Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
05/05/2013 at 13:27
Hi all, long time lurker on hitched and now here. This will be our first month trying to conceive baby number one, and i though i would ' come out ' so to speak and try and join in a bit.
I have a lovely supportive but unhorsey husband, and a fab network of horsey friends that would be able to help when or if we get pregnant.
I own a lovely gentle very safe mare, who over the years i have evented, show jumped, hunted but more recently just enjoyed and done plenty of hacking and a few local low key shows and hunter trials.
Just wondered about the logistics and how you all juggle babies and horses, and horses and being pregnant and even horses and ttc?
Thanks for your help and look forward to lots of chatting, and hopefully pregnancy and baby chit chat.
05/05/2013 at 13:32
Welcome to MD, I have no idea about the horse-baby logistics though there are MDers who have managed it. Good luck!
05/05/2013 at 13:55
Welcome to MD and good luck TTC. I am sure workinghard will be able to advise on all things horsey x
05/05/2013 at 15:23
Hi, I'm don't have horses any more (sold my last one before I married) but my horsey friends who have had babies have made it look surprisingly easy. They do however tend to have good support networks and/or at least part livery or the horses live out.
There are a number of MD'ers who have horses, Working Hard, Hollywood, Autumn Rose and Horse Fan spring to mind. Mrs 50's too, who is expecting her first.
05/05/2013 at 19:34
Hello and welcome! I have a now quite old horse, a 4 year old child and due no 2 anyday now, oh and I work full time!
How well you manage I think depends on how much help you have with the horse, how relaxed you are with horse in terms of allowing other people to do stuff with it, and how hands on your H is with baby. Mine is very unhorsey but he's a great dad. In terms of TTC I didn't do anything differently with my horse as you just don't know how long it'll take. With no 1 my own horse was lame for the duration of my pregnancy pretty much but I rode something else until about 20 weeks just plodding about the school. I was still mucking mine out, walking him in hand etc until I had my son very early. I was back down the yard the day I got out of hospital and back on 2 weeks after birth! Baby one was in hospital for nearly 4 weeks so I made the most of it but even when he came home I went to the yard everyday. I'd feed before I left and H looked after him. I think you have to start as you mean to go on so your H and baby get used to you not being there all the time. For me my horse was and still is my escape and my time for me which with a baby is much needed. On mat leave I'd also take him to the yard with me, I'd sling to turnout and bring in. Horses are innately good with small children. Mine is so much gentler with S than me! In fact S now rides him on the lead rein once a week as he's an angel.
I stopped riding as soon as I had my bfp this time as I didn't feel it was worth the risk having had a mc last year. Initially I had a sharer but it didn't work out so I've been lunging once a week and s rides him once a week. I keep my horse on DIY but share t-out and bring in duties with a friend. I won't lie, the bringing in part has been hard work as mine walks quickly! Mucking out is fine. I semi deep litter to keep effort to a minimum so skip out daily and muck out once a week. I've put on more weight this time and my boy is 22 now so will have to take my time before getting back on.
What I'd say is if you aim to keep your horse competition fit you will seriously struggle if you work full time too. You just can't do it all. I ride probably 4 days a week which keeps mine ticking over and means I get time as a family too. I try and not so much on one day a weekend so my day is devoted to S.
I hope all that makes sense!
Good luck ttc
05/05/2013 at 20:04
Hello!! Welcome to MD! I have a horse i currently event. A 14month old, a part time job (i'm a teacher and work 3 days a week post baby) and an un-horsey husband! It is possible to combine horses and babies, it's quite a lot of work and you have to really want to do it but it's very possible. I rode until 20 weeks last time, evented until 8 weeks and was placed at riding club national dressage championships at 17 weeks. I had lots of problems with my pelvis though and was ready to stop when i did. When TTC i kept going as usual.
Post birth i was lucky as i had a straightforward natural birth and no stitches. That is something you can't plan for, just hope for! I was back in the saddle at 3 weeks post birth, won a combined training at 7 weeks and back eventing at BE by 10 weeks. It IS possible to keep your horse competition fit and go back to work. It just means very early mornings and riding in the pitch black at night.
I am very lucky in that my husband, whilst unhorsey, is very understanding of my need to ride. It's a way of life and i ride to compete. I wouldn't keep my horse if i didn't compete. He comes with me to events, with baby too. So we have lots of family time too. Over the winter it was too cold to drag P out and about but i competed much less then anyway. I breastfeed P until she was 6 months and so last summer i was feeding in the back of the horsebox between event phases!
If you want to do it you can. Some days i feel guilty that i'm riding and not with P, some days i feel guilty if i'm not riding when i should be. P LOVES being outside with the horses though and is in her element at events. I counteract my guilt with being glad of the lifestyle i'm able to give her.
