Saturday, December 20, 2014

Baby Steps - making my way back

This is filthy fuzzy Misty, today at my trainer's farm, waiting to be tacked up, but more interested in the horses being ridden across the street. They are usually napping.


I'm working my way back, slowly, from my July trail riding accident.

My first, ride about four weeks ago, I simply sat in the saddle while my trainer gave me a leadline ride.

(I wear an elbow pad on my left elbow and a brace on my right knee; they still hurt.)

 I felt awkward and had no balance. Once in the saddle, I wasn't sure how I was going to get out of the saddle with my bum right knee. I have to slide slowly down Misty's side to ensure my left foot meets the ground first. It feels odd, but I'm getting better with practice.

My second ride was great; just at the walk but I rode independently in my weekly O.L.D.G. lesson. (Affectionately O.L.D.G. = Old Lady Dressage Group, coined by the husband of one of the old ladies.)

Then there was an attempted ride at the next group lesson, but my knee hurt and my confidence waned. Silly stuff...like, the wind was picking up, there was an unfamiliar horse and rider in the arena, the lesson group was moving at a faster pace than I could handle.  I got on, then got off and went home; mad at myself for being such a wimp, and afraid I'd never be able to ride, let alone rejoin the group lesson.

So today, I opted for a private lesson. My trainer worked Misty on the ground and lunged her so she was supple and relaxed for me. I mounted and we worked on half figure eights along the rail, 20 meter circles, and serpentines at the walk.  And breathing and engaging the "sit bones" and turning my shoulders (my left shoulder being one of my injured body parts). 

Baby steps. I'll probably take a few more private lessons before rejoining the group. But it feels good to reconnect with my horse and I'm not giving up.   We'll continue to take it slow.  Fortunately for me, the walk is my favorite gait.  There's so much to learn and improve on just at the walk.

13 comments:

  1. I for one know well how hard it is to regain confidence after a major accident, particularly one where you're injured.

    The fact you're back on board means you want to do it - just take it one day at a time and do what you feel capable of doing. There's no shame in feeling worried or needing to get off and regroup.

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    1. Thanks Kate. Short, positive rides is our plan.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your experience in getting back in the saddle after a bad accident. I have a friend who will have to be doing that soon. I forewarned her that even though her mind may be brave, her body is going to remember the pain and probably not cooperate.

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    1. I'm sorry your friend is going through this too. It's tough and requires mental and physical recovery. I just started reading Ride Fear Free.I'm not far into it but makes sense. Need to overlay fear memory with positive memories. Ì felt fine when I went to ride Misty for the first time. Was looking forward to it. Thought I'd get right on with no problem, knowing we were in a safe, familiar arena, with the support of a good ride good riding instructor and friends, no chance of a repeat of what happened in the mountains. Then surprised myself when sudden anxiety welled up when I put her bridle on.

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    2. I need to read that book. I've heard of it before that it's a good one, but I keep forgetting about it. Thanks for mentioning it.

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  3. Don't be mad at yourself! Fighting through the fear is really hard, but you will make it I promise. Just keep pushing at your comfort zone a little bit each time, but don't force yourself to do something that leaves you paralyzed in fear. That doesn't do any good. I'm glad you're back to blogging. :)

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    1. Thanks! I love my mare. Yep, fear is a tough opponent. But I'm learning a lot and will be a better horsewoman from this experience.

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  4. Nice to hear from you, glad you are finding your way back in the saddle! Take your time. When it doesn't feel right, it's because it isn't, and that's okay. Given time, you will persevere.

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  5. Congrats!!! Trust me, no matter what the fall, no matter how long you've ridden, we all get shaken. Common sense, go at your own pace, & well, baby steps are the only ones I know with horses, LOL! Hugs & we've all been there!!!!

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  6. Checking in - and giving you (((HUGS!)))

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