Let me start off with a little celebration!
I am finally and officially back to riding! On my own horse! My arm has healed and he’s been cleared for work. What seemed like an impossibility a year ago has finally turned into reality. Praise the Equine powers that be! *insert ceremonial bowing down at the feet of the Equine Gods here*
Yes, we’re finally riding again. And by riding I mean we’re tacking up and walking large circles, figure eights, serpentines, and cavaletti. Each session includes about 5 minutes of trot time total, both ways. Walle has been sound, and has conveniently forgotten how to steer, move, listen, and stop.
But hey…he’s sound!
And a quick testament to the joys of owning a draft cross….my (just turned) 7 year old gelding spent the past year out in a field with his best Mustang friend (of course with interaction from me as well). And I pulled him out of that field, tacked him up, got on him…and the worst thing he did was give me a little head toss when he trotted plus some interesting steering issues. I’ll take it.
Now I would like to make it abundantly clear that I am thrilled that my pony is able to be ridden….that’s enough to make me happy forever. Like I’ve said in the past, my dreams are bigger than my abilities…so while I have dreams of magically turning my awkward Haflinger cross into some sort of Dressage or Jumper horse, I know reality is pointing more towards pleasure pony that I can bounce around at local summer schooling shows for kicks. If my abilities ever actually catch up to my dreams I’ll worry about finding the “appropriate” kind of horse. Or maybe once the dinosaur pony is a real pony again he’ll surprise us all and have some crazy underlying talent we never saw coming!
My downfall, however, is that I am historically the most impatient person on the face of the planet. I’m all about instant gratification. I don’t mind putting in hard work, and I appreciate the value of working my butt off to achieve a goal. But when all is said and done, I’m still an impatient person. While I waited for the past year for Walle to heal and then for my arm to heal, for some reason it never entered my mind that once we were cleared to start working again we wouldn’t jump right back into training at the level we were at when he got hurt. We would be looking at AGES of slowly restarting from scratch while trying to get someone to drop quite a bit of weight (hint: I’m not the one who needs to lose weight).
One thing I know for sure is that while I’m intolerably impatient, I am not reckless. And if ever I’ve had a lesson in patience with a little wake up call thrown in, this was it.
I didn’t spend a year waiting to start rehabbing my boy and making sure he was on the proper track to healing to go and ruin it all. He WILL be slowly going back to work, as he has been. As slowly as he needs. And I’ll suck it up and patiently do what needs to be done. We’ll walk, we’ll trot, and someday we’ll canter again, and so on and so forth. But I owe it to him to not rush it and to do things right.
Sometimes I feel like I have horrible luck but I just keep reminding myself that this is the horse world, and this is how things happen. I’m not the first one who’s ever had an injury take them or their horse out for an extended period of time, and I won’t be the last. And in hindsight, I guess I have very good luck that while we still don’t exactly know what happened to Walle or how he injured himself the way he did, he improved and returned to being rideable and sound.
And for that I’m eternally grateful.