Wondering where I’ve been? Lying on the couch, complaining about winter, trying to lose the post-Christmas weight and feeling sorry for myself, mostly.
A couple of weeks before Christmas I had a very minor (I thought) accident in which a sleepy horse got startled in the cross ties, (not his fault, poor guy) jumped up, and came down with his full weight on my foot. I was pretty sure right away that my baby toe was broken but wasn’t very concerned. It’s been broken before and back then all I did was tape it to the toe next to it, shove it into a boot and put up with a bit of discomfort for a few weeks.
However, this horse had winter studs and he landed on an area that contains a lot of very small bones. So instead of just strapping it up with ice and vetwrap, which is my go-to treatment for just about everything, I decided to be a responsible adult and go to the ER for an X-ray. The doctor said the X-ray was clear and sent me home with instructions to take Tylenol and ice it. “Perfect!” I thought. “I’ll be riding by the weekend! That was December 12.
This past Monday, February 3, I finally managed to put my tall boots on for the first time, get in the saddle and have an actual lesson. A short one, but still a lesson. Turns out my toe was fractured after all, and they missed it on the X-ray. Turns out a 1,000lb animal jumping on your foot causes a fair amount of soft tissue and nerve damage. Turns out 47-year-olds don’t heal as quickly as 17-year-olds. Who knew?
Anayway, I‘m back and it’s time to start focusing on some serious goals. In no particular order here they are and how I’m committing to achieving them:
1. Lose weight This one is important for my own health and the health of my horse. At the moment my two commitments to change are not eating after 8pm (my mindless snack window) and writing down everything I eat. Before Christmas I lost 5 pounds and at least managed not to gain it back, but haven’t lost any more, so it’s time toughen up.
2. Improve strength and stamina This one is off to a slow start with my injury but my commitment is to do something physical every day, whether walking to work, doing a yoga video, taking a Zumba class or going to the gym with my teenage daughter.
3. Worry less Although I have one of the safest, sweetest horses in the world, anxiety often rules my head when I’m riding (and in many other areas of my life lol). I still automatically check the amount of snow on the arena roof when I drive up, or get increasingly anxious as wind speeds increase. The mere thought of getting out of my comfort zone to a show, or a hack in one of our gorgeous fields makes me break into a sweat. So my commitment is learning some tools to help me turn off the “what ifs” and enjoy the moment instead.
4. Ride more. This one should be easy but it’s not. My goal isn’t to be excellent and I don’t have the drive, finances, time or energy needed to truly excel. But I do want to be competent and I do want to improve, which means getting my big butt in the saddle. My commitment is three rides a week, no matter what, even if I can’t always fit three lessons in around my work schedule. My part boarder takes lessons on the days I don’t, which helps ease the guilt about not making the drive to the barn as often as I’d like.
Will these commitments get me to my goal of competently riding a Third Level test? I won’t know until I try!
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About the author
I'm a middle-aged, overweight, rusty re-rider who refuses to let any of that get in the way of my passion for dressage.