So last weekend came and it had been a fortnight since I'd last been on a living horse (sorry Henry Hoofride). I didn't think I'd be too bad. I expected the usual stiffness / aches in the legs. What I'd not banked on was the effects from riding on Sat and Sun for a combined total of one and a half hours.
However, it had been one of those weeks, you know where you're just looking forward to a fun weekend. Come Saturday I was more than ready for my lesson.
At the yard I found I'd be on Rocco. The lessons I've been having with him have been going really well of late. In the school we whizzed round in walk and trot, purpose and impulsion a plenty. I was getting the differences and knowing what to do to get more when I needed it. It was a dream. We rode spiralling circles which were a little wonky at first but got better over the 30 mins. A number of trot to halt transitions and back again. Please can I take Rocco home?
I dismounted with a smile on my face by the end of it and that was despite not feeling my usual 80-5% because of my M.E. I'm glad I'd been able to ride again. Come Sunday though it was a different story, which just reminded me how it can sometimes be a game of two halves.
In the space of 24hours Mother Nature had turned the thermostat up. Sat I'd been riding in my thermal long sleeve shirt, whereas Sun I needed a short sleeve tshirt and was being very careful not to get too dehydrated. I had the horse I had last time, Ria. Ria's quite strong willed and you need to let her know what you want.
I'd got there and not felt too well. Sinus trouble I thought and didn't think much more of that. The lesson went on and Ria was Ria, and I just got worse. Stitches in both sides and able to do some trot work but having to stop. It frightened me a little as I clearly knew something was wrong. I let the RI know and she was lovely scheduling in more breaks and letting me rest. For me it was now knowing when to quit but still trying to make the most of the time I'd got for riding.
Surprisingly I lasted to the end of the hour and I was happy with what I'd done. I didn't feel too bad until heading to the car when I started to feel dizzy. Fortunately I'd got a drink and rested until well enough to head home. I didn't think anything more about it until the next day.
The next morning and .... pain. Lots of it. Legs and lower spine. It was a double dose. Pain from the M.E. and something else. It got worse as the day went on. I'm smart enough to release when enough's enough and I hit my osteo on speed dial. By Tues I'd got an appointment.
Given the weather and the bugs going round my osteo thinks I'm more prone to something going wrong because of my M.E. In this case problems with nerves and muscles in my lower back and both hips. They did their magic and said it'd take around 4 days to settle down. As I write this I've spent all the time since then in varying amounts of pain and feeling rather green. Its not been a great week. Another session beckons tomorrow. On the flipside the work on my legs has been smashing and those are back to normal. Its just my back.
Somewhere in the midst of all this I've still managed to go and do 3 hours dressage writing. Although that was fun. Indoors for the first time. We lost the natural light after 30 mins so I had to switch the lights on. I felt blessed that it was still warm enough that I didn't need to be wrapped up like a polar explorer and shuddered at the thought of last winter. It struck me how quickly the season's gone and how it feels like its only yesterday since I wrote 16th January 2013 and smiled when I saw the print out saying it was Jan 2012. 2012 had been such an amazing year, I read the date and thought hhhmmm ... its not just me that can't let go.
The night had gone quickly and had the usual shuffles. One horse was interesting. I don't think I've come across the test that says trot up the centre line, rear at X then continue on as normal. Both times the horse did that without fail, but the rider was amazing and kept on. Leaving that night it made me think there's not many more sessions now till the end of the year now. A number of dressage and some unaffiliated eventing and it'll be 2014 before we know it.
Talking of being a volunteer. Being a bittersweet week. Weds made my day with the email about making it through to the interview round of the volunteer programme for the world equestrian games in Normandy next Aug. I couldn't quite believe it. I choked on my morning cuppa. I spent the day grinning through my back pain. I'm sure the people at work thought I must be quite mad.
Its not one of my better weeks, but its another week that I've got through. The daft thing is I don't regret the time I spent with Rocco or Ria. I know this can happen. I'm lucky to get to do what I do considering and I know full well I'm going to be back on a horse as soon as I can be. This weekend if possible. Even if it isn't I'd still be there and asking for a stable management session instead. I mean who wouldn't want to be in the company of Rocco?