Since my accident, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been asked whether I plan to ride again.
Of course, none of the people who’ve asked me are horse people. To them, the answer is obvious. Why would a freak accident and a couple of fractures keep me from doing something I love? That’s like saying you’d stop driving after an accident. Or stop walking on the sidewalk because you slipped on the ice.
The love of horses doesn’t just develop over time. We’re born with it. We are the kids who play with Breyer horses. The ones who read every horse book we can get our hands on. The ones who set up jumps in our backyard or our living room and either jump them ourselves, or make our dogs jump them. (My dog was a real athlete. Not only did he jump courses, he also pulled a cart).
Horses are more than just livestock to us. They are our therapists, our friends. We tell them what bothers us and they listen without complaint. On the days when you need a pick me up, spending time at the barn almost always a guarantee of leaving with a smile on your face. Even my family appreciates it when I come home relaxed and happy after a ride.
Our relationship with our horses is a partnership. Together we go on adventures and get our Adrenalin pulsing through our veins. There’s nothing like a good gallop after hounds, the amble through a spring meadow, or the feeling of flying that comes when you and your horse clear a big jump. Whee! There is a freedom when you ride that just can’t be duplicated by any other sport.
There is a feeling of accomplishment with riding, and the knowledge that no matter how long you’ve ridden there is always more to learn. Our relationship with horses can last a lifetime and never get old.
The genesis of this question, I know, is fear. They want me to stop riding because they are afraid I might get hurt again. The fact that I wasn’t doing anything particularly risky (from a horseback riding perspective) only makes it worse. If something bad can happen when you are trotting in a ring and hit a slippery spot, what could happen when you’re out foxhunting? My argument is that since I started riding (at age 2), I’ve managed to avoid serious injury until now. And I’m hoping that I managed to get all my injuries over with in one fell swoop.
Certainly, I will be careful. I’ve always thought that I’m careful but I’ll be extra vigilant. But, will I stop riding now? Absolutely not.
What about you? Have you had experiences that have made you question whether you will keep riding?