Most lady riders view pregnancy as a double-edged sword; it is a time of great excitement but you are going to miss those long days in the saddle with your horsey best friend. Horses keep us very busy and if you own a horse, you will still need to carry on with all the yard chores. Try and use the extra time in a positive way, to do something you wouldn’t have had the time for when you were riding, to help others perhaps or to give something back to the industry and sport that you love. If you are not horse riding when pregnant then take a look at our top 6 suggestions for ways to stay involved.
- Study for a stable management exam – time out of the saddle will give you the opportunity to open some textbooks and study for exams such as the British Horse Society stage exams or Horse Owner’s Certificate. You may just want to increase your knowledge base. Complex areas of anatomy – the structure of the horse’s leg below the knee and hock – or feeding are all topics which will help you look after your own horse both now and in the future
- Volunteer at your local Pony Club, Riding Club or village show – most equestrian events rely heavily on volunteers. There are so many roles to fill on the day from putting up jumps, picking up poles, acting as a steward, taking entries in the Secretary’s office to even making the tea! Most local horse trials have a dedicated band of helpers particularly fence judges and you don’t have to get involved in a frontline role if you need periods of time sitting down or taking a break
- Fundraise – raise money for a local rescue center or Riding for the Disabled Group. Organize a quiz night, horsey car boot sale or cake sale, a lot of the larger charities have fundraising packs to help support those who want to get involved making it even easier. It is a chance to mingle and socialize with lots of horsey people as well as doing something really substantial to benefit the welfare of less fortunate horses and other horse riders. You never know, you might just encounter some other ladies who are not horse riding when pregnant and you can pool your resources
- Groom for a friend – who doesn’t need an extra pair of hands when they take a horse out to compete. You don’t always have to do the frontline jobs such as tacking up or putting studs in, buying that all important cup of coffee, providing moral support or being the driver is just as important
- Enjoy a taster session carriage driving – something you can manage with a bump or just sit back and enjoy the ride. It is not quite the same as riding but not horse riding when you are pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t experience the sensation of a horse walking and trotting
- Start an equestrian micro business – this could be as simple as cleaning tack, a chore most owners are looking to avoid or tack cleaning for competition. If you are a talented plaiter then you could hire your skills to plait manes and tails before a show or if you want to sit at the kitchen table, then braid tail hair into keepsakes and memento’s, a hugely popular craft to remember that special horse. Maybe your skills lie in the written word. What about starting a Facebook group or even your own blog, the perfect way to stay connected with the entire equestrian community. A small equestrian business can grow over time and can generate income and give you the flexibility you will need with a new baby
Horse riders can view pregnancy as a bit of a mixed blessing. The arrival of a new baby is incredibly exciting but missing time out of the saddle is not so good. There are however many reasons why people have to remain dismounted for a while; illness and injury are two good examples. Most riders take the view that horse riding when pregnant is not such a good idea because of the risks to the baby. It’s all about putting that time to good use and not feeling disconnected from or deprived of your previous equestrian life.