My Achey Breakey Back - Can Riding Horses be Physical Therapy for Your Back?

So, a little while ago I decided to attempt rollerskating(against my will) at a cursed rollerskating ring, and I pulled a Shaggy(if you've ever seen Scooby Doo and watched episodes with Shaggy falling oh-so dramatically and amusingly,you know what I meant, stop laughing, it hurt), and I fractured my(tail) bone(I refuse to call it what it is, just Google it!) which resulted in a pained back. My doctor explained to me I would be sore for months and forever endure bad back pains. I did and still do sometimes. At 16 I have a bad back, Oh, how sad. Anyway, that caused me to wonder, does riding a horse provoke further back issues(I've had none for a while now)? So I did a little, and I mean a little, research and found this:

Sitting on a horse, as we all know, requires good and stable core strength which aids your back. Slouching tends to cause us our back pain, so sitting straight in the saddle does and our backs. Physically giving our horses commands requires a certain amount of strength from all of us, not just our back, this also helps. A smooth trot, easy canter and nice gallop(I wouldn't know as I still am trying to canter without tipping over) wouldn't do hard either. So see?! Horses keep us healthy and poor! Yay us! 

Nothing gets me more excited than the thought of mucking a stall or chucking haybales, seriously it's awesome work! Unfortunately, for those of us with aching back, haybales, mucking stalls and even heaving saddles puts uneeded strain on our backs which will provoke pain and perhaps more issues. But, on the bright side, that means we get out of all the work outside OF riding.... Hooray! 

Another issue I have is terrible lungs. They're horrid. I've gotten pneumonia 5-6 times in my 16(almost 17)years of life, each time worse than before. I now require two inhalers,one is fast acting and the other a steroid that gives time to get to the ER. Last time I fought pneumonia was bad. Both lungs filled with fluid and my inhalers barely helped, I was literally one breath away from the hospital. My doctor labeled me an ashmatic. Yay. Dusty enviroments(like a stable or haybarn)are place I should avoid but instead try to live. Sports are a big no, too much strain on my lungs. Heavy,hard,manual labor should be avoided,again,too much strain. I basically should avoid my beloved horses, but I don't. I'm a stubborn, dogged,pesky kid who adores horses, hates needles and heights and is a medical catastrophe on legs who's in love with horses. 

Horses are also great stress relievers and therapist, Oh, and they keep kids too poor for drugs,so,major plus here. They see for the blind, assisting them and others with physical or emotional ailments to see the barely visible light of hope in front of them. Nothing is better than going in with little to no confidence and leaving full of confidence and courage in yourself. Reading articles about a blind or autistic rider on a blind or troubled horse and having them three together is heart - warming. 

Horses=Happiness which equals Healthiness too, so, in the end, Horses are a literal God-send and good for our Health, so we need them more than dogs and cats and oxygen.... ;) 

That's my contribution for today~Paula Stevens 


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Comment by Paula Stevens on February 22, 2015 at 11:36am

Oh, no. This was a past injury. It happened a while before I even started riding at all. :) 

Comment by Jackie Cochran on February 22, 2015 at 10:08am

I'm so sorry to read about you breaking your tailbone.  Bummer.

Take it slow on horseback.  My back was messed up due to a drunk driver plowing into my car head on decades ago.  I did not break any bones, but it took me a few years before I could ride without back pain, but my damage was further up around my waist.

I have found considerable help from the Back on Track back "brace" (not really a brace) and their Boxer shorts.  These are pricey, but to me they are worth every penny I spent on them.  The back brace helps my back when it starts hurting, and the boxer shorts help the pain from my hip bursitis when it flares up.  Not a cure by any means, but they may help you too.

Good luck! 

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