View Full Version : Second lesson - bad news
11th Feb 2007, 02:09 PM
Well, went for my second lesson today and it seems I get asthma around horses :( . Particularly not fair as I've never had asthma before.
Last lesson i did get short of breath but blamed it all on my having a cold and being unfit. This time got even more short of breath without having a cold and instructor pointed out 'no-one is that unfit'. Had to give up as felt very very dizzy.
It does make sense - I can remember always feeling a slight bit of tightness when going on to yards but just ignored it. It seems the break from riding has just made it far far worse.
Anyone else with similar probs as stopping riding is not an option as far as I am concerned?
11th Feb 2007, 02:27 PM
would taking antihistimine medication beforehand help? A girl from my yard's OH was allergic to horses and he took Pritize (I think) before he came up and was ok then.
11th Feb 2007, 03:58 PM
I hope so. I am going to see my GP as I am sat here crying about not being able to be with horses - I've waited soooo long to be able to ride again, this just can't be happening.
11th Feb 2007, 03:59 PM
Yes, echo Maddison's girl, I am allergic to alot of other things and have asthma (not horses thank god!) and antihistamines help loads. I'm sure if it was just a max. of an hour a day they should be strong enough to control your asthma. I would also carry an inhaler with you to the lesson just in case the antihistamine is not stong enough by itself as excersise can trigger asthma, particularly if you forget to breathe (as I have been known to do on occasion!)
I really hope you can sort this out, and I understand how you feel. I am also allergic to hay and wood shavings so when I get a horse of my own I will have to wear a mask mucking out! (decorator's masks, they are great!) I hope that helps you. :D
P.S: I wouldn't buy the over the counter ones, they are often weak and sometimes make you drowsy. I would go to your GP and get him/her to prescribe you some, and also ask about the inhaler if you don't already have one. :) (opps cross posted!)
11th Feb 2007, 05:05 PM
antihistamines will definitely help with the allergy.As the exercise triggers your asthma take a couple of puffs on your inhaler beforehand.I had to do that when my asthma was bad and it makes a real difference.
11th Feb 2007, 05:06 PM
I know exactly where you are coming from, as exactly the same thing happened to me when i was 15 and started helping round horses.
its most likely not asthma, but this may have triggered an undiscovered problem. was it just breathlessness, or was your chest tight and hard to breathe either in or out? take antihistamines. i found the 24hr ones were good, from boots, and stopped a reaction when you got home after. take about an hour before your lesson.
Go to your doctor and ask for an asthma review and an inhaler for when you are riding. they will try and convince you to stop but as many people on here can say, doctors dont always know best!:D tell your instructor you have one and get them to look after it.
I needed 2-3 antihistamines a day and my inhaler 10+ times helping at the yard. The good news? i dont need pills at all now, and barely my inhaler! so dont worry, you will build up immunity.
do you groom your horse? if so get one of those paper dust masks to stop you breathing in the dust. groom outside and not in a stable (stops the dust concentrating) and avoid haybarns.
11th Feb 2007, 05:23 PM
Thank-you everyone for the support.
It was the whole trouble breathing in and out thing. Hence the reason why it doesn't matter how many times I walk round in a circle, I don't get my breath back.
Just to prove it - breath mysteriously reappeared when i drove off the yard.
Plan now is 1) get fitter - I am pretty unfit and this won't be helping, 2) see GP and prob get inhaler and antihistamines and 3) build up slowly if yard will let me - I'm thinking initially just hanging around, then walk only etc. so don't freak the instructor out again - or have to be driven from the school back to the office by 8 yr old boy - very embarrassing.
It has to get better - I'm planning on 2 riding holidays this year! - yes, I know this was a bit ambitious after one lesson but you have to have a goal!
Most annoying thing - I AM a doctor and feel I don't have a clue what is going on!!! - RI pointed out 'you aren't just breathless you know!' Unfortunately I'm not a GP and have only ever seen asthma of the completely life-threatening kind, rather than the managed very well kind so have no perspective at all.
11th Feb 2007, 05:37 PM
Yep, sounds like you are doing everything right, my asthma used to be alot worse then it is now, and thats only because I forced myself to be gradually exposed to the 'triggers'. For example, I used to be severely allergic to cats, cat hair would set my asthma off, but now I have two cats of my own! It can work, and I hope it does for you as well.
