Horseback riding : LUSENET : About Joints : One Thread

A friend of mine just had a total hip replacement at age 47, the result of a childhood illness. She continued horseback riding until her surgery last week, and is otherwise in great shape. Her surgeon says that she can ride horses again after 6 months. Another surgeon told her that he wouldn't recommend it. Any equestrians out there who can give some feedback to an experienced rider with a new hip? Thanks!

-- Amy (, July 11, 2000


I'm concerned with a restriction on horseback riding as well. I'm 53 and have owned and ridden horses recreationally - almost daily - for 35 of those years. I'll endure a great deal more physical pain, and ride, before choosing the pain of acute, chronic depression resulting in the loss of my life's passion.

If I'm unable to ride, within reasonable limits, without fear of damaging a new hip, I feel as if I'm in a bleak no-win situation. Naturally, I'll be reluctant to accept the risks of surgery and the pain of post-surgical recovery if I'm only trading off one pain for another.

What's the reality?

-- Mark (, February 06, 2002.

I had a hip replacement when I was 27.. I am 40 now . I was not able to ride a few (6) years before the replacement. 3 years after I had it I was back on a horse and did just great, in fact, as you know, it was great muscle wise for my hips and rear-end. I had a very serious accident one day, I was thrown ( rode a horse I did not know, and my ego took over when he spooked before I got on and said " I can handle this." anyway, I was seriously injured ( my liver ) which healed itself, and not one thing happened to my hip. I was so scared and I could not believe it...but it was fine.. just stay with an easy ride.. and have fun!

-- Mary Julia Tunstall (, February 25, 2003.

I just had a hip replacement on March 3 and I turned 40 on March 28. It was a congenital defect where the hip socket did not finish closing over the femur head and the ball would try and work it's way up the side of my pelvis when I was NOT riding - painful - and finally found someone who would do the surgery with better odds then "you're too young and the replacement will only last 15 years". This doctor in San Francisco is positive that the replacement will last 30 to 50 years. And, he's already told me I will be back on within 6 more weeks. I feel great - no pain in the joint - have ridden and shown Arabians (saddleseat and park), Appaloosas (Western Stock Medal Classes), and now Quarter Horses in Western Pleasure and Western Riding all my life from the age of 2. My doctor has mentioned doing a study on a few of his clients with hip replacements, including mine, that ride horses. I know he's serious because I go see him in 4 weeks to get fitted for computer equipment for measurements. I would say, like all the others before me, that if you go about the surgery, recouporation time, and physical therapy like you should - there's only you setting the limitations. Try it and see what happens. I've spoken to a few people that compete dressage and they've said that their only pain they have is when they dismount and come back to "gravity on the ground". I haven't experienced it yet but figure it must be something like the tingling and wobbles that come after be astride for hours before stepping off. Who knows, but I will be back on - you can count on that!

-- Kari (, April 25, 2003.

I just took up riding gain after more than five years sabbatical. I rode for five hours and did a lot of trotting and some cantering. I wound up with an almost immobilizing pain in my back. After a week, I still have it. HAs anyone else experienced such a thing? I am not young, in my fifties, but I rode all of my young life without such problems. Any help? I don't want this to happen again. Thanks

-- Anita Mallick (, February 20, 2004.

I am 54 years old and have been suffering with osteo-arthritis for about 8 years. I have had my Tennessee Walker stallion for 19 years, since he was two and only in the last month have figured I cannot ride safely and comfortably. I am told I must have both hips replaced. I have spoken with a lot of people in the united Kingdom who have had hip replacements and now ride, even hunt. Here Dr's. have always told me "no". Recently I have heard a lot of success for riders with ceramic hip replacements. I MUST be able to ride again. I have virtually no other serious interests, I also pay to board my horse and cannot bear to part with him even if it breaks the bank! Any words of support?

-- Georgiana Steele-Waller (, April 03, 2004.

I just found this page while looking for the same answers. I am 51, and have spent my life, until the past year, on the back of a horse. I've had my two horses since 1981 and 1986, I used to game but now I just wish to trail ride the old kids. My hip became dislocated at exactly the two week point because I had to go to the emergency room for the un-operated leg. I NEVER wish to feel that pain of dislocation again. I'm glad I found this site, because it gave me a ray of hope. Thank God a friend is coming over on monday to hold the horses for the farrier, I could never do it right now, as I am in a body brace from the dislocation, it's been 6 weeks since my surgery. Yippe I o ky aaaaaa....

-- Stephanie in Wisconsin (, April 24, 2004.

I'm 48, had my hip scoped for a torn labrum 4 years ago. The scope accelerated the osteoarthritis. The same doctor now tells me I need a replacement and don't wait till I'm sixty. A friend who sells the hips says if I fall it's not the replacement that will shatter. My surgeon says he has double hips riding and there's no more chance I'll break it after the replacement, if I fall, than there is now. Another thread I was reading implied I may have difficulty spreading my good thing too far. I have trouble swinging my leg over the saddlebags now. The intense riding pain is nearly gone by the next morning. I'm hoping to make it to fifty before I replace it.

-- (, June 23, 2004.

I actually have a question. I read where people are talking years of bad hips and replacements to even ride horses. Which implant was used in these surgeries. I had a major life threatening accident at 16. I am now 38. I still have a hip locked into a 45% angle it was brought down to a 45% after suffering a few years with a 90% lock. I was told I am to y0oung and even now the debate is on over this issue. I cant walk or run or anything. I was told by a Dr Cannon after xrays (recent views) I have a 90 year old hip in a 38 year old body. I cant find a Dr to do the surgery. They say with a 22 year neglect they are worried on tendons and a 2 1/2 inch leg shortening to the right leg. Which hip replacement is being used that yall are even told a 10 - 15 year lasting is expected and what Dr?

-- Lill Harsh (, July 19, 2004.

Hi, It is me again. Well, on the 17th August 2004 I had a total hip replacement at Kaiser Sunset and am so pleased I have just asked to have the other one done. The Dr. (Dr Alexander Miric, a miracale worker!) gave me the OK to ride again after only three months! I am so very pleased that technology finally caught up with my goals for my ailments! I have nO pain, no stiffness. Even the all the rules don't seem to apply as I find no strain in crossing my legs or bending over or raising my leg at more than the requisite 90 degree angle. I was able to drive after three weeks instead of six and it was my right hip too.I went to home to London and over to Paris in November and was finally able to walk around again! I haven't gotten on my horse as yet for the simple reason that I need the arena and the unusual torrential rains here in So. Cal. have flooded it so that it is chained closed. Also I need either someone to ride him first or hold him whilst I mount as he is a stallion and hasn't been ridden since last April. Also my left hip may hold me back. But I am so glad to have my life back after over 8 years of pain, discomfort and the haze of pain pills. Just a note, I have climbed into the saddle on the rack and it is fine.

-- Georgiana Steele-Waller (, January 09, 2005.

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