Horseback riding and a J-pouch

by on Thursday, March 12, 2009 8:14
This entry is filed under: open thread

photo by kimncris

A fellow J-Poucher (Jeffrey in LA) wrote us a personal email and asked us the following question.  Since we didn’t have an answer for him, we thought we post the question here and see if anyone has any thoughts:

Jeffrey asked:

A friend invited me to go horseback riding but I’m worried it make me have to empty the pouch.  You know, the rocking motion, the occasional smack of the saddle catching you in the butt.  Just wanted to know if any one on your site with a pouch has gone back to riding.

Well, anyone have any thoughts?  I think we can answer this with any activity that might have a rocking motion like riding a motorcycle or training for NASA space flight mission.

These posts might also help out:

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

38 Responses to “Horseback riding and a J-pouch”

  1. avatar

    Lizz says:

    March 12th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Well, I love horseback riding and have gone several times since having the Jpouch. A lot of it depends on the horse. Some are rougher than others. I never felt that I had to empty the pouch, but would be sore for a few days after from the jarring motion. Of course, one weekend I went out on a wave runner for 2 hours and then went horseback riding the next day. I’d go for it. I try not to miss out on any experiences b/c of it, but be aware that even a person that has a colon and does not ride regularly will be sore.


  2. avatar

    Jeffrey H. says:

    March 12th, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Well, here’s the concern. Sometimes I press on my lower back to empty out all the way. I’m just concerned the back of the saddle hitting my lower back will… you know.


  3. avatar

    Redheadedmama says:

    March 13th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I agree with Lizz that you should go ahead a give it a go. As a formerly competitive equestrian, I can tell you that no type of saddle (either English or Western) should hit your lower back. The contact points are your sitting bones on the saddle and your legs, even if you are a beginner! I even rode with my ostomy, no problem, so I think you should be fine. Have fun!


  4. avatar

    Eric says:

    March 13th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Wait, are you talking about an Ostomy bag? or your internal J-pouch? I can see your concerns about the ostomy bag, but you shouldn’t worry at all about it affecting your J-pouch. I’m a long distance bicycler, no problems there (except the need to drink more water than before), I do back-country ski trips where I’ve jumped off cliffs, etc., and tumbled down the hill, no problems there. And riding downhill on a mountain bike will jar you more than a horse, and no problems there. I was a horseback rider as a child, so I’m not just speculating, I wouldn’t give riding with a J-pouch a second thought. During my surgeries, though, my stoma wasn’t very well formed, so leaking was a problem. I probably would have skipped riding with my stoma/bag.


  5. avatar

    Jeffrey H. says:

    March 14th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Thanks for your feedback. I do all the things with my pouch that the colon-gifted do: traveling, yoga, working out, etc. But your generous posts have reminded that having a pouch shouldn’t hold me back from doing anything, short of entering a chili eating contest. I’ll checkin in a few weeks about how the horse riding went.
    Great website! Thanks, Mark and Megan.
    Jeffrey H.


  6. avatar

    Tracy says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    My horse and riding are my medicine! No matter how crummy I may feel before I go out to the barn, I feel better after riding. My beautiful horse is so magical and the riding itself gets me out and in the air, moving my body and am focused on my horse and my ride which makes it a very meditative experience too. Enjoy!


  7. avatar

    NORMA says:

    March 20th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I rode horseback shortly after the first surgery, bag and all. The horse seemed to sense that it and was incredibly gentle. Go ahead and enjoy life….live, love and laugh. After all laughter is the best medicine


  8. avatar

    Jamie says:

    March 21st, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I also agree with Norma that animals sense things. Both when i had my iliostomy and when i came home after my jpouch creation/takedown my dog just knew that he had to be gentle. When i had my iliostomy, i was afraid he may want to paw at the bag from the smell. However, he just laid down and actually just put his head on my bag. It was so sweet. Same thing with recovery from my second surgery. He just lays down and muts his head on my belly as if he is protecting it. I think all animals may have similar senses. Hope I don’t sound like too much of a crazy for posting this :) Good Luck!


  9. avatar

    Jeffrey says:

    March 21st, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    You responses are so encouraging. I’ll be climbing back in the saddle next weekend and will report back here. It’s heartening to know that J-pouchers can survive and thrive, enjoying the simple pleasures that were stolen from us for so long. Thanks again.


  10. avatar

    Jeffrey says:

    April 14th, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Thanks, everybody who responded, for encouraging me to get back in the saddle. It was worth it! It was a two hour ride over challenging terrain in the Santa Monica mountains. A lot of my riding skills and “feel” for it came back to me. I had no problem with my pouch. At one point it started to fill up but I just held it in with no problem. I did it all: cantoring, loping, switching diagonals, posting and all with no problems. It had been so long since I rode that I was sore in the usual places, i.e. inner thighs and butt.
    It reminded me how much I enjoy being around horses. Since my takedown a year and a half ago, I’ve reclaimed several milestones like many of you: driving, going out to restaurants, traveling, and doing all the things normal people do. But horse riding was my last big hurdle.
    Thanks again!
    Jeffrey H.
    Los Angeles


  11. avatar

    Camli says:

    April 23rd, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Wow this post is so oddly specific for me! I’ve been debating on whether to pick up riding again and I believe I may be convinced, haha.


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