It has been another big week for me! I started my new job (back in a school) on Monday and today Pea and I went for our first lesson since my hip replacement.
I’ve had a few really sluggish and frustrating schooling sessions recently and I decided I am better enough to gain something from a lesson. I feel like I’ve got use of my leg back but I’ve completely forgotten how to ride! I spoke to my instructor and we agreed that she would ride Pea for half the time and I would ride the rest.
It didn’t start particularly well – we haven’t taken the trailer out since before my operation, we have a different car and just generally hadn’t quite prepared that side of things! Once we’d located a key for the hitch lock, botch job attached the correct number plate to the trailer and pumped up the tires, I made my boyfriend drive along the yard track and back to convince me I was happy to put Pea in. We have a bad track record of trailer outings being a bit stressful and this one was no exception.
HOWEVER, once we were there (only five minutes late) it was all worth it! My instructor rode for a while which is so good for Pea because she doesn’t often (ever?) have anyone riding her who can actually ride! She’s had fairly limited proper schooling in her ridden career and definitely showed that. I then got on and had a lesson. We are working on getting Pea more forward, accepting the contact and becoming more supple.
I am SO aware that my instructor riding Pea set her up to go better for me than she does when I get on cold but it still wasn’t easy, I still had to find those buttons. I feel like I rode better today than I did in my last lesson (before my operation) so I’m feeling very positive about where we are going riding-wise and I left with the biggest smile on my face!
As you can see, being a fluffy, unrugged wild pony isn’t very conducive with being a dressage diva.. Pea was SWEATY. If anyone has any bright suggestions as to how to deal with it I’d love to hear them – it is too cold for proper washing, is clipping my only option now?
So here we are, nearly a week on from that top doctor advice that now I can ‘go and live my life’.. I thought I’d give a little update on how life is going.
- I’m fully back in the swing of my work schedule now. I work 9.30-5.30 in one job and then work as a private tutor in the evenings which means..
- I am SO pushed for riding time. The evenings are rapidly getting darker and although I’m still only riding for short periods of time, when I ride after work on non tutoring days I feel so rushed!
- Rushing is not good for my still recovering body. After feeling so knackered from walking and mucking out ONE stable I have been doing some reading on how much muscle you lose from inactivity. I am very much still getting my strength back, if I rest between activities I am ok but when I’m rushing I end up in pain or with cramp! It upsets me that this time last year at my old job there were 20 stables to muck out between two of us and this year I can barely do one!
- Although my brain is still stressed about work, money and time, I feel so much more relaxed about my leg. I’ve been moving and sitting however I want and so far haven’t had any dodge moments since my restrictions have been lifted.
- I’ve adjusted my mindset when it comes to my riding and it has made me feel much better. My first ride made me feel like I had gone so far backwards and then as I did more to try to rectify that I was worried I was overdoing it. I had some great advice that if I thought I was overdoing it.. I probably was and that aching is ok but not pain. So I’ve stripped back my expectations and I stop when I get to the pain stage. I’m treating my riding as though I’m starting from scratch again but am pleasantly progressing at a slightly accelerated rate than I did this time five years ago (when I first started riding!) I did something this week which was very exciting but I’m going to have to wait until next weekend to write about it.. watch this space!
- I’m getting the hang of our new camera and so is my boyfriend. We both love photography so it is nice to be able to take better quality pictures for my blog and social media. We have a Canon with a 18-55 lense but are pondering what longer lense or waterproofing equipment we may need in the future (British Dressage Championships in the rain was tricky) – if anyone has any top tips please let me know!
- I’m generally feeling more positive about the future with my scrummy pony, snazzy camera and bionic hip!