Saturday, April 2, 2011

being around horses when you're pregnant

I’ve noticed a few changes in my feelings being around horses during my (early) pregnancy.

The first thing I noticed was how huge they seemed. Not just the plus 16 hands mare, but the 15hh ones too. The second (related) thing was that they were crowding into my space outrageously. It was because I was suddenly aware of my own vulnerability, so I was backing away as they came into my space – like a beginner horse person – instead of calmly asserting my boundaries and pushing them out if they got too close (e.g. bumping against me). So, silly as it sounds, it took a few visits to the paddock before I noticed this was happening. I just wondered why they were being so unusually pushy! Once I figured it out (der) it was easy to reassert my space again. Let’s face it, these are sweet elderly ladies, not unruly four-year-olds.

The other change is that I’m not riding. I rode once before I realised I was pregnant, but on finding out I decided to stop. This was partly because I don’t have a horse of my own. I ride a friend’s horses, or take lessons. I didn’t want to put another person in the position of feeling even slightly responsible for my safety while riding. I’m also aware that falling off is a risk you say ‘yes, it’s worth it’ to, every time you get on a horse (much as you prefer it doesn’t occur!). I wasn’t sure that it was a risk I wanted to say yes to with an unborn baby.

I should add that I admire women who ride through their pregnancies and I think it is probably very good for you both physically and mentally. Let’s face it, you take a risk whenever you cross a road or get into a car. I love the idea of riding as long as possible, then leaping back on heroically, a few weeks after birth. Love the idea, but it’s just not for me – let’s face it, I’m getting a ligament ‘stitch’ just doing my usual walk. And my balance, even in second trimester, is just a bit … off. One thing I do mean to do is keep visiting them while I’m pregnant. Because even the smell of them does me so much good!

Here's a pretty balanced view:
(my computer is turning all the superscript on this site into symbols etc)


maria said...

yes Ophelia, there is a vulnerability you feel the more you advance into your pregnancy, I rode a bit when pregnant but as the months passed it just felt better to be on the ground, but still loved being around them,heres a picture i did of just after my last baby was born

Ophelia said...

so sweet! thank you for sharing it!