Yesterday, I was walking Annie around the mounting block, coaxing her into the right angle so that I could get on her. A friend called out, "Do you want me to hold her for you?"
"No," I said, "We'll get there." Getting Annie to stay still for mounting used to be an issue for us so this was a piece of cake. I preferred the two of us work it out rather than go back to depending on a third person. We just needed a little refresher course.
Then my friend said to Annie, "Vacation's over, huh, girl?"
"Vacation!" I said, "More like sabatical!"
What my friend was eluding to was the fact that Annie had not been ridden with any regularity for many moons. Since my illness relapsed on me almost two years ago I've ridden Annie a handful of times. She hasn't been neglected, she's a well cared for horse. Just not ridden much.
During that time, when I wasn't sick I was on a medication that made me feel sick. So I stayed off Annie, maybe more than I needed to, but I just didn't feel safe. I felt terribly vulnerable.
Having faith that I would know when it would be OK to get back on was tough. There were times when I doubted that message would ever come. Even after my doctor gave me the OK to ride again, I was still on the strong meds and I felt tired and weak. Vulnerable.
It's not as if I was bedridden. There were just other things to do, more immediate work, that needed my energy and attention. My practice, family, the home. Plus I had to take care of myself, eating right, exercising when I was up to it, sleeping enough, all of which we know takes time and effort to do right. Even Annie and my dog needed my nurturing. Anyway, all this took all the energy I had for the day. The extra power to feel like I could handle Annie safely from the saddle eluded me.
This summer has been a summer of restoration and I am so grateful. My meds were reduced and with that a slow but true return to feeling stronger. After such a long time, a switch finally flipped that allowed me to get back to important activities that give me a spiritual lift. Like riding.
I decided not to rush it. I'd get back in the saddle gradually.