Three months after my accident I finally felt like it was time to get back in the saddle. It’s not fear that’s kept me from riding, rather it’s a distrust of my body. I look at many things differently now —
having struggled to get out of chairs or walk up and down stairs, I evaluate each situation with an eye toward safety and comfort.
In that light, what’s kept me off a horse has not been the riding, per se — it’s been the getting on and getting off. Especially, the getting off. My horses are on the tall side and the anticipation of dismounting and hitting the ground with my bad ankle was daunting.
Enter Curly. Curly is smaller, calmer and more tolerant than my beasts — who’ve had most of the winter off and are feeling frisky. So on Friday, a beautiful, warm spring-like morning, with the help of Curly’s owner, I finally got on a horse again.
Yes, it felt great. I love that view between a horse’s ears. The connection of being on a horse’s back again was magical. And there was, thankfully, no fear.
But it was also sobering. My knees and ankles protested the position. Even after just 15 minutes of walking and some short trots, they were stiff and a bit achy. It’s going to be awhile before I’m galloping through hunt territory. But that’s okay. Every week I’m getting better. This past week I put my cane aside, and I capped it off by riding again. What could be better?