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Fri Oct 26, 2012, 09:12 PM

Riding through Fear, redux

Yes, I rode Dahli today. There was no fear or lack of trust. I felt sufficiently recovered physically to be able to get on her, walk around and we even trotted a little and then called it quits. I wasn't physically strong enough yet to even think of trying to canter, and she was too low in energy as well. I did give her a half dose of tranquilizer to be 100% sure, but as soon as I sat on her, I knew it was unnecessary.

By last night, after a full day at the lab, I was exhausted from the pain and stiffness. I had a shot of my medicinal vodka last night (normally used for making tinctures) to ensure a good night's sleep. I woke up feeling much better, much less stiff. And with no fear or lack of trust. I knew she would be ok, and that I would be ok.

OGR, you mentioned that you could tell I was upset, and you were right. Here are the 2 reasons why:

1. Until Wednesday, if I ever in a life emergency needed to re-home Dahli, I could honestly state that she has never once bucked, reared or bolted under a rider. I can no longer honestly state that, and that really shrinks the pool of potential people for her.

2. One reason I've been pushing myself to ride at least a little, even when tired, lately is because winter is closing in. Today was the last nice day in the forecast. I work over the weekend and then comes a week of rain. I really didn't want to leave her all winter to think about how dumping her rider was cool or ok. I really didn't want the season to end on that note. Arabians never forget anything, and she will have all winter for this episode to sink into her brain....and mine.

When I woke up this morning I remembered one other thing about Dahli, which is that while she's had various "meltdowns" and mishaps over the past 5 years, she has never repeated them. My biggest fear about getting on her the first time is that I've seen how much damage she can do by accident in a panic. I knew that she would never repeat it, but she is so powerful that she could injure me badly if she panicked. I got through those first couple sits on her using a half dose of tranquilizer for that very reason...to keep her from freaking out and hurting somebody or herself in the process.

While she is not normally a "lovey-dovey" type horse, she also is not mean. It has been 4 years since she accidentally kicked Jake and it is only this past summer that she started feeling free to canter off with a little buck when he and Luna chase her. And she still is extra careful about not catching either with her foot (knock wood).

While it would have been better if she hadn't learned she can dump her rider, what is more important is what she does with that knowledge. If she uses it to never buck me off again, that will be a good thing.

I also realized that is was a good thing I did push myself to ride last Wednesday, because it left me today to start the road back again. Now she can think all winter about how while she can dump me, maybe it's really not worth it. Whereas just riding around is no big deal.

And I had my "worst nightmare come true" with her bronco fit, just 3 months into it instead of right off the bat. Now it's over with, and I survived in one piece. I think it was a Saturn calling card, lol. It was very freeing!



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Reply Riding through Fear, redux (Original post)
magical thyme Oct 2012 OP
BanzaiBonnie Oct 2012 #1

Response to magical thyme (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:37 AM

1. Thank you MT for keeping us updated

I'm riding vicariously through you.

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