Horsey Therapist

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

First spring ride on Rusty

I did it. I rode Rusty today. It went fine.

It went fine because I did my homework. I have done some ground work with him now and then over the past few weeks, and today I was ready to saddle him in case everything went well, leading me to choose to ride.

He listened well enough, bridled well enough, connected with me well enough that I felt safe to mount.

If I were not still cautious with my Aikido-injured shoulder, I might not take all the precautions I did. But I am. Although I can do most things normally and without pain, there are a few weight-bearing moves that hurt, and I have absolutely zero interest in aggravating that injury or adding new injury. So the formerly fearless rider proceeds with one ear to her fear, and one ear to her thoughtful horsemanship abilities.

Good idea at that!

So, building on small steps of progress, I mounted and rode some circles at the walk, halted, backed, and dismounted. More ground work, more attunement, more unbridling and bridling, and another mount and ride. Bigger circles, checking in on Rusty's responsiveness, breathing, breathing, breathing, and dismounting.

I'm done. Ending on a good note. No, I'm not done. I open the arena gate and mount again, and ride him back to the barn.

Then I'm done. Short and sweet. I'll build on that.

I am learning once again the value of doing little things day after day to build some good understanding. I'm glad I rode Rusty. It's been close to six months. He's a lot of fun once we get reconnected!


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