This past weekend, I rode my horse for the first time in 10 months!
If you’ve read my initial blogs, I delved a little into my pony, Walle, being diagnosed with a pinched nerve last spring and being prescribed 6-8 months of field rest. At the 8 month mark the vet ok’d him for work and I promptly got into a car accident and broke my arm/dislocated my wrist which added another 8 weeks of rest for both of us since I couldn’t drive, ride, write, shower, put my hair in a pony tail..you know…normal things you don’t think about when you have two working arms.
This weekend here in New Jersey we were slammed with a pretty spectacular blizzard. The storm dumped almost 3 feet of snow at my house, and just a little less further west where Walle is boarded. I was just given the ok to start driving last week, and of course we promptly have a blizzard.
Thankfully, Sunday I was able to get out of my house and make my way to the farm. Serious brownie points to the townships for keeping the roads plowed through that storm, I’m still amazed at how great the roads were just 12 hours after the snow stopped. Myself and some of my friends along with some of the younger Barn Rats all helped do stalls (Ok, I supervised, my wrist still doesn’t allow for that kind of movement), fill waters, feed, etc etc. And then….
Snow pony time!
I haven’t been on a horse in two months. I rode another pony the day of my accident, and that was obviously my last ride since. I haven’t ridden Walle since last spring, so I was kind of anxious. Everyone was getting their horses out and one of my good friends finally looked at me and said, “Do you want me to get Walle out so you can sit on him?”
I’m a self admitted worry wart. I think somewhere in my heart I was kind of set on riding my pony that day. What safer day to get on then when there’s 3 feet of soft snow to fall in if you fall off? But my status as worry wart was making me nervous. What if my arm wasn’t strong enough to steer? He’s a good boy and has the basics, but he’s green, and when he’s decided he’s bored he’ll turn that giant drafty neck and leave. And you have to be strong to stop him. So, per the norm, I was worrying about things that I really didn’t particularly need to worry about, but were somewhat valid concerns.
My friend went out to his field, bridled him and brought him into the ring. She was kind enough to get on him first because I was still a little overly worried. She walked him around once and stopped in front of me asking if I wanted to get on. Of course I did. So there it was….my opportunity to get back on my pony. And after a second of panic I was on and we were walking around as lazy as ever, just like the pony I had to stop riding almost a year ago.
And yes. I cried. Because I’m a happy cryer. It’s weird. I know.
I rode him once around, discovered that my arm has enough strength to turn him if he decided to detour himself, and then we just sat in the middle of the ring while the younger girls cantered their ponies in the snow. Because of his injury, Walle can’t trot or canter until we build up more muscle and stamina, so it’s just walking for us for the time being. And then this week I got on him again bareback, bridled and led him on my own (testing my arm…it wasn’t totally cooperative but we did it.) and we walked in the snow for about 20-30 minutes. It’s the little victories sometimes that matter.
I’m actually happy I have the snow to work with this week before I go back to work. It’s good exercise for his muscles that have suffered from the injury and his sitting for so long, so just a few minutes of walking in the snow is good therapy for him.
And frankly, it’s just amazing to be able to sit on my own pony again! And now that I know that I can ride again and he can be ridden, I’m very excited for this year to play out! Let the games begin.