Learning to Ride Again

It has been a long time since I posted anything, but I thought I would share my story.

Two years ago, I had emergency surgery for an abscess on my spine. I was in hospital for 3 months and in serious recovery since then. (Physio is now my life!! lol) I finally got to come home and had to learn to stand, walk and ride all over again. I was able to get back on my horse after 6 months for the first time. It took three people to get me on, my horse was a saint!! I went from walking with someone leading, to steering and then to trotting, hacking out, lateral work and I am happy to say I am cantering again.

I am now riding Western Dressage and I just love it!! The saddle gives me more support and I thoroughly enjoyed the new tack shopping, because I just didn’t have enough saddles anyway. lol

I entered and rode in the WDAA virtual show and have done a couple in barn schooling shows. I wondered how I would feel when I looked at the test video, but I feel pretty good. I can tell that I am not that engaged in my legs but that is coming along as I regain more feeling. I am riding a walk trot test for now, but I am cantering again so I have my sights set on adding that next.

These last two years have been quite a challenge, especially with Covid thrown in. Horses and riding, in what ever capacity, have been the fuel to keep me going in addition to a big dash of stubbornness!!

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Posts like yours inspire me to develop more grit. I cannot imagine going through what all you have and keep such a great spirit. Have you always been like that? And yes, for me too, through my life, horses have driven me to the greater goals and heights. They truly are therapy.

So happy to hear you are back in the saddle and recovered? How is your recovery?

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Congrats on your accomplishments!! I’m sure it’s been quite a challenge to get to where you are now. Good for you :blush:

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Sounds like, given the trying health problems, you are doing super!

Thanks for your story, never know who else may just be needing to hear it can get better.

Best luck in your next show, go get 'em!

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Thanks for sharing your story, you are an inspiration!

I am lucky that I have the kind of personality that when anyone says I can’t then I tend to respond with “Yeah well nope sorry but I can!!”. I just took every challenge presented as just another hurdle to overcome to get where I wanted to end up, and for me, it was in the saddle!!!

As far as recovery goes the journey continues. I walk unassisted now. I did use a wheelchair for a few months, then a walker (nicknamed Wanda) and a quad cane (nicknamed Waldo). Finding humor in the worst of situations helped and still does.

Walking on uneven surfaces is slow but getting better. I can turn my horse out myself now after a ride.
Feeling in the legs is coming back. Still can’t feel my feet that much, just tingling (think pins and needles all the time) and I don’t always know where my feet are. It has been interesting to see how my riding has changed. I now ride off my body so much more than I used to. I am less busy in the saddle and I feel the improvement in my transitions. Hell of a way to improve your riding but there you go LOL

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