Published 05-15-2013 3:23 PM | Fernanda Camargo
I am getting back on the saddle after being pregnant and having a baby. I am happy to say that I have a happy 3 month old boy that may very well share my love for horses!
While I was up at the barn everyday when I was pregnant, my doctor frowned on me every time I asked her if I could ride. People have different opinions about the safety of riding while pregnant. Some people think it's OK, and others think it is atrocious. There are obvious risks associated with falling from a horse while pregnant, since now it's not just you that may get hurt in case of a fall.
After one month of being home all day every day to tend to the child, I was invited to attend a hands-on horsemanship clinic. Well, I had acquired a new horse the same week I found out I was pregnant, and, therefore, did not ride her for almost a year. Although she was being handled daily, and was ridden about 20 times during a 10-month period, this Thoroughbred mare was very green!
I thought it was a good idea to take her to the clinic, since by now I was wanting to starting working with her under saddle. I took her to the clinic, she behaved much better than expected (the value of ground work!!!), but we were the horse/handler team the trainer picked on the most! Well, what can I say, I was out of shape, slow in responding, lacked sleep, and the horse had no refinement whatsoever! The spectators thanked me later on for bringing her to the clinic because they "learned a lot"... I thought that was a just a kinder way to tell me I did everything wrong!
At the end of the day, I went back home, but left the horse at the clinic! I thought she'd be better off in the hands of a professional trainer for the next so many weeks before I attempted to ride her! At the end of several weeks the trainer came to my house and suggested that the horse was too much horse for my lifestyle! She would demand a level of commitment and attention that he thought I would not be able to provide her, being that I had a full time job, a horse boarding facility, and an infant (plus 5 cats, a dog, another horse, and a husband!).
That made me think a lot! I love the mare, and she is an amazingly beautiful mover!! But the reality is: how much time, how much riding, how many hours under saddle will I be able to provide to this horse before she becomes trained and a safer mount? After our first ride, and after realizing how green this horse actually was under saddle, and after my buttocks made contact with the arena footing, the answer came to me very quickly: I won't have the time to devote to this horse in the next several months, maybe even a year! And with her personality, the longer she is without a regular training routine, the worse off she will be. I feel it is not fair for the horse to be underutilized and to not have a job.
So I made the decision to send her to a trainer and sell her to someone who intends to ride her at least several times a week. I made the decision to sell her in the name of my safety... and the decision to have someone train her before I sell her in the name of her next owner's safety.
We equestrians have a tendency to think we are super heroes! I was offended when I was told she was not the horse for me! But after I got over the offense, and after a bruised pride, I was able to realize he was right!
As I return to riding after child birth, I will stick to my dependable, solid and honest quarter horse for a while. I am convinced God is yet to make a better horse than her!! And my tip for you is: don't be offended when someone with more experience than you suggests that you need a different horse than the one you own/lease/ride right now. They are looking out for your safety!