Sunday, December 01, 2013

One Armed Ride

Today I woke up pretty stiff. I've been trying to piece together how exactly I hit the ground. Since I had no warning and didn't actually leave the saddle before impact, it's surprisingly difficult to piece together what happened and where my injuries are. I think I sprawled with one arm above my head. I don't have any visible bruising. All the damage seems to be pretty deep in the muscles of my thorax. All I know for sure is my right arm isn't good for much.

Fortunately, I have my husband. After lying around all morning, I was ready to get out of the house. We went to the barn and he put my saddle on Steen for me. I managed to get myself mounted with only minimal gasping and flailing, and got my right hand situated in my vest pocket. Then we poked around the outdoor arena for a while.

Steen was stiff too, though it was minor. Still, we warmed up slowly. I rode in my bosalita, since the delicate reins are easier to manage with one hand. I figure it was good practice for the two-rein.

We walked around, and eventually my stiffness seemed to lessen. Steen was moving well by then too. I asked for a trot. Either Steen wasn't feeling ultra enthusiastic or he'd picked up on how gingerly I was riding, because he eased into the slowest, smoothest shuffle-jog I've ever felt from him. We'd have fit right in at a Western Pleasure show. It was kind of hilarious.

It wasn't much of a ride, but I did most of it one-handed. I usually ride with my right hand on the reins, which is a habit I'm going to have to break if I ever want to do anything with a rope from horseback, so it was a good opportunity to work on my left-handed skillz. Steen was good - light and attentive and soft. Eventually I got him into a bigger trot, and we even did a little bit of loping.

Midway through the ride, a new boarder arrived. Her new horse was introduced to part of the herd in the 'airlock,' which is a fenced area that runs between the outdoor arena and the pasture where our horses live. Brian and I rode Steen and Bear over to watch, and although there was a lot of snorting and prancing and the herd getting stirred up and galloped around like mad, neither Steen or Bear moved a muscle in spite of their evident curiosity. Two years ago, Steen would have turned inside out if I'd expected him to hold still with those kinds of antics taking place only a few feet away. Three years ago, I would have preemptively dismounted when I saw the new horse arrive, to avoid the danger and embarrassment of the spastic behavior I knew would emerge.

So in short, my horse may have fallen over on me, but I still love him.

Ride Time: 1:05
Horseback Hours YTD: 184:45

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