Sunday, May 29, 2016

Back in the Saddle -- Sort Of

Monday is Memorial Day here in the US so I have a three-day weekend.  Culturally, we bookend summer with Memorial Day (last Monday in May) and Labor Day (first Monday in September).  So, even though it isn't technically summer, we are in full-summer mode.  The weather is also very warm, lending credence to the change of seasons.

Sweat was already making my shirt stick to my back as I walked Lucy up to the arena.  She'd been quiet at the tie rail while I groomed her, until turkeys strolled past out driveway.  This morning a Tom was sitting on the fence with his tail fanned, and gobbling for all he was worth.  The horses were all standing in their pastures, facing the street, heads high and eyes wide.
The entourage eventually walked further down the road and the horses settled into their breakfast. When the turkeys came back, Lucy swung her hips away from the tie rail so she could twist her neck and watch them.  There are turkeys cruising by (and in) the pastures all the time so I'm not sure why these were so alarming.

Fortunately, the arena is in the opposite direction from the road so Lucy was back to mellow by the time I snapped on the lunge line.  It didn't take her long to settle into a relaxed trot, stretching down and blowing.  When I asked her to canter, she bucked.  And crow-hopped.  And shook her head.  She never did canter, just kept up with the crow hopping.  Watching, I could see that canter was painful for her.  I know how Lucy bucks when she is fresh, or pissy, or worried.  This was none of those.  She couldn't canter either direction.  I thought two things: 1) No wonder my back got hurt with all that jarring crow-hopping going on and 2) her hocks need to be injected again.  I'll have to save up for that, and in the meantime I won't ask her to canter.

Lucy stood quietly for me at the mounting block and I got on without incident.  We walked around the dusty arena, with the sun beating down, for five minutes or so.  Brett was working with Pistol up at the far end, keeping things low key.  I asked Lucy to trot and she was a bit sluggish.  We trotted a few steps and my back felt fine, but I wasn't happy with the transition.  I asked again and used a bit more leg in an effort to get a more energetic response.  As I pushed against Lucy with my leg, pain shot down my thigh.  Lucy is very light; very sensitive; so the pressure wasn't much, which is discouraging.  It shouldn't have hurt at all.  I'll see what the physical therapist says later this week, but I don't think I'll be riding yet for awhile.


  1. You have a new follower! Good on you for listening to your horses bodies and your own!

  2. Best to take it slow and see what your therapist says. Good luck with everything.

  3. An American in TokyoMay 30, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    Oh no! Take it slow and easy!
    You'll get back in the saddle soon enough. =)

  4. That's not good--something is still off if you had that reaction. :( I wonder what's going on with Lucy? It sounds like her issue is something like what you're experiencing.


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