Any stage 4 peep horse riders out there? Opinion sought.

Horse riding has been a passion of mine since childhood, but I stopped when I was diagnosed with secondary BC. There was no physical reason for stopping (no pain), but my original Onc told me I would probably only survive 18-24 months, so I guess I lapsed into depression, and thought my life was about to end. However as I have now survived for 29 months, and as far as I know my current status is NED, my mind has started wandering to taking up riding again.
I heard through the grapevine yesterday, that a mutual acquaintance, has struck hard times (due to divorce), and has decided to sell a horse I have always liked. Trouble is I’m unsure what to do. Part of me thinks I should get it, so that whatever time I have is spent happily, and the other part thinks, that it’s wrong to take on an animal when I don’t know my future (but then again none of us know our future do we?)
The horse is only 6 years old, so if anything did happen to me, my husband could hopefully sell it on quite easily (especially as I would have schooled it up), but I just wonder if it would too much of a responsibility, and generally too much.
Technically I could just go to a hacking out place, but I have been spoilt by very good, well schooled horses, so I know I wouldn’t enjoy riding riding shool plods.
Would appreciate the opinion of others - if there are any.

Not a horse rider myself, frightened of heights and horses too tall!! I would say that if you fancy the idea and can afford to take it on without getting into financial difficulty then I’d go for it. As mets women we’re all very aware, particularly after so many recent losses, that life is precarious, grab it with both hands and enjoy!! xx

Life is too short, go for it girl.
It is not because you are stage 4 that you can’t go ahead “just in case”.
You would not do anything in life “just in case”. Not go out, not have children.
Our problem is that we have this Sword of Damocles hanging above our head and we keep worrying about what if. But every single human being will have the same fate as us. We are so much more aware of it.
Go and enjoy life now.

Thank you Julie and Vercors.
Well I’m not rich (as you know Julie), but hubby retired at Christmas so have a little nest egg. It’s not the money side of things, it’s whether something will happen in the future, and I won’t be able to cope, and will be dependent on others to sort out my responsibilities.
I know if I had to have chemo again, and felt rough, I could ask my daughter to ride (she’s a good rider), but I wouldn’t want to impose.
I just wonder if anyone else with secondary BC rides, and how they find things.

Hi there,
Sounds a lovely idea - could you perhaps take it on loan first to see you get on. Would it be possible to have it on livery somewhere so you haven’t got all the heavy work to do - especially come the winter?
I bought a horse shortly after my BC diagnosis (primary) and actually she was too much for me but I have put her out on loan and yes she is an expensive pet but i still get a lot of pleasure from seeing her being worked. I know you have a full life (from reading your other posts) but it is good to have something to focus on totally unrelated to BC - go for it!

Hi Lemongrove

I dont have secondary BC, but am an avid horse rider and managed to keep riding while having chemo last year.

Just a thought, why not take the horse on, but look for a sharer. As the owner, you would be in charge. Whether you ask for a financial contribution will depend on your circumstances, but it would give you a bit of a safety net if you did become unwell and it would mean that you would get help now with the work/exercise to ensure you don’t overdo it.

Good luck - I’m sure horses are good for the soul!

Hi Lemongrove

I dont have secondarys but do have 3 horses.
My advice … Go for it why not? Enjoy him for as long as you can I found that when going through chemo last year they kept me going when I felt really yuk still went to see them. If you keep him on a livery yard as I do there I am sure there will be lots of people who will help if you are not up to it for a couple of days ( At least there are on mine) Mine are all on DIY and I had lots of people who offered to do them while I was having treatment and a couple of times I did take them up on help. And that was with 3 to do!

Hi Lemongrove.

I have two ponies, one elderly Dales mare and a younger ride and drive mare (I don’t use her for driving).
Since I have had ANC I have found it difficult to hold younger one, probably due to the way she way driven (hard into the bit) and she has been with a friend who will probably keep her as I am not sure I have the nerve to ride her thinking I can’t hold her back if necessary. I have found this really sad as she is a lovely girl but not worth risking lymphodema for (told I am high risk).

