Horseback Riding for Gym Class

From 1993 through 1997 I would travel once a week from my school to a local riding stable where I’d spend my morning riding horses,  to then return to school for an afternoon of normal classes

Horse mirroring square hc

Image by Mario Pierro (IT) via Wikipedia

The Pain

When I started I loved the connection I had with the horse, as I have always loved animals, but one thing I did not prepare for: the pain that this newly beloved activity caused. Sitting on the back of a horse, stretches my muscles in ways I didn’t know and for that matter I am sure it stretches muscles I didn’t know I even had. Needless to say it was pain I had never known before.

The joy of it always outweighed the pain; I was getting physical activity without feeling like I was! I looked forward to Tuesday morning when I would leave school at 9:30 with the school day starting at 8:45 to get back on the bus to go to the barn where I would ride an hour and come back to class with the school day half over, awesome if you asked me!

The Freedom of Movement

Nothing feels better to me as someone with cerebral palsy then the walking motion of a horse. It emulates a normal gate something I don’t independently know of my accord. This type of movement is really only otherwise known for me when swimming. I haven’t been on a horse since I had to stop in 1997 when it became to physically painful to continue. I have since had surgery for hip dislocation and could probably tolerate it, and perhaps even enjoy it again. However, I am a little apprehensive as my last memories on a horse were painful.

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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook
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3 Responses to Horseback Riding for Gym Class

  1. Glynis says:

    Laura,
    If you ever have the chance to do it at no cost to you, please consider doing it. I haven’t been on a horse since I had the stroke when I was 17. I now live in Tennessee where you can see horse ranches as you ride the highways in the state. I daydream of being able to ride again. The only reason I haven’t is the cost. I’m considered high-risk to I’d have to pay more that the local tenderfoot.

  2. to my knowledge this is now zero risk to me but the normal discomfort of streaching muscles which I haven’t used in ages as for as fincially I would be willing to pay but am a little nervious about the hip discomfort :(

  3. Emily says:

    I started riding when I was 14 and I LOVE it. I think it’s so cool that you got to do that for gym.

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