I know my subject sounds confusing but this is the situation: I have started riding again after 12 years ( My new MS meds now give me enough energy to do so) however I suffer from spastity (imagine sever charlie horses -in both legs from toe to hip that last for 20-30 min.) Reg. physio is of no help however riding elminates the problem. My neurologist is amazed (I don't need drugs). I go to TEAD (therapeutic riding centre once a week but I need to ride approx 4 times per week to keep the symptoms away and it's an hour away). I am a capable rider who is starting at Training level all over again (I was level 2, 25 years ago). Riding unbalanced horses doesn't work well (I recently sold my Standardbred for this reason). Even if I could manage travelling to TEAD 4 times per week it would cost more than board or drugs. I am going to get another horse but the drug co. or govt. doesn't feel that my board is considered Therapuetic. I need ideas or alternatives to purchasing a horse or ways to to get my board (or part of it)covered ($430 per month and it's 5 mins. from home in Terra Cotta). Someone suggested doing office work or other simple chores to offset the cost of board - which I am more than willing to do but it won't work at my current barn.I've tried many organizations and even an equine lawyer. They all agree and sympathize but don't know what I can do. Any ideas or thopughts would be greatly appreciated. Riding is NOT an option for me it mandatory unless I want to consume many drugs and end up in a wheelchair. Thanks for your consideration. I live in south Caledon ( Terra Cotta/Cheltenham area).

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I'm also dx with MS and have been able to get back into riding. It has made a huge difference for me. I am also drug free and I feel like the riding is a big part of that. I'm not from your area, so can't offer any ideas that way other than perhaps looking at part boarding rather than owning your own. That would help reduce the costs.

In addition to riding I also found yoga a huge help in keeping symptoms at bay.

Good luck!
Thank's Karen - it's great to hear about the "power " of the horse!
Hi, Trish:

I have a client with MS, and she too finds riding essential.

Given your situation, I think that a partial lease might best suit your needs until such time as you can achieve more cooperation from your health plan/insurer, and I think your doctor should be your first line of attack on that front. There are many people looking for someone to share expenses (both board and veterinary), and the responsibility of ensuring that their horses are exercised well and regularly. I don't know if the OEF has forums on their website, but in BC we have several different kinds of forums, and riders looking for horses to ride and/or lease can post their possibilities there. I think you should put an advertisement in Barnmice's Classified section, and on the OEF site if it allows such things, and in whatever local equine-related publications are available to you locally.

You may have to hunt around at different barns before you find the best situation, but I think it's worth the work. It would be much less expensive than an outright purchase and full board, and would take some of the responsibility off your shoulders should you have a health-related event which precludes riding for a while.

I hope this helps!
Thanks - that's great advice!
Hi Trish, I also have MS. What ended up working for me was telling barn managers/instructors of lesson barns that I knew how to ride (decades of experience) and because of my disabilities (weakness, lack of balance, lack of endurance) that I was ideal for working on horses aimed at becoming lesson horses. I insist on obedience and get the horses to do what I want, but I feel like a clueless beginner (my legs are where? balance, what is balance?) on the horse's back. I ride at two stables.
I only have enough endurance to ride 30 min. at a time, and because of my limited endurance I cannot do a regular lesson, so I have 1/2 hour private lesson 2X a week (if the weather and my MS cooperate) and I often ride independently (in the ring) another 30 minutes a week. I bring my own help for catching the horse and grooming (my son or husband), or my instructor does that. It is worth every penny, and a lot cheaper than owning/supporting a horse. Both ladies I ride with like the results, and horses that are somewhat resistant under me relax under (and obey) the beginners who have better balance, no tremors, etc., so it works out for everyone involved.
It is because of riding horses that I am still strong enough to walk. It is because of horses that I wanted to walk. I do not think I would have dragged myself out of bed and gotten exhausted for anything else.
I hope you find a good solution.


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