Horse Riding and Dystonia. Progress Report 14

An unflattering picture of a gentleman.

An unflattering picture of a gentleman.

A small step forward today, after what seems like weeks of setbacks.

Having spent Monday getting my chest x-rayed, Thursday as a neuro-physio ‘guinea pig’ (resulting in my back/shoulder being taped up, to restrict movement) and the whole week, loaded up with antibiotics, I did wonder if I’d be able to do anything at all. But as always, one keeps the RDA strapline firmly in mind (“It’s what you can do that counts”) and murmered a quiet vote of thanks to any diety that might be listening, as I gingerly lowered myself into the saddle.

Due to all my health problems, a competition entry has had to be delayed, which is a shame, but one has to be realistic. This will need to re-assessed once all the tape’s off my back and (hopefully) my lungs have been given the ‘all clear’, next week.

So, this week, me and big Harry have been getting re-acquainted at walk-trot speed. I haven’t ridden him for about six months or more. I’d just started competing him (we’d come a very respectable 2nd in our class, on our last time out) when my illness was diagnosed and things went off a bit of a cliff edge. So, it was lovely to ride him again, even though things are now, quite different.

How would I describe him?

Big. At 17.3, it’s a long way down to the ground. When I get off, I generally slide, … then fall, the last foot. Temperament wise, he’s a total sweety. He’s getting on a bit now and he can be a bit stiff, but he can still bust some moves when he’s in the right frame of mind. Loves a cuddle.

Issues? He has an extremely bony bum. And he always has, as long as I’ve known him. His legs are massively long and he likes to keep you on your toes, by occasionally leaving one behind. After riding the über manoeuvrable Tosca, Harry takes some getting used to, as he needs more warning about turns, corners etc., just because of his size.

So, all in all, I was very glad to see him this morning, very glad to lead him to the mounting block and ecstatic to be actually taking him out.

Today, the weather was perfect so we abandoned the school and went out into the fields.

First job, move the hundred plus flock of geese out the way to clear an arena sized space. Have to admit, this was quite fun. I’ve never attempted to herd geese on horse back before. Actually, it’s more beneficial than you might think, as you need to keep moving from side to side to round up stragglers and keep the whole flock moving. Great for turning, side stepping and general control activities. I was able assisted in this by the Offspring, who probably would have loved to just bomb round the field, chasing geese on Snowy.

Once all the geese had been herded, time to ‘start work’. No cantering today, as I didn’t want to push my luck on the breathing problems (which seem much better). So, lots of trotting at different speeds, transitions, work without stirrups and 20m circles.

Managed to do a small amount of leg yielding, but this is something I still find tricky. Poor Harry, he is so obliging. I can’t imagine what he was thinking about me, as we moved sideways into the hedge, but actually, he’s quite a gentlemanly sort of horse, so he was probably just tutting or rolling his eyes skywards.

Bit of rein back and a few turns on the forehand and it was time to stop.

Have a good week.

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About Dystonia Girl

Horse rider who loves to blog and do lots of other things too. Lives with, but is not defined by, a rare neurological condition called Dystonia.
This entry was posted in Dressage, Dystonia, Horse Riding and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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