Tuesday, July 17, 2018

First Ride Since Bailing Off & a New Understanding of What I Need

"Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad Judgement.
And sometimes that bad judgement can be pretty horrific."

Val Geissler, Unbranded

A major down-side to getting bucked off so aggressively, was that I was unable to ride for fifteen days.  Of course, I'm very lucky it's not more, but still, it slowed me down and limited me to groundwork.  It would have been better for my confidence to have gotten right back on, but that wasn't possible.

To recap: the body bruising was wide-spread, but most of the pain was in the ribs & liver.  I was on Motrin day and night.  When the ribs started to feel a little better, I stopped the Motrin, and that's when I felt the hip and knee pain.  A few days ago, the knee pain all but disappeared, but the hip pain remains.  Kind of reminds me of last winter when I fell on ice.

Oh, and I almost forgot, while I was on vacation with my kids, I was stung by a hornet on my good arm--and had a bad allergic reaction with lots of swelling.  Five days later, it's still swollen and itchy!  Arghhhhh!

But anyway, all that aside, today was my day to get back on a horse, and I was surprised to find some real self-doubt lingering around.

I chose Cowboy, rather than Leah, since I'm still on the mend, and don't want to get myself into a situation I'm physically unprepared to handle.  But even with Cowboy, the doubts lingered, so I started going down a list of things, in my mind, that might be causing the fear:

Is it a BALANCE issue?  I reminded myself that I have good balance and can ride my horse bareback at every gait.  I can also go from a standing position to a legs crossed sitting position, and up again--without holding onto anything. (I read somewhere that that's a good test of longevity.)

Skill?  I have enough balance and skill, or a better word, experience, to have survived spinning, bucking, and bucking and running--bucking that was so hard, mind you, that my tailbone is still quite sore.  But I was able to navigate all that to the rail, pull her head around, swing myself off with my right arm and land on my feet. (pat self on back again.)

Judgement?  Ah, this is where I couldn't quite assuage myself.  As I was leading Cowboy to the mounting block, I thought back at all the many, many, many times I mounted a horse who was giving me signs that it needed something more--but I mounted anyway and took my chances in saddle.  It always worked out--until the day it didn't.

But with Beautiful Girl, I had been wary of that possibility, and I had hired my trainer to be beside me--to be that extra pair of eyes.

Do you think I'm good to mount?  I'd asked her.

But Rebecca wasn't there that day.  And, I wondered what she would have said if she had been there.

I know the answer.  She would have told me no.  No, Beautiful Girl was not in a frame of mind to go to the next step.

I need to work on that judgement part of my life.  It's almost like turning 50-something has dulled it.  Like it's made me more accident prone.  Why?  What has changed that I'm rushing so head-long out of cars, onto horses, around hornets?  Is it just bad luck?  Or, is it a mind too busy multi-tasking and not "present" enough?  Mindful?

I guess from all these questions, I can already see the answer.  My life is demanding I be more present.

So, I swung my leg over Cowboy and off we went bareback--walk, trotting, practicing our turns with no reins.  My tailbone hurt as I tilted my hips back for the stop, but it was a reminder that my life is fragile.  Its preservation demands my attention--not just with horses---but in ALL things.

I have some changes to make.