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July 8, 2015: The Harder we Fall, Part II

Okay. So today I decided that it was again time to ride Raudi. It’s like this, plain and simple. She’s my riding horse and so I should be riding her. Oddly enough, it did not occur to me to ride Tinni. And at the same time, I wanted to ride her to the bench. My desires, I think, were good things.

My side still hurts, but I no longer feel the sharp twinges when I bend over or twist from side-to-side. Each day I wake up feeling just a little bit better. I was, when I got back on Raudi, still a bit fearful. There is a direct correlation between fear and perceived pain. And there is a direct correlation between perceived pain and degree of mobility. If you can’t use your side muscles in riding your horse, you are screwed.

Pete had to go to town this afternoon, so we decided to ride our trails and not go up to the Bench. I figured that if I was up for this later, that I could go out for a second ride later on. I was surprised upon getting up on Raudi that she was quite agreeable. I also felt comfortable on her. After a bit I told Pete that we were doing just fine together.

I spoke too soon. I had Raudi canter on Raudi’s Runway, near the Murphy Road Trailhead. We were moving right along when boom, she did one of her now infamous 360s, sending me flying into the air, then onto the ground. The differences between this fall and the last fall were as follows: This time I landed on my right, uninjured side. 2) This time the ground was soft. 3) This time I was wearing my vest. These differences were what ultimately enabled me to get up and ultimately get back on my horse.

Pete was coming up behind me when I came off. He came up to me and asked how I was. I said okay, and that I was going to get back on Raudi. And so, this is what I did. I went back a ways on the trail and again cantered the same stretch of ground that I’d cantered previously. This went okay. I then left Pete and the critters and rode back home on the alternate route – Siggi’s Trail, Jim’s Trail, the Creek Loop, and the Neighborhood Loop. Doing this made me feel less fearful.

I suspect that if I’d walked home with Pete that I would never have gotten back on Raudi. After all, there is only so much kind of shit that one can take.

Raudi and I did just fine on our second jaunt. She tried once to turn around – this was at the base of Siggi’s Loop – but she did not get away with this.

I arrived back home, had lunch, and then did mounted obstacle work. We backed through poles, went through the newly constructed noodle obstacle, marched through the trellis streamer curtain, pulled the corn oil cans behind us, side passed from one barrel to the next, and opened and closed several gates. Raudi has little patience for this kind of thing, but we did a lengthy practice session – just in case there is a competitive trail ride. I say just in case because I’m not sure that we are going to do this. This is because right now the air quality in Fairbanks is questionable. There is a high level of particulate matter in the air due to numerous fires in the area. I don’t wish to subject my horses to this.

We’ll see what transpires in the next few days. Tonight we’ll call our friend Sharon who is a meteorologist in Fairbanks and find out what she knows. If the air quality remains bad, we’ll stay put. And most likely I’ll resume doing agility with Raudi.

Next: 176. 7/11/15: Lessons Learned Continued: Don’t Nag the Nag

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