Well, Monday, January 18th, I loaded Summer into the trailer and we headed to the LBJ Grasslands for a nice ride with Toni and two of her other friends. Summer loaded great and unloaded just a good. I got there and saw Jonni Jewell http://trotonhank.blogspot.com/ and we chatted a bit. She is a super nice lady and has a super awesome horse named Hank. It is quite a story about him. Go to her blog and get to know NATRC's 2009 Presidents Cup winners, Jonni and Hank. (Can you tell I am a little proud to call her my friend.) (smile)
Anywho, Toni, Gail and Kathy got there and tacked up and off we went. We were having a great ride and we broke into our second canter of the day (which was about 3 miles out from camp) and that is when Summer and I got out of sinc with each other. She was moving out very nice, but when we got out of rhythm in our canter, she came up and I went down, hard. My back then screamed, "you are done!" I felt horrible. It hurt bad. Bad enough I missed work the next day. Toni and her friends escorted me back to the trailer. I couldn't get off and walk back, not 3 miles. And I couldn't get off as I knew I probably wouldn't be able to get back on. So I had to ride it out. And that hurt. I noticed though that if I kept one of my hands on my back for pressure and kept talking with Toni, it took my mind off of the pain.
What made me feel worse though was there were three large gullies we had to go down then up in. NATRC has taught me to get off the horses back when going up a hill. Especially steep ones like the three we had to go back on. I felt horrible. I could not get off her back. She had to carry me up with my full weight on her back. At the first one, I cried, because I felt like I was hurting her. Toni settled me and said she noticed Summer moving so quietly and gently. Like she knew I was hurting. That she was really taking care of me. So the next two hills, I didn't get so upset and Summer maneuvered those just a quietly and gently as she had done the first one.
Once back at camp, I used the handicap mount to dismount and hobbled with Summer back to the trailer. Toni untacked her for me and even loaded her up. Thanks Toni. You're a super good friend. One of these days, we will get to ride a whole loop at the grasslands! LOL
I hate having a bad back, but I have to say, this is the first time I have hurt my back by riding a horse. And I haven't hurt my back this bad since the beginning of 2004. It still hurts from the accident, but not enough to keep me off. I rode Sunday evening and yesterday evening. Course I used my 18lb endurance saddle and not my 45lb western saddle. And I used a tall mounting block to get on and off. I usually just kick my right leg over, and kick my left foot out the near side stirrup and just drop to the ground to dismount, but, don't think that is a good idea right now. And we are only walking, no moving out fast. My biggest thing is, I just have to be ready for February 20th, my next sorting competition. I think I will be as long as I don't push it right now.
It hurts and stiffens up most when I sit, but not when I sit on a horse. I guess because it is a different posture than sitting in chair. But this injury is a sign that I NEED to loose weight and exercise. Guess I will join the WW online. I have a friend that is doing that too. Guess we could do it together so we could be accountable to each other with our losses and gains.
Anyway, that is my blog for this week. I know, I know...not as exciting as my last blog, but there is a lesson in my injury for my other horse friends out there. Don't get out of sinc with your horse, it could be hazardous to one or both of you. And by this I mean, don't get out of sinc physically or mentally with your mount. And if you do, then do what you need to do to get back into a good "rhythm" with your animal. Whether it be lessons for you or training for your horse or both. Just do it. A horse and rider team with a good rhythm physically and mentally, and that stay in sinc with each other is a winning team. Whether pleasure riding or in major competition, you and your horse should be in harmonious state with each other. A true team.
Thanks for reading