Well, 2011 marked a new beginning for me.
In the spring of 2009, I suffered a serious injury (not horse related). I fractured my leg and totally crushed my ankle. Extensive surgery, which included the attachment of permanent hardware, was followed by a very long recovery period.
In the fall of 2010, I attempted a couple of western riding lessons on one of my own horses. I wasn't very comfortable, so I tabled my riding and didn't know if I would ever have the confidence to try again.
I worked very hard this year to regain my fitness level. I lost 35 lbs and I walk every day. This last Oct, I saw an ad in the local tack store, offering english lessons. I've ridden both english and western before, but I knew that english riding would present much more of a challenge to me. I made an appointment for a lesson, before I could chicken out. That first lesson was terrifying! But I got through it. Yesterday marked the 12th time I've ridden since starting in Oct. I'd never ridden in winter prior to this year and never trail rode in an english saddle. Now I've done both!
I have a long way to go. I need assistance from the trainer and a mounting block to get on the horse as well as for dismounting. But I'm proud of myself for pushing through my discomfort and apprehension and am thoroughly enjoying myself. This is a new beginning for me and I look forward to my first riding lesson of 2012.