Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Summer of Equines

The love of horses has saved me many times and last year was no different. When I could finally drive a car again I used my horse time as physical therapy. When you herniated a disc you should walk for 30 mins at a time (even if it is excruciating). That's where many people go awry in recovery. It's so painful that you don't want to move but being still only extends recovery. On the other hand I had months of strict motion restrictions for my hips. I wasn't supposed to walk for more than ten minutes at a time. What I needed for my back didn't line up with what my hips needed. 

So I hauled myself out to the barn and walked with the horses. I would wander until my hip disagreed then sit down and let them graze. I could lean on the boys when I got tired. They got used to my cane and crutches. When I could scramble into the saddle I would walk Dickie a few Laps at a time. It is the same motion as walking but without all the weight bearing. 

Pretty soon I realized I was getting through the day with minimal pain. I was trotting and cantering a half a lap here or there. Against my better judgement I decided to do a few horse trials that offered walk trot stuff. My horse was an angel for putting up with me. 

By the end of the summer I my strength was much better but my body still felt like a stark gee (still does). I'm flexible in ways I have never been and stiff in areas that were like spaghetti noodles. My riding might be shitty but I had a blast. I knew by the end of the summer I would have a job again. This was a rare chance to go to trail riding when I wanted, spend days at the beach, and camp out at shows. This year I will be tethered by a job, a house, a garden, and dogs. 

As spring approaches I'm still overweight and is worse shape than last summer. That said, last year I was on crutches and didn't get on a horse until June. Even with the current state of my waste line and lung capacity I'm ahead of last year. Bring it 2016!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I am so, so happy you were able to get your hips fixed and that you can now ride to your heart's content! How is the herniated disc doing?