I rode Reo yesterday. First time in a long while. My hip joints have been troublesome and the last time I tried to mount I took too long to get on and he stepped away and I took a tumble. Surprised both him and me. I did get on and ride that day, but it wasn’t much worthwhile since I was deflated by my inabilities. Yesterday I vowed I would not let my sore hip prevent me from riding. Besides, the cannabis topical cream I’ve been using has worked almost miraculously. My hip feels so much better…still a dull ache, but no unbearable pain. Amazing stuff!
I mounted without any trouble, settled in the saddle and Reo stepped out slowly toward the outdoor riding ring. Unfortunately, the ring is hard and rocky again. Too much rain, and it is in need of lots of sand. Okay for walking around; not okay for serious trotting or loping. A few rounds of walking and we head out the gate toward the lane. Reo did his usual act…afraid of everything. Here he is, a big, stout Paint horse afraid of sounds, movement in the woods, birds flying and chirping, and general life milling about. I talk to him, his ears flicker as he listens to me, but the happenings surrounding us prevent him from walking peacefully down a country lane. Look left; look right; stop; trot; and on we go. We reach the end, turn, and now we relax and walk back quietly, although very alert.
Back into the riding ring, two times around, and head back down the lane. No. He stops and insists we are going back to the barn. Nope. My spurs gently tell him to move forward, we are going down this lane again. I may be old, but I’m just as stubborn as he is. I win, and we proceed down the lane, and do exactly the same thing as the first time…everything is scary. The wind picks up, there are more leaves rustling, the four horses in the pasture nearby shuffle about, and for the first time we notice the Licking River flowing nearby. We do make our way to the end of the lane, turn again, and this time he wants to pick up the pace. We walk. We trot. We walk. Back to the ring. He is very annoyed with me now, but we walk around the ring one more time.
He wants to rush to the mounting block. We walk. He stands quietly while I dismount, and our ride is over. After grooming, grazing on the lush lawn grass, I return him to his turnout area. He snarfs the apple treats I offer, and I walk away with one last glimpse of him heading toward the other horses. A very good day, and I feel younger and at peace with my world.