Coping With Rider Layup

Mine isn’t going well.

When you’re banned from riding, and can’t exercise, how do you cope? (Read: not stuff yourself with pastry.)
I’ve cleaned what I can. It’s all sparkly.
I’ve organized drawers.
I tackled the geriatric crowd at our barn, cleaning up every mare and gelding over 30. (I can’t risk the non-geriatric horses yanking on me)
I’m in my fat jeans.
My tack is clean.
The fat jeans are tight.
I started organizing my “horse stuff” bins.
I’ve made to-do lists from Hades that should take me into 2020 to even start.
Most frightening? I went on a fingerprint hunt and removed all traces of human existence from our home.  Who does that?

I feel fat.

This makes me want to eat. I need an electrician: something is wrong with my wiring.  Feeling fat should not equal “Okay! I know! Let’s eat!”
I bought fat-free milk (normal) and felt so virtuous (for doing something, um, normal) that I bought a cookie the size of a dinner plate and ate it as a reward for being virtuous.

I need help.

So I’m turning to my fellow riders who’ve been smashed, broken, bruised, hurled and wrenched. HELP!  How do you talk yourself into the carrot sticks and out of the pastry section?

After the poll, I hope you all share your rehab secrets with me, because I’m seriously on the way to gaining 20 lbs.

I hung a swimsuit on the fridge. This is fine if no one else ever uses the fridge.  It’s horrifying to teenagers who bring over friends, and are confronted with a granny suit while looking for snacks.

With cracked or broken ribs, walking hurts. I’m doing it anyway (we’re horse people, we do stuff anyway, right?), and contemplating what aerobic thing I could possibly do at the gym and not come out worse than when I went in.

Any and all suggestions welcome, (short of suicide or wiring my mouth shut).
If any of your ideas work for me: Tiny will personally send you a thank you card.
He eyed me today.  Before backing out of reach, and tucking the bag of carrots behind him.


21 thoughts on “Coping With Rider Layup

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I’ve noticed that people who do not have static IP addresses often have to be re-approved, even though you are already cleared for posting. Probably the blog didn’t recognize your server, but not sure about why it came up anonymous? Nice to see you though, and SO true.

  1. Anonymous

    needlepoint works, too….if the fingers are busy, they can’t place items in your mouth…

  2. ZhiZhu

    I’ve been riding off and on for almost three years and a few months ago had my very first fall. I knew that I would fall sooner or later and had been dreading it. But all of my friends have fallen off and not been seriously hurt, so I figured when it happened, I’d bruise my confidence and maybe a few other things, but that I’d basically be okay.
    Ummmm… NOT! I broke my tailbone, did something screwy to my right hip so that my right leg simply didn’t obey me for a couple of days and dislocated about half my ribs. I didn’t even know you could dislocate ribs, I mean there are no joints in your ribcage, right? Oh well. It’s been over two months and I still can’t sit on a squishy chair or twist my torso without pain. Obviously, I still can’t ride… physically. Emotionally… Well, I guess we’ll have to see what happens once the physical stuff gets better. I’m pretty sure, I’ll be able to get back on.
    Anyway, I’ve gained a few pounds as well. To cope, I’ve been reading lots of books and paying WAY TOO MUCH attention to my chickens. (I’ve never been seriously injured by a chicken.) So, maybe if you have some other animals that you can focus on that are smaller and less dangerous than horses, you can spend some time with them. I’m working on teaching my new hens to fly up and perch on my hand on cue. In the past, I’ve taught my pygmy goats to walk on a leash. And BTW, I have taught some of my cats tricks (one of them loves to play fetch). It is possible, just not easy.
    I hope you finds ways to cope and that you get better soon.

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      OW. That is a lot of pain for a first fall. I am so sorry.

      As for way too much attention to the chickens, it sounds normal to me. Hey, you’re not eating while training chickens, right? So you get the Good Recovery Award!

      Seriously, I hope you recover quickly. The problem with breaking things: you can’t go the the chiropractor to get other things put back in place until the broken things heal. Keep us up to date on your recovery!

  3. Halt Near X

    I find new projects to immerse myself in when I get hurt, preferably something that takes two hands so it’s harder to eat.

    Usually a new website, sometimes a quilting project. When I pulled my shoulder last month, Guitar Hero was my friend.

    Trick-training cats does not work so well. Just FYI.