When i was pregnant last time my horse went to live with my sister when i got to 20 weeks. We are hoping to TTC later this year for #2 and i'm hoping to keep him this time and perhaps find someone to hack him out/help with the yard work etc. We'll see how that works out. Life would be easier if i could afford full livery but i can't. He lives at my inlaws which is great but means i have to do him twice a day, no exceptions and have no help. We are mocing this summer and he'll go back on DIY livery.
Always happy to chat horses and/or babies!
05/05/2013 at 21:36
Hiya, I am pregnant, have 1 toddler and 1 horse - it is totally do-able. You need a sling (pushchair just get stuck in mud at field gates etc) and i recommend breastfeeding - especially for those trips to the yard that were supposed to be "5 minutes" and somehow you've ended up staying 3 hours - its much easier to sit down in the corner of a stable/field/tackroom and whip a boob out to feed baby than faffing round with formula/kettles/sterizling etc. Well thats my take on it anyway
Riding & TTC - Dont change a thing. You TTC journey could be months or even years.
Riding & pregnancy - I rode until i was approx 25weeks with #1 (including endurance competition when i was about 10weeks gone) and will probably do the same with this one. Riding itself is fine. Mounting & dismounting became more & more of a problem with a bump!
Now LO is a toddler she loves toddling round the yard in her wellies. The yard is also a dairy farm and LO thinks the cows are totally marvellous. In fact possibly more marvellous than horses. Hmmmm
05/05/2013 at 21:50
Ooo have to tell you this: If you do breastfeed. Either dont ride in your BFing bra or buy a bra with really strong clips, my friend (has a baby) & i had a hilarious ride a few weeks back where we were trotting through the local village and her bra unclips itself, her (ample) boobs escapes and is bouncing around like you might expect a braless-boob to do in trot!!! She has one arm firmly pressed over boobs and the other vaguely steering horse. I am in fits of giggles, with tears rolling own my face, all sense of style gone
06/05/2013 at 10:59
I'm pregnant with our first so haven't tried to juggle the horses and a baby yet, but I have every confidence that it's possible! I own a rather sharp 8y/o mare and a 2y/o filly. I didn't change a thing horse-wise when we were ttc, and I carried on as usual when pregnant to start with. I have suffered quite severely with morning sickness, which kicked in at 5 weeks unfortunately. It was really bad from weeks 7 onwards an I pretty much gave up riding because of it - I was also helping out part time at our livery yard because my YO was off sick, so most days I was mucking out 4 horses plus my own - in between throwing up into the barrow - so had absolutely no inclination or energy to ride!
I think my last ride was about 10 weeks, but it was totally down to not feeling physically up to it - if I had a very reliable and steady horse I may have carried on just hacking about in a leisurely fashion but she's not that type of horse just yet so I took the decision to put her out on loan to a good friends of mine. This has been a big relief in terms of relieving the pressure to keep her in work, plus the time and money - especially when saving for a baby, and knowing I will be going from a reasonable salary to £135 a week maternity pay!
I bought my 2 y/o last summer, knowing that we would be ttc in the new year and thought my time without riding and with a little one would be a good chance to build a relationship with a youngster, ready to back her once the baby is 6 months or so and beginning to get to the stage where he/she can stay at home with daddy for a while. I've had youngsters before though (the 8y/o is homebred) so I have a realistic idea of the time and battles we may have during the terrible twos!
Other changes I have put in place are moving the 2y/o to a new yard, only a mile from my house, which makes everything more convenient. As it is a brand new yard, recently converted, I also got first pick of stables and have chosen the one with a big open bay opposite it so I have somewhere to park the pram and it's the far end of the stable row, so nobody will ever have to lead their horse past my stable (or past the pram). Like others have said, I think BF'ing and slings are the way forward with horses! Although I won't push the pram whilst leading the horse, I still intend on doing some 'pram training' before the baby is born - anything I can do to make the horse more comfortable and less spooky with unfamiliar things the better.
I'm beginning to suffer with SPD (expected as I have benign hypermobility and ongoing hip and lower back problems anyway) so I am aware that my poor husband is going to have to help me more at the yard - eg I can poo pick, but I can't comfortably push a full barrow, and I definitely can't carry full water buckets any more (all of which I did until last week - plus 20kg feed bags, bedding etc - it's the SPD that stops me now, rather than the pregnancy itself).