My elderly mare is still at home and with Bute is still ok to ride gently round the village. I am also planning to try riding at a local school that has well schooled Andalusian horses. My OH says never say never and hopes that if I regain my nerve I will perhaps find the horse for me. He calls it my “horse therapy”. I am lucky that I still have my lovely dear old pony at home to say hello in the morning.

I think I have just put down my angst in replying which is not the question you asked… but I would say that if your OH is behind you go for what makes you happy. My OH says that when I am on a horse I have a real smile and that is worth a pot of gold. May it be the same for you. xxx

Hi Lemongrove,

I would say definitely ‘go for it’! I have 2 horses - a wonderful
cob and a rescue New Forest pony. Horses are such good therapy and riding my cob(Jiggy) helped me so much after diagnosis last year.
I rode throughout chemo(only gentle hacks!) but it helped keep me sane.
Family and friends helped out when I was feeling rough so good to have
some back-up.

Good luck!


Thank you all for your positive replies. This morning I was in two minds, but I think I’m going to go ahead.Seems to me that none of us know what tomorrow will bring, and if I allow cancer to dictate how I live my life, then it has really won (and I might as well be dead already).
I’m not an irresponsible person, and even if things go pear shaped health wise, I know my family will ensure the horse doesn’t suffer.
Jiggyjoo, I’m really impressed that you managed to ride while on chemo. I had chemo every three weeks, and was OK for the first three days, and the last seven days, but the time in between was spent laying of the sofa sleeping.

Good! Think you should go for it and am sure IF SOMETIME in the future you need more help you’ll find a way.So go girl and enjoy!! xx

My thoughts are that if you want to do something, and you “can” do it, then you should do it. Simple as. If it gives you pleasure and hurts no one then do it. What would life be without pleasure? without things that interest us, that give us joy? Live for today. Grasp it with both hands and squeeze every drop of life out of each moment.

I want to depart this life skidding in to the after life sideways with a glass of champagne in my hand and a big smile on my face.

Hi Lemongrove,

So pleased you have decided to go ahead with your horse. I would second
Supertrouper’s message!

I did feel rough on chemo. but usually had quiet ride on days when
I felt reasonable. I think it kept me sane to have some normality.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Take care. x

Good for you Lemongrove. I have always found that I can tell Gem all my troubles and she just listens and blows in my ear. They are so much more than just to ride. I am in awe Jiggyjoo, I managed to ride occasionally during EC but not at all during Tax. My OH has been brilliant and is now a pretty mean mucker out.

Found this quote which made me smile

In my opinion, a horse is the animal to have. Eleven-hundred pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs - it’s something you just can’t get from a pet hamster. ~Author Unknown

and we need all the empowerment we can get. Julia xxx

Hi Julia,

Love your quote. I would agree - horses are more than just riding.
Sometimes I just sit in the field with them(weather permitting!) and
find it so relaxing. Also grooming and talking to them you can turn the world off!

I did have 6xFEC so maybe slightly easier than TAX?


I managed to ride during tax - just some light schooling and hacking.
I did swap the flighty TB for the steady cob though!


Yes I agree
I was told not to ride or have anything to do with my horse because of the risk of infection and broken bones …
My horse Belle has been my sole focus and after some heavy duty chemo, decided I should get fit enough to ride again. I was told i wouldn’t ever be physically strong enough to ride…I bought a western saddle as a comfort/safety a mechanism and take vitamin D3 to help support my bone strength along with infusions of zometa. I also take capecitabine oral chemo and a Neuropathy vitamin combination as extra support. Many medical professionals had written me off due to ascites and lymphodaema in legs, which has relsolved - and still tell me to NOT RIDE…b*****ks I say. If it makes you happy then go for it girl! As it happens, exercise is highly beneficial for those of us who have stage 4 cancer, but many are either unable to exercise or choose just to sit in a chair all day, well that’s not me!

Best wishes to all out there xx

Well it turns out C has now spread to my spine (C has great timing doesnt it?), and I now have to have rads/change of treatment, so no horse for the time being. But it remains a goal.