Equestrians are really bad at evaluating the extent of their injuries. For years, I’ve figured that if I could walk and there weren’t visible bruises, I was fine.
Now that I’m back riding again — only in the most basic sense, as I’m only walking and trotting — I have a new respect for the fragility of my body. I am being patient. I’m taking it slowly.
I’m so glad to be back on a horse that I’m enjoying every second of every ride. I’m taking pleasure in the small things: transitions, leg yielding, turns on the forehand. I’m installing some rigor into Zelda’s training to make sure that all the basics are there.
I’m determined not to look in the mirror and see that picture staring back at me!
But, really I should say that this looked like me. The injured me is moving into the past. The present me has been going to PT twice a week and building up a lot of strength and flexibility. My legs are almost the same size now (for a long time, my right leg had so much muscle wastage that it looked significantly smaller than my left leg).
What still bothers me is my ankle. Although the fracture was minor, ankles are notoriously slow healers. I still get some pain and swelling, so I’m riding with long stirrups and working up to longer stretches of posting.
The way I’ve been walking also aggravated my posterior tibialis tendonitis, which had mostly healed. So, I’ve added a whole new set of exercises to my rotation. As my daughter says, I’m doing a whole body reboot. Come fall, I’ll be stronger than ever.