This past long weekend was actually horse-filled, which was….FABULOUS! I was able to ride Saturday, Sunday, Monday and lesson last night.
Saturday and Sunday were nice long trail rides. The weather couldn't have been better; slight breeze, temps around 12C. Geez, it seems like yesterday the fields were covered with snow and ice. I rode with DH's Mom both days. Now, remember how Gem doesn't like mud? I was a little apprehensive that our ride was going to include a lot of mud. However, the week of windy weather had dried up a lot of the usual spots and it wasn't the deep sucking mud that it usually is this time of year. Nice. As we were maneuvering our way around the bushes and soggy terrain on Saturday, we came up to the little pond. Last summer was so dry that the pond completely dried up. DH's Mom deviated off the path and started to walk towards the pond.
Me: Where are you going??!!
DH's Mom: To the pond.
DH's Mom: Come on....it's just a pond.
Me: There's MUD around there.
DH's Mom: If he doesn't want to come over, he won't. Let him try.
Gem had walked through the pond once before when I first got him. What the heck. I loosened the reins and encouraged him forward. Well, didn't Gem walk through the mushy ground and right into the water! He stood in the middle of the pond and started pawing at the water, splashing DH and DH's Mom. He put his nose in the water and when he raised it, he did the Flehmen thingy. Hilarious. He thoroughly enjoyed it! We visited the pond again on Sunday. :-)
I rode in the arena with STA on Monday and I had lesson last night. I usually ride two times a week, three if I am lucky - Tuesday (lesson), Friday (maybe) and Sunday (trails). My rides are spread out during the week. Riding 4 days in a row takes a toll on this old body. After the first two days of putting my saddle on Gem, the third day was difficult for me. My injured shoulder rebelled against the motion of lifting the saddle and I needed assistance. I have bruises that I can't account for. My legs were stiff. My injured shoulder affects how I carry my 100 lbs saddle (OK, I may be exaggerating a bit on the weight of my saddle) and I twisted my ring finger trying to put my saddle back on my rack; it hurts like crazy when I hold my reins (or type!).
And to top it off, the rough trails made my lower back zig and zag, which gave my sciatic nerve just the excuse it needed to cause me pain. Not sure if any of you suffer with sciatica, but mine tends to shoot down my left butt cheek. When my sciatica flares up, I tend to walk with a limp, accompanied with a lot of ouches and grimaces. Very attractive - not! Getting on Gem last night for lesson was a bit of a challenge and posting trot was a no go. I did lope a little, but the sharp pains radiating down into my butt prevented me for duplicating my loping-over-the-poles routine....which actually made me mad because everyone else was having confidence issues with this exercise and I knew I could do it!! Damn you, Sciatic Nerve!!! (shaking fist) You ruined an opportunity for me to show off!!
So today, I am basically sitting on one butt cheek at my desk. Even my lovely Mirra chair, designed for back support, can't help reduce the discomfort I am feeling right now. Is the pain worth it? Absolutely. It's not all bad though. As Fernando says, "It's better to look good than to feel good." I got my hair cut and it looks fab....really!....everyone says so! ;-)
Life Lesson: More often than not, "gifts" come with a price.