I only need my inhaler when my lungs are full of gunge (when I have a cold or in the summer...HAYFEVER!) Good luck, keep us updated on how it goes. :D
12th Feb 2007, 12:06 PM
My mum used to ride, and then gave up when we weere kids. A few years later when I was riding she realised her asthma got REALLY bad around horses (she's always had a problem with cats and hairy dogs).
She couldn't even sit in the car with me after I'd been riding.
She got some new tablets from the doctors and can now even sit with my sister cat, so definitely go for it.
13th Feb 2007, 06:20 AM
If asthma or allergies really is the culprit, and you continue to have problems, maybe see if anyone has a curly horse at their barn that you could ride or have lessons on. I don't even know if they have them in the UK, but apparently curlies are hypoallergenic...there was one at my old barn and I was dying to take my allergy-prone friend and force her to touch him, but never got round to it. I'm a mean person ;)
Guess it doesn't cure the problem of being around all the other hyper-allergenic horses though :rolleyes:
13th Feb 2007, 06:34 AM
Indoor sand schools trigger my astma. I use the inhaler before I ride in winter as well. It seams better when the air is warmer. I stoped riding at my riding school because of the indoor school. My yard where I keep the horses is outdoor school only.
BTW If you drive rather than ride, you wont have the problem. I can now trot for hours without getting wheezy, riding I can only last a few minutes.
13th Feb 2007, 07:18 PM
Seeing GP on Thursday - fingers crossed.
From memory, yards have always set off a bit of v mild breathing probs but could hack for hours fine. I just thought I was nervous.
Unfortunately, although all I really want to do is hacking, I'm not currently good enough to do it.
13th Feb 2007, 09:37 PM
Good luck at the GP's. It does sound like an allergy but one other thing to think about is whether you are also tense about riding again? If you found your breathing improved as you drove away, could stress be a factor?
Hope you feel better soon:)
19th Feb 2007, 07:36 PM
Well - have been to GP and am now the proud owner of a lovely blue inhaler.
Worryingly (seeing as I have taught people how to use inhalers) I seem to spend most of the time squirting the stuff onto my tongue or up my nose!
However, since getting it I have realised that I am actually tight chested ALL THE TIME. I think my recent cold, in hindsight more like flu, has triggered it. So, with a bit of luck, this means horses aren't the problem at all.
I am keeping my fingers crossed and going to hang around the yard this weekend.
Thank-you everyone for knowing that giving up horses is not an option.
19th Feb 2007, 08:43 PM
its good to know you have gotten to the bottom of what your problem is.I remember when I first had my inhaler.I was like you and kept squirting my tongue but I did get the hang of it eventually.Hopefully you will too or else you are going to be prescribing yourself a spacer:p Good luck with being around the horses at the weekend and don't forget your inhaler.
19th Feb 2007, 08:49 PM
Whew, thats good that you've gotten it sorted. As regards taking the inhaler, you shake it, blow out through your mouth, then squirt and inhale at the same time. Hold your breath, wait 10 seconds, then slowly breath out (sigh of relief at your now looser chest!) :p :D I hope it helps you. Although try not to take it more then 3 times a day becuase you can get addicted to it, although I am sure your GP has warned you of this. :)
P.S: There should be an asthma clinic at your GP's where a nurse will follow your progress up. If you still have trouble taking the inhaler properly you can get a spacer from them. :p
19th Feb 2007, 08:56 PM
I have been allergic to horses and dogs for years and own both!! Here are some of my survival tips.
If it is deffo horses rather than other things at yard, do thinks like wash hands before touching face etc(read the thread about being unladylike to see how many of us don't).
Wear gloves to minimise skin contact.
Always keep antihistamine tablets available to deal with sudden unwanted rashes itching eyes etc
Never groom in a stable-that's a particular killer for me
in the winter I ride with a bandana around my nose and mouth to warm the air and humidfy it. A lot of people suffer when the cold air hits the lungs during physical exercise(always got me out of hockey-fab).
you can buy a very smart thing which supports ILPH if you go on the Buffwear website. It is a tube you can wear over your mouth and nose.
when riding always know where inhaler is and alert RI that you carry one and may need to use it. I had to have an inhaler stop last week as too much trotting in cold evening air. Hairy beat looked after me tho.
DO NOT underestimate how quickly a slight shortness of breath can lead to a ride in an ambulance and a spell in hosp(done both not fun). Not to panic you as it has only happened twice to me and only becuse I did not have inhaler with me cos i thought I would be fine that day!
you can have asthma and be with horses without too much hassle. My body has actually adjusted to my two chaps hair and I seem to have developed a tolerance. if I go away for more than a week then I lose this tolerance.
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