Last week I sat in the saddle for the first time in over a month. As I drove home afterwards, I realized that a huge weight had been lifted on my chest. The juxtaposition of my sudden post-ride elation with the feelings I’d had during my non-riding month was enlightening: I’d been experiencing withdrawal.
I’ve long known that time away from riding is detrimental to my mental health, discovered in the non-horsey period of my life between selling Ivan and buying Foster. My emotions went haywire, and there was little the husband or anyone else could do to pick up the pieces. What I didn’t realize this time is that these symptoms would kick in after a minor two weeks. For the first couple weeks post-surgery I handled it; I had the worries of bandaging and talking to vets and insurance and the start of a huge new house project to keep me busy. But from there on out, the grumpiness built and I felt downright surly in general.
begging asking others at the barn if needed any rides on their horses, I was able to get on Bob, an older Selle Francais gelding that is reinventing himself as a dressage superstar.
Bob is quite a different ride that Foster, and not without his own quirks, and his owner A has been more than gracious in
feeding my addiction allowing me some time on him. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Bob much better and started to figure out a couple of his buttons in our last ride, and while I’m still a bit loose in the saddle (those core muscles disappeared quickly!) with each ride I feel my sea legs returning. Though Foster is incredibly jealous of my time with Bob, and constantly nickers and calls to me as I tack up and groom the other gelding, I hope my time riding will allow for an easier transition once Foster himself is ready to get back to work.
Until then, I’ll be climbing aboard Bob and any other horse I’m allowed- my brain and my poor husband appreciate it.