In this instance we are not talking about computer masterminds (although I am sure they get aches and pains too). I am referring to the subset of equestrian enthusiasts that like to have a bit of fun but do not compete seriously.
These people are usually juggling their work with mornings and evenings involving moving hay bales around and a fair bit of ‘muck’ shovelling.
The problem with this is that, unlike those who ride professionally, the happy hacker is often trapped behind a desk for extended periods of time and then suddenly expects their body to be able to do very demanding work without complaint.
I see quite a few come through the door, the most common complaint is a niggly, low level lower back pain that occasionally flares up to the point that they are waking up bent over and feeling miserable.
This is by no means the only complaint, other common problems range from elbow pain (usually because of shovelling various unmentionables) to a very stiff, restricted neck (often after riding a horse who is ‘feeling his oats’ when you spend the whole time with tense shoulders waiting to rocket sideways at the slightest gust of wind) and of course the patient who comes crawling in after a fall.
So, if you fall into this category, what can you do to help yourself?
First thing is to realise that horse riding (no matter what level) requires a fair amount of strength, especially in your ‘core’ if you are lacking muscular strength in that area the joints in your back, in conjunction with the ligaments, will take the pressure and you will know about it. This does not mean that you need to spend hours in the gym, but you may well benefit from some targeted exercises prescribed by someone in the know.
Secondly, set yourself up to succeed, if you know that you are carrying previous injuries, get them sorted now before you do more damage.
If you have any aches and pains (horse related or otherwise) and would like any advice or just a chat, give us a call at WBIC