When she did go out, her leg became inflamed and red from the wet and cold mud. This meant another call to the vets (I don't know how to deal with anything like this), and after a coating of sudocrem, its now looking a lot calmer. However, to prevent this happening again, Hills hasn't been out in the field since. I am told I can turn her out in the menage, and I intend to do this; hence going through the nerve-wracking process of her going out all over again.
I have also started riding now, at first for just ten minutes around the yard on our walking route. I won't lie and tell you my anxiety hasn't reared its ugly head, but I have not been anywhere near as severely affected. I have worries getting on, primarily because I have to juggle the less movement of my leg with the less movement of my torso due to wearing the body protector. Once I'm on though, and I've sat back, I feel fine. I have very few moments of fear, and find that I am managing to control my breathing much better.
Sunday came, and I had arranged to ride with my friend Kath who has been so helpful in getting me back in the saddle. I tacked up quickly and got on Hillary, waiting for Kath to join me. We set off quickly. The planned ride meant going off the farm and heading down the lane, and round a roundabout by the school. In total about twice the riding time that I've done since her accident. Two friends joined us with their horses, and we all rode single file down the lane, Hillary going second sandwiched between two others.
I found the whole ride very enjoyable. There were a few slightly scary moments, and as usual, I was ready for jumping off at the slightest second, but I kept reminding myself to sit back and breathe. Hillary behaved so well, excitable yet controllable, and when we got back, I felt incredible. Hillary, I could see, felt more relaxed too, and had even broken into a slight sweat. I was grinning from ear to ear.
I intend to keep riding whenever possible to ensure that both Hillary and I can keep rebuilding our fitness and our ridden bond. I keep looking at Hillary's leg and feeling the temperature of it- after seemingly so many setbacks and rests, I can't quite believe that we are doing well. The vet says I should be riding back at some level of normality by August... please let that be the case :)