I also had a lot of riding (or more accurately, mounting) rules then. My tack had to be adjusted just so. Farletta had to be exactly in the right spot. The mounting block couldn’t be too high or too low. The stirrups had to be just right. A change in saddle pad, girth, or reins would fill me with fear and trepidation. With every passing month, my obsession with having everything exactly right increased. My pre-mounting ritual negatively impacted my horse, increasing her anxiety, which exponentially increased my own.
Within three years of the accident, I’d gained nearly 100 pounds. Where once I rode 5-6 times a week, I barely rode that often in a month. By the fifth year or so, I was riding maybe 20 times a year. Then, one day I just stopped. For over a year, I didn’t ride Farletta or any other horse, not once. How had it slipped away so easily? How did something that at one time practically defined me turn into something that paralyzed me with fear? I gained even more weight. I missed the person I believed I once was. A rider. A horseman. What was I now? Who was I now?
I still don’t ride like I used to, rides are short, not very challenging; they are calm, satisfying. I still struggle with nerves when it’s time to climb aboard. But much has changed. I’ve worked hard on myself, uncovering, processing, and healing from the events of my past that, while seemingly unrelated to my riding, very nearly robbed my of it forever. I’m still not back to my pre-accident weight but I’ve lost nearly sixty pounds. I’m taking yoga. I feel strong again, capable again, empowered.
It’s hard work, sifting out those truths from among all those lies but I’m going to keep working at it. You can too. Let’s do it together. We’re worth it.
11/22/2017 09:03:34 pm Yes!! We are worth it!! Thank you for sharing and inspiring.
11/22/2017 10:37:24 pm Oh Cheryl. I didn't know your injuries from your fall were that serious. I am so sorry. You are one of the most courageous people I know and I am happy that you are taking a hold of your fears and riding again. I'm sure Farletta is too.
11/30/2017 05:35:57 pm Thank you Linda. Minimizing and not talking about stuff is one of my (not helpful) coping mechanisms. It's interesting I've had a few comments from people I know well that were unaware of the seriousness of the accident...it shows me just how much I hide my truths sometimes.
11/23/2017 03:04:19 pm You give me inspiration to get back on my horse again after a terrible car accident. I've completely lost my confidence. 😥
11/30/2017 05:40:44 pm Hi Peggy, I'm glad if I can inspire! One of the most interesting things I've learned on this journey is how a trauma in one area of my life can bleed over and come out in a seemingly unrelated area. My best advice is to take it slow, be gentle with yourself, give yourself permission to be afraid even if you feel the fear isn't "justified" because your accident was not horse related. There is no logic when the body and the mind deal with trauma, respect how you feel and move forward from there. You'll get there! Hugs.
11/23/2017 09:48:49 amYou have come a long way, dearie. That was a terrible thing to happen, and you are healing inside and out. I am so proud of you.
11/30/2017 05:41:19 pmThank you <3