View Full Version : Okay - how many horsemen/women do we HAVE here?!
03-08-2012, 11:24 AM
LOL...I am AMAZED at how many equestrians are showing up on this forum! Horses are my life, so I am just curious who we all are. Being committed to something so active is definitely a challenge when you're dealing with autoimmune disorders....and people who are not horse-addicted often find it hard to understand why you'd continue to do something so demanding.
For me, I don't feel like it's a choice. For one, it's my income - and even if it weren't - if I was in a wheelchair - I would find a way to get to the barn and spend time with horses. My husband has strict instructions that (God forbid...) if I should be hospitalized for anything, he should bring in my dusty, hairy saddle blanket so I can at least SMELL my horse....and if he can find a "therapy mini" who's allowed into the hospital...BRING IT ON!!!! Best medicine EVER.
There's a new woman at the barn where I board - lifelong horsewoman - and she's just now getting into driving minis because she has Lupus and Sjogren's that have become a real challenge - she doesn't feel like she can ride full-size horses anymore but is not willing to give up "the lifestyle". It was really interesting to talk to her.
Anyway - I think it'd be fun to start a "Lupus with Horses" thread where we can share the particular challenges we have in common.
03-08-2012, 07:38 PM
I'm one! Haven't ridden or owned a horse in a few years but I do love them so much. Sleepy, what sort of riding do you do? I was into hunter/jumper and Level I dressage. Never went any further with the dressage since I had two trainers and the dressage training was interfering with my other training. Dressage was just something I wanted to try.
03-08-2012, 07:44 PM
my wife and i breed coloured horses.
check out my pictures.
i also own a beautiful lawn mower, since my mechanical one tried to take off my toes.
she would be small enough to visit hospitals. (being 1/2 a world away may be an issue though).
03-08-2012, 09:53 PM
I'm not really a horsewoman, but my daughter is. She worked as an animal trainer at Sea World with sea lions, sea otters and walruses. Her next training job was training prize-winning Palominos. Later, she switched to dog training because her hubby in in the Air Force and they are moving quite a bit (Germany in a few months).
When Meg was working at the ranch I had a few chances to ride, and I loved it. I'm very disabled and it's very difficult for me to walk around. Once I was lifted onto the back of a horse, I felt freer than I had felt in years. It was so exhilarating to trot and gallop across the fields. I truly understand why horses are used as therapy animals. Riding was great therapy for me.
03-08-2012, 09:58 PM
Never owned a horse but ridden intermittently while growing up.
Last summer holidays I spent working at a horse farm that trained showjumpers and ran horse treks and holiday camps for kids. I handled the showjumpers, led the horse treks and ran the camps. It was hard work but a dream come true for me, in retrospect I might not be able to do it again :-( Here's a pic of me on my last day at camp, just back from clearing the tracks after a big storm rolled through.
Now I've just found an amazing dressage coach and am having private lessons... but just got diagnosed with lupus, and my enlarged spleen is a problem. I've decided to keep on riding, but limiting what I do.
It's a tricky decision to keep with riding, what with exposure to sun, jolting my joints and my big spleen... but my other hobby/interest/all-encompassing passion was playing in brass bands. I played cornet, tenor horn, flugel, baritone and trombone. But after a terrible infected root canal on my front tooth, and furthur complications, I can't play any of those instruments anymore. I tried switching to percussion, but it just isn't the same. I really feel like I lost a part of my identity when I couldn't play anymore, bands were my hobby, social life and passion.
I've lost banding, I'm gonna do my best not to lose riding.
03-09-2012, 07:27 AM
I grew up with horses. My parents met because my dad was a traveling polo player and my mom worked the bar at one of the polo clubs down in Palm Beach. We had horses when I was young, but I suppose it became too costly. I stayed active with them just recreationally riding. I'm in Texas now and have a few friends with horses, I haven't gone sicne two summer ago though. Hunter and I are in the proccess of getting a house built and ater that's all underway and under control I really want to look into owning a horse again.
