After my daughter was born I felt like a huge part of me was missing. I really struggled with letting go of who I used to be and embracing my new role as my tiny humans live in slave. I was simultaneously celebrating my new role as a mum, and grieving the loss of who I used to be. Melodramatic? Maybe. But, as a mum I am sure that you understand how the arrival of a baby can also bring on the arrival of a MAJOR identity crisis. Fast forward 16 months, and I’m now back doing the sport I love. But let me tell y’all now that it is not without it’s challenges. Learning to ride the first time was a difficult enough, learning to re-ride after having a baby, well that takes the cake. That’s why today I wanted to get a little bit personal and talk about the things that no one tells you about returning to horse riding after babies…
Horse riding after babies is harder
Like, a lot.
When I started riding lessons again recently I had been out of the saddle for a good 2-3 years, and everything I did before that was pleasure riding. I’m not even going to count the two lessons I had last year because they seem pretty insignificant compared to now riding every week.
I found returning to riding very difficult physically. I’m attributing part of it to the fact that my daughter was delivered by emergency c-section and that my core strength (and as a result, my balance) was, and is still, pretty poor.
Aside from being physically difficult, it’s also harder in a lot of other ways. There are time constraints, having to justify to your spouse or family why you want to ride, finding someone to mind the kids, the lack of funds that having a baby and being on maternity leave bring… I could go on. Being a mum and having a child throws a whole other level of difficult in to the equation.
Horse riding after babies is scarier
For me this was definitely a big one. I struggled with confidence issues before I had my daughter and they didn’t disappear after she was born. If anything they were something I thought about even more. Having this tiny human rely solely on me was scary, because what would happen to her and how would her life be impacted if I got injured or hurt whilst riding.
I must admit I still get nervous before each ride but what I’ve found has really helped is taking structured lessons and having a coach who pushes me outside my comfort zone in a safe and secure space. I’m able to celebrate little wins, and each little win feels like a step to overcoming that nervousness.