I am steadily recovering from a cracked rib caused by an “involuntary dismount” off the horse I was riding during a lesson last week. Secondary aches and pains have moved in as if waiting on line but a toss of ibuprofen and a slow walk on the treadmill or around the lake loosens it all up. It takes six to eight weeks for a rib to heal so it will be awhile before my butt hits a saddle again.
Having finally returned to the “horse world;” however, I do not want to lose my tenuous hold on what has become an important part of my week. That one hour on Sunday has provided me with a sense of pride and purpose that I am reluctant to give up. But the incident has given me pause for thought: I am the breadwinner of our little household. If anything happens to me (and I know “stuff happens” around horses) there will be immediate and catastrophic consequences. I must weigh passion and practicality equally.
I am not making any decisions about future riding. Frankly, I am as happy brushing a horse as I am on its back. With that in mind, I stopped by the barn yesterday afternoon to watch lessons and chatted with Sarah, my riding instructor and one of the two women who run the business. I wonder, I asked, if the door could be kept open for me to come in on a Sunday afternoon and brush a horse or two or three. Or help out with some barn chores or office work. Take pictures at a show for the Elite Equine website. I have an array of skills to offer that would keep me in touch with what I love and help you at the same time.
I was barely finished with my speech and she was nodding her head, of COURSE! There is always work to be done around a barn, they would be grateful to have my help. Come any time, whenever you want to! And we can swap your work for riding lessons, whenever you’re ready.
In fact, she said, glancing down the aisle, Quarterback needs a good grooming. The shedding blade is the tack box over there….