But I just felt the desire to share some HUGE news that happened to me (and my mare Apache) last week!
For all of you that have been following along with my tangled and twisted horse journey, riding along with me over the bumps, the bruises, broken bones and spirit, up the mountains of challenges, through the rivers of tears, and into the boundaries surpassed while celebrating the joyous triumphs…….well, I just want you to know that last week I was able to conquer another obstacle that has been holding me back from my goals and dreams for the past year and a half.
Some of you might have realized that after I suffered a kick to my eye from my mare Apache, two summers ago, that it took me a year before I could trust my mare again and feel confident enough to be able to ride her. I finally did ride her again at a group lesson with my instructor, Jessica. And then just a few days later went on to ride Apache in a 7 mile ACTHA CTR. And I’ve been able to ride her in lessons, on trail rides and in another ACTHA CTR in Santa Fe last September. That’s all well and good, right?
But something was missing:
My ability to ride my mare in my own backyard.
I know what you’re thinking. How odd that I would feel confident and safe with riding my mare anywhere else but home.
I agree with you. Even I couldn’t grasp what the problem was and why I wasn’t able to do one simple thing. Ride my mare at home. What was the big deal?
Well, for those of you that have followed along, you’ll remember that all five of my horse related injuries/events have happened at home:
1.Being dumped from my first horse which resulted in surgery for a severed ACL.
2)Breaking that same knee just 4 months later when my first horse pulled back and broke the welds off of the steel pipe railing she was tied to, resulting in the steel rail slamming me into the ground.
3)Getting kicked in the eye by my mare, Apache, which resulted in a broken eye socket.
4)Getting clipped in the hip by Apache when she ran up beside me, which just resulted in a big bruise.
5)Watching my son, Jax, get bucked off when he was trying out a potential horse we were considering buying.
So, in my mind, it just felt like everything bad and dangerous happened at home and I just didn’t feel safe and didn’t want to risk life and limb to ride at home.
But I did want to ride at home.
And I didn’t realize this fact until I started riding a friend’s horse back in early January. I’ve been riding Splendor almost every week for the past 3 months. I’ve enjoyed my time on horseback and have learned so much while rebuilding my confidence, too.
But it’s an hour and a half drive to ride my friend’s horse, Splendor, and most of all I missed just being able to walk outside to my own barn to ride my own horse whenever I wanted to.
(I missed this view from atop my mare’s back!)
Well, my friend Kendra, who is a fellow ACTHA CTR Competitor and who sometimes rides down at San Acacia knew this, too, and offered to come up from her ranch in Mountainair to help me move past this obstacle while enjoying some pony playtime. Kendra wants to bring her horses up for some llama desensitization and ACTHA obstacle practice since I have my own Obstacle Course set up in my pastures, so we’ll be getting together again soon.
(My llamas kind of freaked her out. They sure were checking her out! Or maybe they were just checking me out….they’ve not seen me ride Apache at home for the past year and half!)
So, last week, Kendra came over and I got my mare tacked up and I hopped on, and Kendra led me around for a couple laps around the pasture until I felt comfortable. Then she just let me go and I was riding my mare just the way I do when I’m not at home. And it was fun!
Although I must admit that my mare sure was lazy…but that’s the way she always is. I can let Apache sit for months…heck, even a year, and she’s the exact same horse when I finally get back on her back again. I’m sure grateful for that! She sure made me work at getting her to trot, but that’s her thing. Always has been. Even when I took lessons on her last year, I had to use a quirt to get her to speed up. She has a sweet little trot, though and I do enjoy riding her. We also went through all of the obstacles I have in my pasture (the mailbox, vines, cavalettis, and trampoline tarp) and she did them all willingly…and even gave me a side pass to the mailbox, which is something we had been working on last September in our lessons, but hadn’t practiced since then. Apache was also very soft and willing when backing up, too. This is something else we had been working on last year because she used to brace when I asked her to back up. This time, I just alternately squeezed the reins and told her “back” and she backed up for me as often as I asked without bracing or me having to pull on the reins. Nice!
Kendra wanted to see if she could get Apache into a trot a little easier and even to see if Apache would canter, so I invited her to jump up for a ride, too.
Apache was a good girl, but just as lazy with Kendra, although she did manage to get Apache to trot almost the entire perimeter of the pasture.
We both tried to get Apache into a canter, but it was a no go. All the kicking, squeezing, clucking, kissing, swinging of the reins and tapping her butt went ignored.
(Even my neighbor Fantastyk Voyage’s Arabians couldn’t tempt Apache into running around, even though they ran along the fence as we rode by. Then they just gave up and watched us instead. lol!)
Next time I will use my quirt because that was a pretty useful tool when I used it during lessons. But Kendra and I both had to admit all our efforts had us laughing like little kids.
(It’s amazing to me that Kendra is the same age as me, 46, and already has 2 toddler aged grandkids!)
(I think Kendra enjoyed running Apache through a few of the obstacles in my pastures, like the vine obstacle. It was a warm…but very windy day!)
But before I resort to the quirt, I’m going to wait and see what results I get from the MSM, Glucosamine, Chondroiten supplement that she’s started for her shoulder, which has been on again/off again lame since I took her horse camping in the Carson National Forest 2 summers ago. The vet and chiro/massage therapist have nerve tested Apache’s leg from hoof to knee with no problems revealed. And the chiro and massage therapy hasn’t solved the problem either. They believe that Apache’s stiffness is arthritis related, and is in her shoulder. I’m hoping that this joint supplement relieves her stiffness the same way as it has done for my own knees and hips.
But enough of that.
Hey! I rode my own horse at home!!
(A funny video of my friend Kendra riding my mare Apache, trying to get her up into a canter. lol!)
I’m not back…….
But I hope y’all enjoyed me sharing my exciting news with all of you blogger friends who have been there for me with your kind words, encouragement and support in the past. I shared this news on Facebook the other day, so some of you already know and have left me such awesome comments. Thank you! I wasn’t going to bother with posting this news on my blog, but Sherry of Fern Valley Appaloosas said I should consider it, so here it is!
And what a long post, too, eh? lol!