When menopause is not an easy ride

Lack of information and openness about menopause is needlessly affecting some riders’ wellbeing and enjoyment of equestrian sport.

That’s according to the latest edition of Horse and Hound, who interviewed keen rider Diane Danzebrink .

H&H has spoken to numerous riders who found their enjoyment of life and riding had been seriously affected by symptoms, such as severe anxiety, mood swings, weight gain and physical pain – but had no idea at the time these were linked to perimenopause or menopause. Some reached the verge of giving up horses, for many their lifelong passion and source of exercise, and others had stopped riding altogether.

Diane told them: “I have counselled so many women who have given up horse riding or cycling.

“[When it comes to] horse riding it’s very often [owing to] a loss of confidence, they’re experiencing anxiety, they’re struggling with their mood, they’re not the confident rider that they used to be. There’s also the symptoms that nobody ever wants to talk about and some of those symptoms are very intimate.”

She added that for riders, those physical symptoms can become “unbearably uncomfortable to the point of being painful”.