Riding for 2 - Tammy Patch's Equestrian Pregnancy Journey.
20TH Mar, 2019
Happily Riding for Two
2018 was a massive year for me. My self-run business, Tamara Bondfield Equestrian (TBE) which included training, re-educating, prepping, competing and breaking in horses was booming. I have been with my now husband for 10years, we decided to get married in September 2018 and then let nature take its course... Well shortly after I fell pregnant. It was exciting and a very joyful moment for both of us, but we both knew things had to change and those concerning pregnancy questions came up…
‘What about my horses and riding?’ This question will depend on the individual situation, but mine was - I don’t want to give up, but I will have to make some changes. I decided to stop taking client’s horses and not jump or event to reduce the risks. So back to hacking and dressage it was.
As much as I love eventing and hope to be back jumping after the pregnancy, I decided I didn’t want my good eventing horses wasting in the paddock, so made the hard decision to send them away to be sold and put some in foal. However, I had recently purchased a young WB Filly, Annie, who had come to mine and I purchased as I fell in love with her from the 1st week. So, I knew she was safe and a comfortable ride, as I had done the hard work of starting her earlier in 2018.
I found out I was pregnant at 5/6weeks due to being terribly sick… Well this morning sickness, or shall I say 24hr sickness, stayed with me until 21weeks, having a few trips to the hospital needing fluids and constant nausea medication, which came back up most of the time, but the sickness is easing and controlled with medication currently. In the earlier weeks of my pregnancy I still had client’s horses and my own horses in work, but really struggled with energy levels and sickness. I finally completed the client’s horses and they were all sent home to happy owners and I had Annie and an OTT TB who had been spelling and had just come in to start. Well, I think 2 weeks work and one weekend competition and I knew I couldn’t keep doing the horses at this stage of my pregnancy, I had no energy and couldn’t even walk 20m outside without being sick. Horses went on a break to my parents and the reason why was expressed with excitement!
With the show season starting, I decided in January to bring back my 2 young mares and put them into work. At this stage I was still sick, and I had only just announced my pregnancy publicly at Christmas. I did a week of groundwork to get the horses back into it, and my husband Todd who is also an experienced and confident rider gave the horses their first ride back, just in case they wanted to try something. I know my first ride after having over a month off was a little cautious and even though I am a confident rider, I had pondering thoughts in the back of my head, ‘What if..?’ But each day I rode I felt more confident again. The two horses I am riding at present are young and green but are safe and no dirt.
At this stage of my pregnancy I am showing a baby bump, my clothing is starting to feel firmer and my energy levels aren’t amazing. However, riding my horses and still giving lessons to riders has helped me continue what I love and keep me fit and social. I have been competing Annie at shows and a few dressage days with great success this year. I am 24weeks (5months 2weeks) currently and I still feel comfortable riding and competing. I hope to do as many competitions as I can before I am too big and uncomfortable to ride but each week is a new experience and I will take each day at a time.
My body has not been sore, nor have I experienced any pains or strains while riding. However I was very horse-riding fit before I was pregnant, working and caring for up to 9 horses a day by myself. My GP and midwife know I ride horses, my mother is also an RN and Midwife who also rode through all 3 of her pregnancy’s, and I have a very supportive and understanding husband who helps when I need it.
Some advice was given to me not to start a new hobby like bike riding or mountain climbing, even though I have no balance on a bike and I’m afraid of heights. I have no intentions on starting a new pastime; but am happy to continue what I regularly do in a safe manner. I will continue to ride until I feel uncomfortable and feel it is personally time to give it a break. Both Todd and I are super excited for our bundle of joy that is due in June 2019 and have plenty of horses lined up for pony rides once the baby is born!
Happily Riding for Two, Tammy Patch.