Thirty Minutes of Heaven….

That’s all it was, 30 minutes but how good it felt.

After an enforced two and a half months out of the saddle today I finally got back on. And how wonderful it was! The weather was not playing the game however, wind is not Finn’s friend. He hates it with a passion. It makes him flighty and sharp, spooking at the slightest thing.

I have to admit I was feeling anxious about riding him again. Being anxious is quite an alien feeling for me. I’ve always happily sat on anything and having had Finlay for nearly four years I have never felt unsafe or scared. But this morning I was definitely nervous. I hastily tacked up… think my speed was to just get it done and get on a soon as I could so I would stop feeling anxious. Finlay has been lunged for the past two weeks plus on the walker to try a build up a little fitness but he had stood in yesterday as I was working all day. Being aware of this added to my nervousness. I had put on a martingale too which I don’t normally ride with.

Anyway I lead him out the door and popped on. And relax…….

Well sort of! With the wind up his tail we has some nonsense but nothing too serious. The school was busy with some practising for tomorrows competition so we just calmly walked around doing some stretching. With a little trotting and a walk down the drive we were finished. Thirty minutes was enough after such a long time off… for both of us.

Tomorrow we will try again and knowing the yard will be quiet with the others away competing I will have space to potter around without horses jumping and flying past. Maybe even do some proper schooling! The IC seems calmer but this can change hour by hour. Riding today hasn’t totally lifted my spirits, the feelings of isolation and loneliness are strong but its a start and maybe one day soon I will find me again. How noticeable the change in confidence levels. I have felt this in my day to day life over the last few months but I wasn’t expecting to feel so unsure of myself this morning tacking up Finn. Maybe this recent IC flare has had a deeper effect than I first thought. Or maybe its simply the lack of my daily therapy in the saddle……. x

Equines : And Other Animals

Our family has always had pets of one variety or another. To this day I couldn’t be without my dogs.

Our first family dog was Kimmie a Heinz 57 and she was the loveliest kindest most intelligent dog I ever knew. My love of dogs started with her. Our second was Meg, the super intelligent boarder collie, beautiful brown and white long haired coat. By the end of the 70’s we had a Tory Government and been through various budgies and gold fish. None lasted very long apart from Mrs Thatcher of course although one cat out lived Maggie’s reign. He was acquired when we moved into a rented farmhouse. Seemingly the previous tenants did a moon light flit and the cat got left behind. The Grey and White cat lived for 14 years, we never knew his real age.

Horses are a huge part of my life, the non judgemental, unconditional love has been a constant when the human version has been absent. As a child I turned to horses to feel loved, to find confidence in myself and to feel worthwhile. I still do this to this day.

As I write there is one dog snuggled beside me on the chair, she is Pippa a 1 year old Jack Russell. Such a pretty tri colour, with a beautiful face. She is a source of comfort. Her adoring eyes, well probably cupboard love but she makes me smile. The other dog is snoring loudly on the sofa.

During 2002/2003 I found myself going through a particularly difficult time in my life. My horse then was Intan, a 16.2hh Thoroughbred. I cried into his warm neck many times. He always stood perfectly still, never moved a muscle until Id gathered myself together. He was my rock. My lovely boy is still going strong with is current owner, who will keep him until his last day and that was the only reason I sold her to him.

And now Finlay is my therapy. Finlay the big, silly sod he is at times, looks after me. I rarely feel confident apart from when riding him. I know Im good at it. I think my need to compete is to validate that. To show everyone I can do something right in my life. I don’t know why I feel I need to prove myself, well maybe I do but that conversation is for a therapist of the human variety.