A minor surgery would leave me out out of the saddle for about a month. The worst part about this – aside from the pain associated with the surgery – was knowing long before the actual day of the procedure that I couldn’t ride, run, or even sip wine for a whole month.
As any good horse junkie would do, I stocked up on riding time as much as I could before the doctors could cut me off. But I worried that it would only be a matter of time before I would be going out of my mind “resting” at home.
The medicine regime began and I was strictly told to stay out of the saddle. I wrinkled my nose at my doctors but did as I was told. I went out to visit Sassy, the red-headed thoroughbred mare I’m currently riding, when I could. I would lunge and play games with her in the round pen and spend a lot of time grooming her. She seemed to enjoy the extra time on the ground – and all the extra food and treats – she had been getting.
It was only a few days into my own illness that she too had an accident – a cut that led to stitches and then a mysterious swollen hind leg, which kept her from working much anyway.
Then the bed rest time came. I could go to work and home – from chair to bed – and that was pretty much it. I stocked up on Horse Junkies United coverage, waiting until I was home to watch all the videos from The Royal and other shows I normally would have tried to sneak-watch while at work.
I even cleaned my tack one day in my living room — wiping down two saddles, several bridles, bits, martingales and about a million girths in just two days. Fresh white polo wraps sat neatly atop my recently bleached and scrubbed tack trunk, with extra clean saddle pads and extra wash cloths folded neatly next to them.
I was running out of things to do.
So when I returned to the barn, sore from my surgery and still recovering, I brought along my camera, filming friends ride and splicing together videos for them at home just to keep horse-rampant mind from going crazy.
When I took my dogs to the dog park I purposely made them cruise over the fences on the agility course one too many times. They were pretty grumpy about that.
Then the day came when I could finally ride again. It felt great to get back into the saddle, but man, was I sore. I started slowly and luckily Sassy was kind. But we’ve got a lot of work to do after a month off!