Broken ribs

I am sure plenty of you have had broken ribs. Husband got stomped on Friday night. One fractured and one fractured and displaced. Doc says 4 to 6 weeks of doing nothing. How long before you were able to ride with yours?

Ride or ride without discomfort? I actually rode my horse in off the hunt field with a cracked sternum and a couple of cracked ribs. I could do it at a walk --riding one handed. But when I had to dismount, I thought I was going to pass out. Once off, leading horse or taking his tack off was impossible. But if necessary, I could have gotten back on and ridden at a walk any distance. It was the lifting/twisting, jarring that hurt.

I was 100% in 6 weeks --but I’m old – almost 70 —DR strongly cautioned about breaking ribs or injuring sternum again. I now wear a safety vest when hunting and keep myself in second field where jumps are only to two feed. FYI I did not break sternum/ribs falling off --I did it when a hound ran in front of William and he did a reining horse (used to be one) siding stop --because I was in a 2 point, I slammed against the pommel of the saddle, my butt sliding off the cantel as he sat down into his stop. Thought I was going to die. The EMT that rides out with us said that injury used to be common before seatbelts --called the “steering wheel fracture” from when folks used to slam into their steering wheels in an accident.


it will be a while.
Cracked is painfull, broken and disloacted is actually quite dangerous. the rib could injure the lung.
So 4-6 weeks is a realistic outlook.
and he needs to do his breathing exercises.


Everyone’s situation, injury and pain tolerance is different. I’ve fractured a few ribs over the years. First time I feelings of intense soreness that I could ride through. Next time taking a deep breath would make me feel faint. That time I needed assistance getting out of bed for about 3 weeks. When I could do that on my own, I could ride. Both episodes happened in my mid- late 30s. Nothing would keep me down for long. Broke my leg and rode with a cast and no stirrups. Could I do it in my mid 50s?..not sure. I am sensible enough to listen to my body. When I’ve let myself heal reasonably thoroughly, the long term repercussions have been negligible. My husband, who has played sports through soft tissue injuries in his 30s-40s is paying for it now, like BIG TIME. All the King’s men can’t put him back together again (pain free) anymore. He regrets it. Be smart!


I broke a rib last fall and it was very painful, nothing, not even clothes could touch that spot.
Dr saw a shadow on the spleen and took a cat scan to be sure rib had not lacerated spleen.
It had not, which may have been an emergency.

Broken ribs heal just fine and it doesn’t take that long.
Depending on how and where they break, they are miserable.

When I broke ribs before, getting on and off a horse was questionable, riding was ok.
As the Dr said then, just do what you can do, let pain tell you what you can do.

Hope he heals soon.

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He is very good at pushing through pain but KNOWS how serious the dislocated one is, doc said it easily could have been fatal. Just trying to have a realistic outlook before he can get back to normal activity. He is healthy and strong so hopefully four weeks it will be back together!

ribs hurt for a long, long time!
you can’t immobilize them, and you can’t put a cast on them.
I did not break any, but I a, suspecting I cracked the short ribs at one time, and reinjured them a few months after. That stuff hurt for a very long time!
4 is an optimistic outlook. 6 more realistic.

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I’m coming up on 8 weeks and still have some soreness in one spot.

How long before you were good enough to ride?

I fell off a horse. 2 ribs cracked, I fell into deep sand, but my arm was sort of under my cracked ribs.

The doctor told me 6 WEEKS. I wailed in despair. I expressed surprise at having to wait so long. He was firm. 6 weeks.

Grumbling, and hurting a good bit, I obeyed my doctor. It took at least 6 weeks before I could lie on my side or my husband could hold me. I finally learned how to fall asleep while reclining, at about a 45 degree angle my ribs hurt the least.

I got back in the saddle at six weeks, carefully because my two ribs were still feeling sore. Dismounting was an adventure as I cautiously slithered off the patient lesson horse. I think it took at least 2 more weeks before my husband could hold me, cautiously.

I certainly healed a lot quicker when I cracked a rib 50 some years ago. I was back in the saddle as soon as I could get to the stable (a week.) Twenty year olds can push the envelope a bit.


I sure hope it is not 8 weeks …we are on day three and he is already bored. He works on cars and motorcycles so cannot work either. He does heal fast and has a insanely high pain threshold…his head was split open in the ordeal as well and he was stepped on in at least four other places and none of those even bother him.

rest and recouperatio are a skill worth cultivating.
Buy him a model car, or a pile of books.
or a leather crafting kit…


I am working on all kinds of “activities” and “outings” for him and having him help with my horses from the ground…day four and counting!

I didn’t know how lucky I was. I never stopped riding when I broke one, maybe two, ribs. I took 1000mg Tylenol every 8 hours and my pain was controlled. I was very conscious of just how bad it would hurt if I fell off though.

I’m so thankful that someone showed me how to stop a sneeze! Did not know the method used in 70’s cartoons actually worked!

With broken ribs, is also good to learn how to cough without your chest moving.

Worst is when you forget and laugh, that really hurts!

What happen is, once they heal, you forget most of it fast.


Have him sort thejunk drawers in the house and barn!

Box up junk drawers, and sell them on ebay! (I nee to do that! I ahve way too many!)

I broke mine in my late 30s (stomped on by a horse). My doc said 4 weeks for the displaced one to knit (meaning it wouldn’t move with every breath or motion, 6 weeks for it to stop hurting, 8 weeks to fully heal. He advised me not to ride until 8 weeks. I assumed I’d be back on at 6 but I waited the full 8 after realizing his other timing marks were spot on.

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Hahaha last weekend he cleaned out our bathroom drawers he was so bored :slight_smile:

Yup he try’s very hard to not laugh, cough or sneeze. I will have to look at how to stop sneezing. His displaced rib starting to knit back together and came apart …going to be a long road I am afraid!

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I just broke 2 ribs last Friday evening. :frowning: My Appy gelding decided to plant me in the outdoor arena, hard. ER dr told me to follow up with regular dr in 2 weeks , but defiantly no riding for at least 2 weeks. :frowning_face: Broken ribs suck! I have a clinic in 5 weeks. :upside_down_face: