May 3, 2011

Half Way There and Still Going!

I'm 20 weeks pregnant at the end of this week and happy to report still riding.  No falls or kicks yet that all the experts warn about.  We've modified our routine only a little bit, no more sitting trot, more canter work as it's much more comfortable, and shorter and slightly fewer sessions.

I will admit I'm more picky on what days I ride, Dexter gets a little frisky on windy cold days, so we stick to the warmer calmer days, which lately are few and far between.  And our sessions only last 30-40 min vs 45-60 before.  This is partly due to my energy level at the end of the day.  And if Dexter is acting less attentive, we get some quick good work in and end the session early.

But overall everything has been great with the riding while expecting.  I still have my balance and most of my core muscles.  I can feel my abdominal ligaments starting to stretch and I know at some point your ab muscles start to separate (really looking forward to that) so I know at some point I won't have the tools to ride correctly, and I've decided that's when I'll stop.... or at least downgrade to walking and working on side passes, turn on the haunches, etc.

I took a lesson last weekend and it was actually one of the most productive lessons we've had in a long while.  The past several shows, the comments have been about loosening Dexter's top line, so all we've been working on is getting him in the right frame and really letting him stretch and reach.  And in the last lesson we got it more consistently than we have in the past.

I'm really lucky to have such an understanding trainer who recently had her own baby so knows what I'm going through and knows what I can and can't do.

I know there are people out there who may think I am taking an unnecessary risk by riding while pregnant, and I don't disagree.  We are all taking on a certain amount of risk every time we mount a horse, pregnant or not.  As of yet the pregnancy hasn't affected my ability to ride so I don't feel that I'm at any greater risk of falling or getting injured that I was before I got pregnant.  Once I feel my balance shift and my muscles give way I'll have to re-evaluate what I can and can't do and go from there.  But I wanted to share some of my progress since there are so few people talking about riding while pregnant other than general time lines.  No one really talks about when and why they quit riding.  I know I'm no expert on horses or babies, but I feel I can at least provide my own journey and experience for those looking for more information.

Next week we find out if its going to be a boy or girl, either way they've already won a few blue ribbons!  Not many babies can say that coming out of the womb. :). 


  1. I say ride for as long as you can. Good for you. Sounds like the training is going well.

  2. The lady who owns Bailey (the horse I used to part board) just quit riding last week, with only 8 weeks left in her pregnancy! I have a lot of admiration for her there. She didn't do much in the last week, but before that she was solidly w/t/c. She emailed me pictures of her and Bailey, and they're so sweet! Memories to have forever. I don't think people think you're doing anything stupid. It really is about how comfortable and safe you feel on the specific horse. I have a lot of admiration for you fir sticking with it and trusting your gut.