Monday, April 9, 2012

Back in the Saddle

My daughter, as the cowboy song goes, is back in the saddle again.

Two and a half months after she fell from a horse and broke her right arm, she has mounted up and taken a ride.

At left is the actual moment – the first time she climbed onto a horse since the great fall. The ride was yesterday, as this is written. Easter Sunday, 2012.

Dana is on a horse named Rodney. Rodney is 16 to 18 years old, and a very gentle former show horse. Dana loves them all, but after just one ride, she adores Rodney.

We've switched to a different stable for these newest lessons. It's a little further away than the old place, but not much.

For her first lesson the new instructor insisted she be tethered to her. There's a name for this tether but I can't remember what it is. I want to say it's a "static line," but I think that's a parachuting term.

For the last part of her lesson, the tether was removed.

So with the snowcapped Rockies as a backdrop, Dana got back on a horse. She's longed for this since the day she fell. It's been recounted elsewhere on this blog, but even as she sat in the ER, she said she would continue riding no matter what – even if she had to go through the pain of a broken limb all over again.

She's still getting physical therapy. The arm goes into a contraption for half an hour each day and she flexes and extends it beyond what she is able to do on her own.

And she's still seeing the surgeon who operated on her, though not as often as at first. In mid-March she hoped he would say her recovery had come along far enough so that she could safely ride. But he advised her to wait a little longer. She was crestfallen but accepted it. Last week, she got the green light.

"Horse people are tough," the doctor said.

So she is back in the saddle. She loves Rodney and she loves her instructor and she loves the new stable, and we are very happy she's able to continue riding.

As a bonus, she befriended some goats. Also a miniature horse (or is it a pony? What's the dif?), a dog, and a few cats.

There's a pig at that stable too, somewhere. But we didn't see it yesterday.

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