And it’s one of my biggest weaknesses. I thrive on daily lists and often set short and long term goals. Realistically, every single list item does not get crossed out at the end of each day. Goals evolve as life circumstances change.
On Christmas Eve, the horse I was riding tripped and I slid forward, falling hard onto my right shoulder. After many x-rays and hours of waiting at the ER, it was determined that I had a hairline fracture to my right scapula (shoulder blade), which makes up less than 1% of fracture cases each year. It is almost impossible to fracture this area, as the bone is surrounded by a dense layer of muscles. So, I essentially landed on just the right spot (Merry Christmas to me!) Thankfully, no additional trauma occurred, minus minimal bruising to my back and ribs that has since healed.
Every good trainer will insist you are not a “real equestrian” until you have taken a tumble. I’m fairly certain I was bucked off a pony or two as a kid. But as an adult, I hadn’t experienced a “real” fall until last week. What hurt more than the physical pain though was my confidence, something that had been growing stronger, slowly, each passing day.
I am devastated that I can not ride, lunge, blanket, halter, or lead a horse for the next 8 weeks. “1 Step Forward, 5 Steps Backwards” feels like my own personal never-ending mantra.
However, the biggest lesson that owning a green OTTB has taught me to date is that everything happens for a reason; we do not control our own fate. My mare did not choose to live in a barn that did not offer proper shelter and depleted her of all necessary dietary nutrients. Just as I did not choose to fall and shift the timeline of my goals.
There were a variety of factors that contributed to this accident, but I truly believe that this was the Universe’s way of telling me to slow down. I have been far too focused on getting my mare ready to be ridden again. Horses are not bred to be machines whose only job is to cart us humans around. They are our soul-animals, our closest companions on the good days and the bad days.
I have never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I am making a 2022 promise to my horse.
Dear Heart Horse,
Next year, I promise to learn to embrace every aspect of our partnership, including the days when only a 5 minute stall visit is feasible. While I am itching to ride you, I know that when the time is right, we will both be ready.