I do, however, own a mini horse... My great dane. :)
I can see why your so comforted by your horse. For me its my cat but I think a lot of us lupus people have animals. I think it helps greatly with our health, gives us a companion and were forced to do something with them but we enjoy it. @Lexi, thats funny but he is cute! Ive always wanted a great dane, well Ive always liked big dogs.
Personally for myself I have owned a horse before actually not long after I go sick. If it wasn't for everyone's busy lives and my illness we would have worked with him and rode him, he became just like a dog. He loved coming in my back yard and enjoyed playing with my dogs. Now he originally was a rescue horse so we ended up giving him to some serious riders up the street, he turned out to be a great work horse. Also im not familiar with the show horses, im Texan most everyone has working and rodeo horse so thats the kind of horse riding im familiar with.
03-09-2012, 03:58 PM
This is an awesome thread.
I didn't grow up around horses, but I did grow up around plenty of other animals. I started working with them when I was 15 and I didn't stop until I was forced to when I was diagnosed and couldn't handle it anymore even though I tried to hang on for another year. I was born loving them, and I have studied them since I was a kid.
I started out learning to ride by riding western, but after a while I got quite bored with it so I moved onto english, which I adored.
I owned one of the best horses I have ever known. His name was was Brownie and he was a gift from one of my friends, he was 25 years old and the kind of "bomb proof broke" horse, and he was fully sound and in great shape. I thought the name was awful so I re-named him Hero. I boarded him at my instructors place and continued to take lessons on him/feed him in exchange for cleaning the barn for her. I entered my first show in 2007 and the morning I came to prep him and load him in the trailer, he ended up rolling the wrong way and hurt his back, so I couldn't take him, which was devastating to me. Instead I took my instructors even older lesson horse and I won 2nd place in all my classes...I just wish I had done it on Hero. I ended up having to sell him because my instructor turned on me and would not longer offer me what she did in the first place, so he went to a wonderful home with a little girl who adored him.
I still love horses today, but they are too expensive and are out of my future right now. I have moved onto dogs, as I love them a lot too and I am hoping to get certified in dog training and open a dog daycare business. I already have a certificate in Animal Welfare and lifelong experience with dogs, plus I do dog walking at the moment, everything just takes time to achieve.
I attached a picture of us and of him, back then my mane was longer than his! I have short hair today.
03-09-2012, 04:18 PM
Thank you, everybody! It's great to see so many horse people out there.
I have always loved horses and have been riding since I was 7 (I don't come form a horse-y family, though) - I'm 43 now, so that's a lot of years, LOL...
I grew up riding Hunter-Jumpers but switched to Western after we moved to the west coast about 14 years ago. i did some Western Pleasure stuff, some Reining, and now I'd like to get into Western Dressage. I don't show anymore - I just enjoy riding. I also got into the "natural horsemanship" stuff about 7 years ago, and I LOVE it (I tend to use a lot of Clinton Anderson's methods, though I also really love Tom Dorrance, Mark Rashid, John Lyons...). I have one horse right now but have about 5 regular training clients as well....for some of them, I mostly teach the person, and for some it's more the horse. But teaching the horse is no good if the owner can't follow through, so in the end it's ALWAYS about teaching the human... :-P And the horses always teach me!!!!
I feel very lucky to be able to still do what I love. It really takes it out of me some days...at times, I am not even sure I can drive to my clients. I sit in the parking lot and thing "I can't possibly get through this!". But then when I step out of the car and am with the horses, I tend to forget everything but them and I do okay....until I get back into the car and sometimes have to take a little nap just so I can drive home!!!! But there's nowhere I'd rather spend the energy. I just hope that I can keep doing this for a long time. I know that to some extent it's out of my control...I can only enjoy TODAY.
Animals are a HUGE comfort. Horses are my legs when my own give out. They lift my body AND my spirit. And then I come home and lay around with my sweet dog....
I am so glad to hear other people feel the same comfort from touching fur!!!! :-D
This is my pretty, pretty pony....he's turning 19 this spring. He's a Quarter Horse. (He looks really fuzzy here because i just took this pic a month or so ago - he's got his wintertime Yak-coat!)