LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Sir — I agree with Laura Tomlinson about pregnant riders (opinion, 15 November), but every pregnancy is different and a rider’s level of fitness and skill will determine whether or not to ride during pregnancy. For example, a professional rider has a different level of neuromuscular control compared to that of an amateur.
As pregnancy progresses, our musculoskeletal system must adapt to our expanding abdomen and new centre of gravity. These changes make it more difficult to maintain our alignment and balance, so can have repercussions on our position in the saddle and, therefore, implications on the horse’s musculoskeletal system as well as our own.
A healthy pregnancy should include exercise, but under the guidance of a suitably qualified professional, and ultimately the decision to ride or not should be based on a full understanding of the risks to the rider, foetus and horse.
An appointment with a women’s health physiotherapist during each stage of pregnancy and postnatally can be hugely beneficial and with this in mind, a woman should feel confident in the decision they make and be immune to the judgement of others. Fiona Taylor, chartered physiotherapist Fordingbridge, Hants