So excited that I had to share, sorry if it's long!
Don't you love those rides that just put everything into perspective for you, and make you realise what an idiot you are for being so worried about things? I had one of those rides today.
In Mar 09 I shattered my right leg in a freak riding accident. Previously I had a weak leg from my knee cap half dislocating whenever it pleased itself. Since the accident, it's only been worse and I'm currently seeing a specialist in hopes they can offer me a better management plan. Of course riding has felt near impossible, and is somewhat disheartening when I hop up and 10 minutes later I can feel the pain and the complete weakness of the limb. I hate that feeling, and try to push pass it, but sometimes I just feel like if I don't get out of the saddle, I'm going to hurt myself. I've been determined to attend a gym and strengthen the limb, but due to the knee cap being in lack of a better term, an a**, I've had to limit what exercise I can do whenever it flares up.
You can only imagine that due to lack of exercise, my mare who was involved in the accident, has become unfit herself, and due to my priorities not being set straight (I'm the first to admit my mistakes), she's become quite the porker. Realising this, I had set about helping her lose it without having to ride, because I've been worried that if I excite her that I'm riding her again, and then have to stop, she'll just sulk like she was doing. I also didn't think me riding her at a walk for 15mins 2 times a week or so would help much, since trotting does help trim off the waist line, and I believed my leg was not strong enough to begin trot work.
Today I realised what an idiot I've been. My gelding who goes to his new home this weekend gave me not the most stellar of farewell rides (haven't ridden him myself in almost 2yrs though he has been ridden, and he's the highly sensitive, take care of the rider at all costs type of horse, and he baby stepped and then stopped when I tried to ride him all by myself because I had been nervous and it was my first ride on him since my accident, he was trying to protect me at all costs, much like he always has) and I was really not satisfied, because I was darn well riding today
Honey had been watching, and she always gets jealous when she's not being ridden, but minus myself and one rider, since the accident, she over thinks the situation and starts to panic when if the rider ever "drops" her so to speak, and so not many like to ride her. She's not nasty, just a green horse in many respects still, and very exclusive to me riding her, because I backed and started her and taught her almost everything she knows. She's a gem for me, totally patient and so when I offered her work today, she took it with delight. Granted, because she was my second horse for the day, I asked my friend to put me on a lunge lead, but just be there and allow me to do everything.
I realise now its because it was her first time being ridden with her flash strap on her noseband like suggested by my instructor, but she wasn't nearly so frustrating with her head (she's always going to be a horse that is not fond of her head being played with, she'll tolerate it, but will not tolerate a firm contact unless you want to talk it out with her ), not that I had much contact at all... but she started to soften on her own accord, and I, being a wannabe dressage rider, took that as an offer to dabble our way through me testing how much leg strength I had, and playing with her mouth etc. She felt amazing, despite being unfit, a porker, but her willingness for being ridden is second to none, and she tried her butt off despite her current limitations. I felt like we were working together just like we had been before the accident, and soon forgot I was partially damaged, and began to work with my horse.
By that stage I just wanted to reward her for being so amazing, that I turned to my friend and said I wanted to trot. I haven't trotted as I said above, since the accident, and I just out of no where had this burst to reward her, that I didn't care I had been fretting about it for months even though the desire has been there. At first Honey was pretty much confused that I was asking for more than a walk, and even went through a "no, I don't want to" argument, where she kicked out and became very hesitant in her step. I basically remained out of her way but kept asking and eventually she tried to jog. Praising her, I kept asking and she did a couple of strides before stopping hesitantly again. I went a little overboard in praising her and then snapped back into my determined, work mode, and kept asking, to the point we were doing circles and circles in the end! I wobbled in the beginning but was soon posting away, tearing up with a grin on my face and she found her confidence too. After we were done, I just collapsed on her neck and cried happily. It was the best ride I've had in a very long time, and I proved to both her and myself that we're able to do more than what I've been thinking. And I totally forgot about my leg until I hopped off, because I had been so focused.
Tomorrow I'm going to ride her again, except off the lunge. I'll still have my issues of wanting to do it in a small space, but its getting past my major nerves with the little important steps, whilst assuring her that I have her. We have both been scarred from our accident, and rely completely on one another, but I'm just so excited.
This right here, is why I still own a horse.
Thanks for reading, I'll post some pictures tomorrow if I get some, just bear in mind we're both porkers, unfit, but have the desire to improve!
Ah, happy tears again! I hope those out there who have similar stories share them!