Hoopalicious' Blog

lessons from 90 days of rehab....

...for my horse. hahaha! You thought you were about to hear some big secret of mine, huh? Gotcha! I couldn't resist. Sorry! If you are not a horse person you have my full permission to click away now. Although there is a good life parallel at the end ;) 

My horse Chloe has had various levels of mystery lameness for almost the entire 3 years I have had her in my life. We have explored every little bit of her body in an attempt to figure out what hurts and how to fix it. I finally bit the bullet and took her up to the horsey hospital for a full body scan. It's super expensive, but highly effective. I wish I had done it first instead of all the guess work! If you are unfamiliar, the body scan (called a bone scan) is an imaging technique that looks at their whole body and shows where there is inflammation. Typically inflammation = pain/injury. Of course the area we discovered is the one area that couldn't be imaged in any other way, her Sacroiliac joint. Thankfully, not the worst news and a fairly clear cut path towards healing. Cortisone injections in the joint and a rehab plan that started with 30 days of hand walking, then 30 days of riding just at the walk. Sounds easy peasy, right? As soon as I heard this my stomach dropped a little. In the past, when I had to restrict Chloe to just a walk for long periods of time, she became a bit of a maniac. This is a horse that likes to MOVE and move with lots of energy. After having her movement restricted in the past, she had a propensity to spook at things, bolt or generally make her best attempt at becoming a pegasus. I am a pretty confident rider, but I was NOT looking forward to having to ride the wild Chloe beast for 30 whole days after 30 days prior of just walking. You horse people will know what I am talking about. Sigh. Here is where the insight comes in. 

So, after the 30 days of walking, then getting hit by a flu that knocked us off our plan for almost a whole additional month, then moving to a new barn, I FINALLY began riding her. We were a full 30 days behind the plan and 60 days into walking only, in a new place full of new things to spook at. I was SURE that it was going to be a rodeo ride. To my relief and surprise she has been a perfect (ok, near perfect with only 2 spooks) angel for the last 3 weeks of walk only riding. I was so surprised the first week that I started looking to find why she was so different now than in the past. My realization is this. In the last couple of months I have endeavored to be as relaxed as possible with her, and in my life in general... I don't always achieve it, but I try. This has resulted in me having to step into trusting her more, and trusting myself more. If I feel myself tense up, I have to consciously breathe and relax. I think my experience of her wildness in the past was caused by my STORY about how I feared she would be. The big bad story in my head was causing me to be tense... and of course, she was responding to that. My lesson here is; if I can stay relaxed no matter what, I give my horse a better feeling to follow. They are following the feel we offer in any case, fear or trust, why not offer what we want them to copy? Yet again, another way horses are incredible teachers. In order to have a calm and happy ride, I have to find my own inner calm and happy. And isn't it the same for life in general? That in order to have a happy life, we have to find our own inner happiness generator? That life isn't going to GIVE it to us, we have to give it to LIFE? 

So, thanks Chloe, for showing me to myself and reminding me that you truly are an incredible horse. 

In love and the softest horsey nose kisses ~


The awesome Chloe

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