This week, we have a guest post from equestrian blogger Daisy of How very Horsey, who shares her thoughts and tips on horses, pregnancy and riding after birth. Daisy comes from a long line of horsey family members and runs her own online rider confidence course offered to all levels of riders. Her group course runs over 8 weeks but you also have the option of doing one to one support, if you prefer.
Riding after making a human
Whilst you are pregnant, it is guaranteed that you will be hearing birth stories. Birth stories from popping it out in 30 seconds to 6 week long labours and failed epidural nightmares. What I would have liked to have been told when I was growing my tiny human and listening to endless horror stories is that it is ok to politely say something along the lines of “I am concentrating on having a positive experience and would appreciate you not telling me this, please. We can exchange stories after perhaps…”
As a horsey human, you will have the added stories of the mother who was riding the day before and hunting the day after and the one that jumped at HOYS 6 weeks after a caesarian to the one that totally lost their nerve and has never sat on a horse since. I would give the same advice. Every journey is different and take everything you hear with a pinch of salt.
Things to know
1. Everyone’s journey is different and the worst thing to do is compare yourselves to others. Ride your own pregnancy and birth journey and see where it takes you.
2. Accept that pregnancy hormones will do more to you than you ever imagined and that some of what they do you won’t realise until you are out the other side. Take a breath, take your time and make no rushed decisions.
3. When pregnancy strikes, ride until you are ready to stop. Some people don’t sit on a horse from the moment they see that terrifying blue line on the test, others may continue until their jodhpurs tell them to stop, some wait for labour pains. I rode for the first few months but found my stomach muscles stopped working the way they normally do and I felt decidedly wobbly so hung up my hat from then on.
4. If you are going to ride, be sensible. Maybe leave the novices to someone else. I rode my trusty Pie happily although even he could accidentally trip.
5. Get as much help as you can with your horse so it takes the pressure off during the first few crazy months of having a small person. The less pressure the better and it means you can ride when and if you are ready and not because you have to.
6. Be prepared for your feeling to change a million times.
When you get riding again post-baby, it is really important to take your time. Your core muscles have taken a bit of a battering and are so important when riding, plus riding with a weak core will increase your risk of back pain. Some gym exercises at home may be a good plan before you hop on board to give yourself a head-start.
The girl at the stables/competitions who loves babies will become your new best friend!
However, some people just don’t feel the same after creating a human. Having someone so dependant on you does make you slightly less fearless/foolhardy than you may have been previously. Please remember that this is ok too.
Enjoy your journey and take every step as it comes. Good luck!
Keep an eye out for Daisy again in a future post, as she will be featuring in one of our new blogger interviews.