Tuesday night I hopped on my horse almost 9 weeks after his surgery. It was definitely a moment I’ve been looking forward to, but I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous that something would go wrong.
I tacked him up and even though he was on a little Ace, he had his usual sparkle in his eye and tried to grab the cross ties with his lips as I groomed and saddled him. He did his usual “stop grooming me and love on my face” spiel that I love so much, and was a complete gentleman as I walked him down the aisle.
Just in case, I closed both gates to the indoor arena and did a couple laps around the arena on foot to be sure the novel experience of wearing a saddle again wasn’t going to provoke any undue excitement. News flash- it didn’t.
Feeling a bit silly, I hopped on, amazed at how much mane was in my hands (add mane-pullling to the to do list) as I swung up into the saddle. We circled around the arena, not following any kind of real pattern and I resisted the urge to put him together. It was surprising to me that he felt a little wobbly, even though I was prepared for his balance to be slightly altered from his time in stall rest. So we ambled around like a pair of elderly drunkards for our prescribed 5 minutes while Foster stretched deep down, obviously enjoying being back in the game.
After our ride, I’ve been reflecting on how quickly this recovery process is going by, but also realizing just how far we have yet to go. We are allowed to add 5 minutes of walking to our schedule each week for the next month- and though slightly limited as it might be, I’m going to try to enjoy every second of it.