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

Time For A Massage!

Im not talking about myself, don’t be daft! I wouldn’t pay for that for myself, no, we’re talking about equine deep muscle massage. This is the reason I haven’t been to the hairdressers in a year!! Horses, dogs and children come way before me (not in that order of course, I promise!) For the pricely sum of £30 Finlay got an MOT (service)

This was long overdue, I’ve always known he was stiff on his offside (right side) and he has had shiatsu treatments but he was feeling quite off! So it was time for something a bit more substantial, something more physical to get to the root of the problem. This is where Irene comes in.

Irene works with divining rods initially when gets to work massaging the affected area. I had never seen this technique before but she was highly recommended by the professional trainer at my yard. Im very open to alternative therapies and have, in the past, given healing (channelling energy) to humans and animals. So when Irene began I was full of questions, how she got started with divining rods, was it a spiritual connection, what guided her (the rods or spirit) She told me that she is a spiritualist and frequently attends ghost hunting weekends!

To some this may be amusing but if you saw what she did for Finlay you’d change your mind!

She stood on his near side first (left) the rods immediately started spinning wildly, the over to the other side which was exactly the same. I had given her very little information (wanted to see if she would pick up on what I already knew) Very quickly she said he was sore on both sides just behind the shoulder but much worse on the offside. Correct!

In fact he was really sore! My poor boy was climbing the wall when she started to massage the muscles. It was quite frightening to watch just how sore it was! I felt so guilty I hadn’t done this sooner. Finlay never really showed any real problem. Never disagreed when tacking up or girthing up etc. But last week I notice his stride shorten, so stopped riding that day and called Irene.

Irene explained that this problem has been there for years, long before I got him and that he’s had some kind of trauma on his offside. I’d always suspected this because that’s his stiff side, he sweats more on that side, lies on that side, always turns to the right (in his stable, spooking etc) Anything that means he doesn’t have to stretch his offside.

As Irene worked away he slowly began to feel more comfortable. I could visible see the blood flow returning to the muscle, a very slight pulse could be seen and the whole area was very soft. Finlay was breathing huge sighs of relief and resting his head in my arms. My beloved boy was finally feeling relaxed. Irene commented regularly about how lovely Finlay was, not in looks, in personality/energy. This is the exact same feeling I got when I first set eyes on him two and a half years ago. It was a spiritual connection.

Finn now has two days in the field (today and tomorrow) I will lunge on Saturday and saddle on Sunday.

Irene is a fascinating person, she works with top horses all over the country. Eventer Lenamore one example! Yet she loves nothing more than sleeping in a haunted house looking for ghosts. Add to that her 5ft2″ stature and broad Glasgow accent (imagine the Crankies, Janette, Scottish comedy legend) then you get a rather un-horsey looking person lol But never a truer word than don’t judge a book by its cover. She’s extremely professional and one of the nicest people Ive ever met!

Finlay is to have a follow up in two weeks time. On reflection I believe the months spent at the pervious yard compounded this hidden problem. The anxiety and stress increased the tension in his muscles leading to a sore Finnie.  x

‘Could It be Magic…?’

So the song goes…. For the older reader that would be Barry Manilo or more recently ( I say recently that would be 1993) Take That.

That song comes to mind for a few reasons tonight.

As some of you know I have a chronic pain condition called IC and over that last four years it was become increasingly worse. After a conversation with a friend who lives in the US I decided to try magnet therapy.

I have no idea if this will work but Ive been wearing my silver horseshoe (of course) magnet bracelet for a week and I definitely have less pain!! Of course this is not a clinical test there could be other reasons. But if this continues I will be delighted!!

Another little piece of magic last week, an old friend came back into my life. This person has been part of my life on and off since high school and having both been through some very difficult years with other people we finally put out cards on the table and decided to take a chance. I was asked ‘are we making the same mistake’ I answered no, because after 15 years apart we are different people. Our, at times, traumatic experiences at the hands of others, have made us better people.  Be brave I said, take a chance at happiness.

Of course nothing is ever simple and the miles separate us but a visit next week is much anticipated!

Could it be magic? Well I feel I have been blessed with a little magic!  I feel loved 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.