Monday, October 26, 2015

A Wee Hitch in my Giddy Up

It seems impossible to believe that this summer has come and gone. The days seem to slip through my fingers; one moment I'm riding into the low long light of a nine o'clock sunset and the next moment I'm turning up my coat collar and turning in the horses by six. It is coming on seven months since my accident. I am healing; slowly but surely. I went to a specialist appointment a  little while back and was able to see the MRI images from the night of my fall. The doctor had been joking with me and his intern about the craziness of horse people and our reckless disregard of doctors orders. At one point he looked at intern and said, "Listen to this!I betchya..." he then asked me if I had been back on a horse yet. I coyly replied, "Of course." "See!" he exclaimed, "I told you! These people are crazy! They will climb on a horse with three limbs in a cast." All that lighthearted humor disappeared when he pulled up the images. He looked back at me with compassion in his eyes and stated, "That would have hurt." I replied that it had; very much so. He smiled kindly and pointed out the broken bones and explained that they should have healed and would be as strong as any other bone in my body but then he pointed out the trauma to the soft tissue of the muscles running down my spine. I told him that I was still having trouble laying on my right side. Soft tissue, he explained, would take closer to a year to heal. That appointment really effected me. That doctor was so kind and so compassionate. Up until that time I had been pushing myself each day to do more. I had been walking, doing chores and lightly riding, ignoring the discomfort, certain that I just had to keep pushing through. Without sounding like a complete patsy... seeing the doctors reaction to the image of my injury reminded me of just how much pain I experienced in the weeks after my fall.

I cant begin to say just how incredibly grateful I am to be "okay". That gratitude really is what drove me to push myself. I was going to be"okay" but I had to give myself more time. I slowed things down and started walking with some nordic walking poles. I quit riding and listened to my body. Years ago I tore cartldge in my knee and didnt follow through with proper physio; to this day I wake up with a limp and every year I get older it seems to take an extra step before it loosens up. We all have a little hitch in our giddy up, right? Well, I already had a huge issue with my back so I'm going to try and let this soft tissue heal properly once and for all. I am riding a bit again. My trusty steed, Abby, in the fields at a walk. That mare... that mare is worth her weight in gold.

As for Hola. Oh, my sweet Hola. Her journey took a dramatic turn, much like the one she executed moments before dumping me on my ass. (She hadnt bucked or reared, just went from facing East to facing West some ten or so feet away in the blink of an eye.) That was the first week of April. By the last week of April she was at the trainers. She spent a two and a half months with a reining trainer. It took him about two weeks to realize how cool that little unassuming mare could be. He sent me a text that read, "Ok. This horse is seriously cool." and about another week later, "I love this horse." Hola ate up her training. And my horse budget. July 1st I sent Hola upcountry to a trainer friend of mine who has access to rugged terrain. Hola spent the summer learning all about hills and creeks, felled timber and loose rock. Her time with that kind lady was a whole story unto itself, one that I will leave untold but for the end which is that Hola came home October 14th. That day was sunny and warm. I put her up in a paddock with some hay and went home to unhitch my trailer. When I came back I pulled a chair in to her pen and put my feet up on the rail. She came over and stood beside me, cocked a hip and went to sleep. That moment answered every question I had posed in the six months she had been gone. I love her. She is my girl.