minutes of starting, my trouble all dissolved and I felt really content. I haven't found anything to take its place. But even the best horse can suddenly part ways with you and I don't bounce like I did when younger.


Any opinions? Thanks

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Hello 'Enjoytheride'


I love riding and have ridden and had horses for most of my life. I don't ride so regularly now mainly because my old cob was PTS about 3 years ago and I find it's far less troublesome and expensive to ride other peoples' horses. I do have a pony that I ride most weeks; her young owner likes someone to hack her out whilst she's at school.......like many horses she doesn't really get as much exercise as she can do with and although quite sweet-natured she can be a little sharp.


I am also a little bit wary of getting on anything dodgy these days; I have to say it has nothing to do with having scleroderma but more to do with getting older and not wanting to hurt myself (my joints are stiff enough without hitting the ground hard and at speed!! ;)) However I realise that I could get hurt just crossing the road so I enjoy riding but don't take any unnecessary risks, if you see what I mean!! :mellow:


I'm very envious of your goats; I would love a couple of Anglo-Nubians with their lovely long ears that hang down but although we have the space to keep them I wouldn't get any animal on a whim without sufficient knowledge and time to look after it properly. :) We have 2 dogs now whom we love very much and we used to take our previous dogs out with the horses thereby exercising the whole lot in one go!! B)


Kind regards x

Jo Frowde

ISN Board Member

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It's so hard to lose a good horse- it take so long to make a good bond. But it's so good that you have a way to satisfy that riding itch. Sometimes I just look at my old girls back and think how fine it would be to just hop on. Not that I can hop on anything at my age. But she is a remarkable steady horse and I do trust her to take care of herself and me.


The idea of knowing a species needs before jumping in is wise. I thought because I's had horses most of my life, that goats would be a snap. But they weren't at all. I bought two girls (Boers) based on recommendations but one came with a very difficult condition. After struggling with her illness, I ended up putting her down. The treatment was hard on her and hard on me.


It was a steep learning curve due to that, and I know am much more careful of my girls. But I must say that, though the horses thrill me with their beauty, the goats make me laugh every day. They are sweet (at least the girls) creatures that are endlessly curious about people.


Thank you for responding- I was worried that if I did get hurt, this condition would make be unable to heal.

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Greetings you two!


I also ride where and when I can and would hate to give it up. I'm 62, so the idea of coming off and breaking a bone gets ever less appealing, but for some strange reason what really scares me is cross-country skiing (none of this hurtling down mountains for me) with my O2 tank. I've been skiing since I was 5, the year my parents gave me both skis and a basset hound puppy, so I don't fall very often. However my brain keeps yelling at me "You are carrying your own rock around with you, you silly woman, you don't need to find one to fall on!" But when I think about how much I'd miss it, it's not worth quiting. I just wish I could find one to cache a new O2 at intervals along my favorite trails.


No goats around here and not even any sheep for my Border Collies,so I really envy you!


Best wishes and velcro on your jeans and saddle,

Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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Jeannie- I think you are very brave. The very idea of skiing has always frightened me- hurtling down hill with no whoa!!!! Cross country skiing sounds a bit better than down hill though.

I guess I have always had more faith that my horse would do the smart thing and save me from the stupid decisions I make. For the most part, that has been true. Two heads are better than one for me.

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