Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The knee bone’s connected to the YIKES bone

Rehab for the ACL surgery I had done in December is very slow, and I am just now hitting the point where I might be released for full sports-related activities, at six months post-surgery.  To me, that means shortening my stirrups and getting up into two-point and galloping positions.  
"Stick with me, kid.  I'll take care of you, AFTER I spook."

We’ll see what it means to my surgeon (the hunter-jumper rider) when I see him this week. 

But, as my physical therapist says, the best exercise to do to get ready to do an exercise is that exercise itself.  Translation: If you want your leg strong for horseback riding, then go horseback riding.

Hudson, my 1300-pounds of attitude, has been very supportive in helping me test my leg strength.  She can shoot sideways at speed as quick as cutting horse, and she has done so, several times, recently.

Take last night, for example.  It was another beautiful, sunny, bugless night, and Hudson and I went out for a ride.  Hudson has never learned how to just canter along.  When I asked her to bump it up, she always goes as fast as she can haul her big self.  Honestly, I have done such little ring work with her that she has not received the discipline or strengthening she needs to even perform a nice, balanced canter. 

Since I plan to enter her in the heavy horse race this fall, I decided to let her race (this is our usual routine – verifying our total lack of discipline).  We have a safe, hole-free strip around our upper field, and she was full of beans anyway, so off we went. 

It’s funny.  I have ridden green horses for so long, those who are not always trustworthy when allowed to run in a field, and then recently spent these many months nursing along a leg after surgery, so I’m only starting to get back to the idea that it’s a total blast to race a horse through a field, without all that extra baggage of worry and fear of impending doom.   Hudson has her issues, but she’s as kind and honest as the day is long, and this run was just a run – no tricks, no bucks -- and it was pure fun!
A pic from last year.  She is actually a little less fat this year.

We were just settling down from it, jostling around the downhill side at a trot, all loosey-goosey, when a deer jumped out from the long grass.  It had been lying right in front of us and we came upon it suddenly.  

Hudson, big girl that she is, has a big spook, and since I was fairly discombobulated in a downhill-trotty kind of way, I got knocked to the right, lost my left stirrup and was suddenly thinking it was a good thing the grass was high because I was about to do one of those classic cling-on-to-the-neck-desperately-before landing-on-your-back exits from a horse.   

It's a move I have, unfortunately, practiced from time to time.  

But, thanks to the unexpected strength of my surgery leg, the left rein and the honesty of my mare, I was able to right myself and we went on as though nothing had happened.  A horse that was less inclined to be on my team would have used the opportunity to duck out from under me and charge back to the barn as fast as she could, but Hudson didn’t try anything of the sort.  And for that, I thanked her. 

So, I see my surgeon this week.  Do you think I should admit that between Hudson, myself and the deer, we may have, accidentally, already returned to full sports-related activities?

1 comment:

  1. Phew, glad you are ok. Hope you got an okay to return to full sports. I see my surgeon on the 17th. My PT just shakes her head when she asks what I have been up to. ;-)