Saturday, 5 May 2012

Ups and Downs

This week has been a real mix of emotions for me. To begin with, Hillary has been given the all clear to go out in a small field. This felt like a real milestone for me, and I was excited to let her out. She behaved impeccably as you can see from the picture; it seemed she was content enough to just stand in the fresh air and eat. However, the skin on the leg (which was shaved for the ultra sound scan) is very pink, and the mud seemed straight away to make it look red and angry. For this reason then, she hasn't been out in the field for fear of getting mud rash.
To add to this, the weather has not lent itself to me being able to ride, and I feel that rather than me rushing back into the saddle (which could tempt my anxiety to return), I'd rather wait until I feel secure. So we continued walking. The problem is though, that it's incredibly hard to feel secure when there is no one there by your side to help (for me, that is anyway.) I'd spent so much of last year recovering and becoming more and more confident, and although riding is something of a desperation at the moment, I do still get very anxious.

And so, with frustration over the weather, and Hillary's leg- keep as dry as possible-cold hose when hot?? and the desperation to ride, and also a tiring full week of work I have felt a whirl wind of emotions. Having never owned a horse before, its hard for me to know what to do. I try and think sensibly about things, but its   hard to know what I'm meant to do. I've no experience behind me, and even people around me say things that are different and that contradict each other. But most of the issues of this week have come from the feeling of dread, of feeling the anxiety come sneaking back. This time I recognise it, and the knowledge of it makes me feel terrible. My partner Ric tells me that I can get through it again should it ever get back to that, but it isn't as simple as that as it tested me so much. Not just the inability to ride and the associated guilt of that, but also the embarrassment of trying to explain to others the reasons why; the illogical but yet so controlling ideas. This all grew into a point where last night I cried from sheer frustration. I don't want to fail. I want to be positive and learning and improving like I was before the accident. As Ric would say, my moods depend very much on whether I'm riding, and though its not a conscious thing for me, I do feel like my world is right when I'm able to ride.

So, I decided today (5.5.12) would be the day to ride providing the weather was fine. I had the vet early this morning and so managed to get the farm jobs done before the vet arrived. The vet is impressed with the improvement in the shape of the leg as there is much less swelling. Also, he says that her weight, which is obviously a constant issue with me, is pretty much 'spot on'. She had her adequan injection (3/7) and behaved brilliantly. I went home to do some jobs, then back up early afternoon to ride.

Luckily Ric agreed to come with me. Normally he hates the farm and will avoid it where possible, but today he agreed to help me whilst I rode. I gave Hills a quick brush, and tacked up, making sure I tried to stay calm throughout. Finally, I got on, whilst Hills was held in place by my friend Cheryl. I tried not to think about the nerves; they were being over taken by excitement anyway, and after ten minutes of riding in walk, I didn't want to dismount. Ric walked with me, keeping at Hillary's head, and I talked to him constantly. I felt amazing- no anxiety, just a rush of brilliance knowing I was riding Hills again. Needless to say, she had the biggest apple I could find as a treat afterwards.

I feel refreshed in energy after today. Its easy to get bogged down with the negatives and the frustrations, but  its the moments, however fleeting, of positivity that turn it around. Yesterday I was in tears; tonight I'm smiling. I hope more than anything, that she continues to improve, and we can continue to ride.

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