  4. halfpass

    Having been here a number of times, I must confess I don’t know the answer….other than do whatever horsey thing you can… I do have to disagree with the acquired fat remarks however….I battle for every ounce, so if you can find a way to stay in shape or at least at the number at the scale you can live with, please do so, for the sake of your soul as well as your sanity….

    I realize I’m nor being very helpful but wanted, at least, to express my soldarity….


      1. theliteraryhorse Post author

        I too have to fight for every ounce. It was very helpful to get both: the world won’t end if I gain a little (little being the operative word), and I should stay on track and not say (as I am prone to do) “what the heck, I might as well eat everything. That paint looks interesting.”

        After 6 weeks I’m going to be very out of riding shape. If I add a bunch of weight to that, it’ll screw up my body memory, since I carry myself differently at different weights.


  5. lizgoldsmith

    Okay, when I broke my rib I will admit that I started riding again maybe 2 weeks after the event. Only at a walk. Only for 10 minutes. But it scratched the itch at least a little. My doctor seriously did not approve so I stopped asking here what I could do.

    Here’s what I suggest. Buy Jim Masterson’s CD on acupressure techniques for horses. It’s amazing. Then go to the barn and make all the horses there feel happy.

    I will lend you mine but you must swear to send it back or I’ll have to fly to California to reclaim it!

    When you feel well enough, teach a horse to long line or practice working in hand. When I was very, very pregnant I did both. I couldn’t move well or fast but it didn’t seem to matter.

    Feel better soon!


    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I watched ALL the videos, and am using some of the things I remember (why do broken ribs affect one’s memory??) on Starr, the lovely old girl who is stiff and creaky. She loves it. Also using it on Hudson, but that’s a post. 🙂

  6. AareneX

    Truthfully, there’s not much besides intestinal flu that will keep me out of the saddle…and how long can the flu last, right?

    I have ridden with sprains, breaks, and all kinds of stuff that would ground a normal person…the trick is to take it easy and maybe only ride 25 miles instead of the 50 or 75 miles you had planned to ride. (seriously, endurance riders are drain bramaged by definition).

    That said, the last time I did a serious tweak to my back and couldn’t drive because I couldn’t get into the truck without two able-bodied assistants to hoist me there, I spent a lot of time watching horse movies (ummm, buttered popcorn), surfing the net for horse sites (chocolate doesn’t melt on the keys if you eat it quickly enough) and reading horse training books (chips & salsa go well with books, I think). Not a time of weight loss, clearly. But I learned some stuff I might not have had time to learn, so it wasn’t a complete waste of pain.

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Looking at what you can do, instead of what you can’t, is a wonderful idea. Broken ribs have left me with more time to just…be…with horses, and (rats) more time to work and research.

  7. Wolfie

    Why is it when you are at home and not allowed to do any activities, you get so hungry you could eat paint?? This is going to sound weird, but when I was recuperating from surgery, I ate crushed ice….bags of it. 🙂 I found that it satisfied that hand/mouth action, and the crunchiness fooled me into thinking that I was actually eating something. Besides, water is good for you! Good luck with your recovery.

  8. Marissa

    I’ll have to see if I can dig up the picture of me in high school, riding my mare with one arm in a sling. I’m not so good at rehabbing. I hope the ribs start hurting soon but good not to push it. As for avoiding the pastries, let me know if you have any luck coming up with a solution. I’m involved in an intimate longterm relationship with men named Ben and Jerry, as you know.

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Thanks this helped too. So hard not to push it. Want to tape them up and get on board. Good advice.

      And I’ve come up with a good solution: ask for help and use every bit of it that works. I think Tiny is going to be sending out a lot of cards, not just one.

  9. enlightenedhorsemanship

    Ok, As one who wasn’t called “crash” for nothin’, I have been where you are more times than I care to admit.
    Your recent, er, “hangup” has caused me to think a lot about how people approach sports and either do or don’t get hurt. And then what they do about it. But that’s a post for another place.
    What I have to say to YOU is

    knit a cooler or an Irish knit thingy. this will give you ample opportunity to visit and measure and fuss, but not do anything potentially dangerous. It doesn’t involve food in any way. you get a lot of product for your process, and folks will think you are a genius. Use big needles (circular!) and chunky linen/cotton yarn, and sew on your binding. I vote for green. By the time you are finished, your ribs will have knitted too!
    About the weight, I wouldn’t worry if I were you (me, that’s another story). Once you are back in the saddle, it will melt off. No granny suit needed.


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