I can't wait to have a baby and combine it with the horsey lifestyle - I like taking youngsters out for walks in hand to get them some life experience and thinking forwards without horsey company, so I'm looking forward to walks like this with H pushing the pram, or with baby in the sling. I think the fresh air and social interaction with other liveries / horses / dogs is great from small children and I think having to fit in with a routine that already exists is really good for them, rather than as a new mum being tempted to let the baby dictate absolutely everything - mine will be back in overnight soon after I'm due (usually come in beginning of Nov and I'm due in Oct) so I'll perhaps get a week to think 100% baby but then it
06/05/2013 at 11:36
Thanks for the welcome and the advice, is good to know their are people who manage to combine babies and horses without too much drama.
I know it is going to be different as for the last 12 years the horse has been my baby, and i have been very fortunate in that my husband has always been very supportive of my very time consuming and expensive hobby, and having chatted about if we are lucky enough to have a baby and how things would change he is saying he would still be as supportive of the horse and my need to ride.
Is good to know you can manage to compete both while pregnant and with babies/toddlers in tow too, as despite horses aging years we still enjoy a day out here and would prefer not to have to hang up our competition boots completely.
Stopped taking the pill 4 months ago now and cycles seemed to settle pretty quickly, it's actually quite scary after 15 years trying to not get pregnant to get my head round it all, and we decided to start with to try to not take things to seriously and just hope for the best so fingers crossed.
Horsefan your boob out story reminds me of a long hack out the summer before last with a friend on a rare very warm day, i was trying to avoid a typical horse riders tan, so as we were walking along chatting i slipped my bra straps and vest straps off my shoulders. We had been wandering and chatting for ages and friend suggested a trot and a bit of a canter, so off we went trotting along and just as she picked up canter i had this strange feeling of something tight round my stomach, thought nothing of it, cantering along and noticed some dog walkers coming towards us so steadied up trotted and then slowed to walk, friend turned to talk to me and almost wet herself laughing, my bra was still vaguely covering my modesty but only just, and my top had slipped right down and has in a tight bundle round my waist. The walkers didn't even smirk so maybe they are used to semi naked woman riding round the country side, friend on the other hand was hysterical while i on the other hand glowed a lovely crimson colour while grappling to get my top back on.
Off to track down somewhere to watch the badminton show jumping and see if the horses all passed the trot up this morning, keeping fingers crossed for William seeing as Mary King is out.
Thanks again, advice all much appreciated.
15/05/2013 at 11:06
I am another who has no experience of this, but will be trying to juggle it.
I had fully intended to ride for as long as I felt able - as I had a horse who I knew inside out and trusted deeply. However, she reinjured a previous (very serious) DDFT tear in March, and having watched her become lamer and lamer in the field, we had to take the devastating decison to say goodbye to her last week
And - having recently found out I was pregnant, that put me in a very difficult position. Not an ideal time to take on and build a relationship with a new horse. In the end, I decided that there is now NEVER going to be a 'right' time to buy another horse, and also that I could not happily reconcile myself to not riding for a year+, which in terms of practicalities could easily turn into effectively giving up horses for many years ... or to having an empty field for all that time. I decided that taking on a new horse was likely to be harder with a small child than in the early stages of pregnancy. So I have just bought a 14.2 haflinger mare - not the horse I would have bought if not pregnant, but I am feeling a bit fragile emotionally at the moment, and obviously need to take care physically ... and she just felt right. The main reason we bough her is that she is sturdy enough and (I desperately hope!) sensible enough for my husband (reasonably competant rider) and 12 year old step daughter (very novice) to ride a bit when I am not able to. So far she is very strauightforwards and sensible, and I have hacked her out a couple of times and felt very safe.
In terms of care - we now have her, and an unridden companion pony. They live at home, and live out - although we are about to build a couple of stables for emergencies, and to save the grazing when it is very wet. Husband is more than capable of making up feeds, chucking out hay, checking water, picking feet and changing rugs etc. He can also ride, so will make sure I don't have to be the first person to sit on her after months off. If complications arise later in the pregnancy, I will probably evict them to the yard where I used to be a livery for a couple of months.
Once the baby is here - I hope having them at home will make thinng easier, in that husband and I can share pony and childcare between us, and everything is fairly quick with no travelling involved or need to deal with a baby in a yard environment. I will obviously only be able to ride when he is home though. He does travel for work, so if he is away for a number of days, I guess it will be no riding, and flinging out hay/feeds water with baby in a sling/in a push chair outside the field gate!
15/05/2013 at 17:18
Ponynut you sneaky lady When are you due?! Talk about baby boom!
15/05/2013 at 18:14
Current due date estimate is Christmas eve! I am desperately hoping not though (if nothing else because getting emergency horse care cover will be a nightmare!)
I haven't outed myself to the online horsey community yet, as it includes people I know in real life, and I can't really have them knowing before my mum! Hanging on until 12 week scan and we know all is well and good.
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