I am back!! Finally riding again; failure or success?

Hello friends, and welcome to another week and another blog post!

Most of you may know that back in June, I had a horse riding accident. Nothing major really, just ended up with a bruised lung and a hairline fracture in my knee. Which you can read all about and a bit more of a deep dive into my feelings about it here https://livingabled.com.au/when-things-go-wrong-getting-back-up-again/

So for the past 2 months, I haven’t been able to ride due to the injury but also the weather has been shocking!!!

I have spent that time recovering and getting back into working out slowly and pre-occupying my time with a lot of uni work.

However, that all changed today when the weather gave us a perfect day for riding!

So for this week’s post, I want to talk about how today went and where to from here!

No matter what, get back on the horse

Me riding with my new horse. He is brown with a pink saddle pad showing. The reins are red, and the sky is a beautiful blue with the trees in the background. I am in all black, looking forward in the distance.

I said to myself when my accident happened, that I would make sure I got back in the saddle for at least one more ride.

The saying in the horse world is true, that you get back on or it will own you for life. It is very crazy how quick you can develop a fear over something and it has the potential to control every decision you make. These last few months I can even tell you there was some fear about riding horses again.

However, a week after my accident I was back in the gym. I couldn’t do much at all but it was a step in the right direction.

A couple of weeks later, I found out I had also done a hairline fracture in my knee, which meant another four weeks off training legs and riding. Fortunately, the weather was horrid, so no riding was happening anyway. To be honest it was actually the best thing that could have happened, because I wasn’t ready to get back on just yet from an emotional point of view. The accident shook me up more than what I thought it would, so the time off was really needed.

I got the clearance to resume life as normal about 3 weeks ago, and since then I have been training at least 3 times a week and really listening to my body in terms of what it needs.

That has been the biggest thing I have learnt is making sure I pay extra close attention to my body so I don’t over do things. The last thing I wanted was to try and smash out a gym session and end up fatigued, falling over, and setting myself back even more in terms of when I could ride again!

Today was the day

a close up pic of me riding my horse with two people either side of me

As I said earlier, today was my first ride back after my accident. I would be lying to you if I said I was as calm as a cucumber. It was incredibly nervous and anxious, and my mind kept replaying the accident like a loop last night. There may or may not have been a few tears shed when I went to bed last night thinking about riding again, for a lot of reasons, but anxious was one of those reasons.

I knew it was just my brain trying protect me from another potential accident, as brains like to do. So I had a few stern words with myself this morning to try and calm myself down, as I knew if i went in anxious the horse will pick up on that and worry a threat is nearby. Which is not a good combo when you are about to jump on their back and go for a leisurely stroll!

I realised during my stern talking to was that I was lacking confidence in myself, my body and even my horse. So I needed to quickly figure out without trust and confidence, was riding the best idea. However, once I figured out that a lack of self confidence is to be expected, and that horses will try their utmost to look after you, and that I need to just be present and take one step at a time, I calmed down.

New horse who is this?

me saying hi to my horse for the first time. I am standing next to a fence with the horses head over the fence getting a nice big pat. there are people holding him and standing near me as well.

The thing that helped me to calm down was that putting in place a couple of ways to make my first ride back successful and ambulance free. I was going to have people either side of me just in case I was going to fall, and I promised myself if I didn’t feel comfortable I would ask to get off.

The other thing I was going to raise was the chance of changing my horse. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored the horse I was riding, but I realised that her and I tend to be anxious, and two anxious beings together is not the best combo.

Without me asking, the coach asked me how I felt about changing horses to a quarterhorse gelding instead of a thoroughbred mare. I didn’t argue with that and so I went to meet this new horse. He and I clicked straight away and my nerves immediately vanished.

He is such a gentle and steady horse, and I felt completely safe. I still had people either side of me as well as someone using the lead rope. It was a winning combo, and I got through the lesson safe and incredibly happy. And almost cried happy tears in the car on the way home

Where to now for riding?

a black and white photo of me smiling on the horse. I am in mid conversation with someone near me with someone else holding a lead rope that is attached to my horse.

If you recall from my earlier blog about whether I would ride again, I said that I would have one more ride and then assess from there.

After today, I know that there is absolutely no way I will be hanging up the helmet. Riding gives me too much freedom, and by evaluating my mindset I was able to enjoy riding even more than what I have in the past.

I still know there will be a time I will come off again and that injuries are a likely thing, but that is okay with me.

It gives me an extra sense of purpose, and although these last 2 months have been a struggle with recovery, I have loved feeling like I have something extra to work towards and a reason for working my butt off in the gym.

I am so relieved that I decided to ride again, and I am already looking forward to next fortnight when I ride again. Let’s just hope the next fall won’t happen for another 12 months minimum!!!!

Till next week,

Rhi xo

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