After taking two months off since my rotational fall, I got back in the saddle once for a nice, quiet ride across the now empty farm fields that stretch along the ridge behind the barn. I didn't even think of going into the sand ring. We just had a nice, calm walk and no excitement, no trotting, no workout. He skirted around the fallen trees from the wind-storms and we didn't go into the forest because of the fallen trees in the forest. We probably wouldn't have gone in anyway because I didn't want to do anything other than walk.

Oakley was very upset after the accident, and J.M. reported he was quite jumpy and nervous, far more than usual, and tended to hide in the shelter much more than usual. I came up to visit, stuff a couple of apples into him, and do some grooming after a couple of weeks, and came back twice more in December for the same. After my visits, he became "more of his old self" and calmed down, although he is still quite subdued by comparison.

My upper back aches and the joints where my ribs meet my spine are still quite sore, and I haven't the strength to be even drawing lightly on the reins. I have re-started my exercise program, although it's back to page 1, so very light work. Even that minimal amount feels stiff and sore. So Oakley is going to have little more than grooming and treats for the next couple of months. I have no plans to get back into riding until I am completely healed.

I have no need at all to risk further injury, to risk more permanent injury because I got on too soon, I have no craving need to get back riding, and my ego doesn't need it, either. I have found out that I am now officially a serious badass, because I actually got up and walked away from that fall which really should have killed me. It seems the other borders marvelled at the hole we left in the sand ring; they all went to look and agreed it was just like Wile E. Coyote when the boulder lands on him.

So when we had our New Years Day walk in the cold wind blowing over the frozen ground, Oakley was very well behaved and we had a nice, quiet, relaxing 45 minutes, possibly the quietest, calmest walk we have ever taken. I didn't even feel the cold.

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Comment by Jackie Cochran on January 23, 2021 at 9:16am

I am so glad you were able to get back up on your horse.

Take all the time you need to heal.  Oakley probably won't mind at all so long he knows you are OK.

I find it truly amazing how much heat a horse can give off.  It takes the bitterest cold with a north wind before I feel like I NEED to wear gloves.

And yes, you are a serious badass.  You survived.  But when you ride practice, practice, practice loosening your reins (just sagging is fine) from contact periodically.  If necessary ignore your riding teacher about this.  This is the first step to self carriage (after the physical development of the necessary muscles.)

When in doubt the first thing I do is ease up on the reins, then the horse and I can start to negotiate since the pain in his mouth is not driving him crazy.

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