Today was the day I have been waiting for since my acrobatic separation from my horse…today I finally swung my leg up and over and made contact with my saddle again for the first time in 18 days. It is the longest I’ve been out of the saddle since Ike joined the family. It felt like an eternity.
It was a very low-key session with both Ms. C and Mr. D on hand to make sure that there weren’t any vultures lurking on the fences, or that I wasn’t going to crumple over in pain and slide off because it was too soon after the thud. I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive as I stood on the mounting block. My fall was the worst I’ve ever had and the only one that I was unable to get right back on the horse to finish my ride. I know that my ankle isn’t 100%, but the physical therapist who I saw today is a rider and said that I would be fine to do some walking (she cautioned against any rising trot for a bit longer). The spasms in my back and hip are gone, so I saw this as my opportunity to test the waters.
Breathe in, breathe out. Left foot in the stirrup and there I was, back on my big man. Breathe again and give Ike his peppermint. Ms. C had me stay in a third of the arena and just maintain steady contact at the walk. Just relax and let the back swing. Let the reins out and let Ike stretch over his back. Change direction. Collect the reins and halt. Flex right…or try to flex right without Ike moving his legs. Ha – easier said than done. It took a few tries for him to understand that exercise. Walk on and halt and flex to the left. No Ike, do not jut out that jaw and resist. Resistance is futile. Good boy. Now how about a turn on the haunches. Can you see the smile on my face? Just because we were only walking doesn’t mean that we couldn’t accomplish something.
And then it happened, Ike offered me a lovely collected trot. I relaxed and went with it for 20 meters. No searing pain anywhere; my ankle was aching, but it was like that after my therapy this morning. Tried two more short trot lines and then called it quits.
Then it was time to come down from the heights. Luckily Ike is a cooperative fellow and stood quietly at the mounting block so that I could dismount onto the top step rather than having to drop to the ground and risk re-injuring my ankle. Thank you Ike for being such a good boy.
Day one is behind us, we are back on centerline, and ready to move onwards and upwards.
Life is good.