Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I DID IT! Back in the Saddle Again

I had planned on riding on Monday, but weather moved in too soon.  Tuesday was therapy day and town day with my Mom.  I didn't expect much today - a storm expected.  But guess what?!  Mid-morning the sun came out bright, the road was dry and not much wind (as in less than 10 mph).  Catch the horses!  I grabbed Jesse's halter and Bill went for Ranger, got to the corral and had a quick change of plans.  It was obvious to me that Jesse had zero plans of going out today, but Washoe quickly got up off the ground and headed my way.  He wasn't too happy about Jesse's halter, but if it meant getting out of the corral, well....  He was such a good boy standing at the hitchrail, getting brushed (I even got horse kisses - not normal from him) and not moving for saddling.  Yes, I put a saddle on.  Thought it might be a good idea, not knowing how much support my legs might need.  Weight-bearing is still an issue, so I was really glad I was able to lift Washoe's 40 lb saddle onto his back, although yesterday I loaded 5 50lb bags of horse feed into my car alone.

Did I mention that I feel like toddler learning how to use my legs all over again?  I am always amazed at the things I can now do, yet how much muscle mass still needs to be built back up to do the things I was used to, plus retraining and stretching the muscles that atrophied over the last 2-3 years.

I used the mounting block and was anything but graceful, but I did manage to get on by myself, and only slightly kicked poor Washoe in the butt.  Before surgery, I could not swing my leg over the back side.  I had to stand perpendicular to the horse, lift my leg over its back with my hand and then leverage myself over its back while I tried to twist into the correct direction, then lower myself down in a sort of sitting position.  I had to sit or ride in a doubled up position for 10-15 minutes before my hips could relax/stretch enough for my feet to get anywhere near a correct stirrup position.  Just being able to correctly - sort of - lift my leg over the butt and easily sit down is such a dream.  With a few days practice, I won't even be touching the butt; those muscles now 'learned' what to do, I just need the strength.

I couldn't stop grinning, Washoe watching cameraman, Bill.
We went on a short exploratory around a couple of blocks; didn't want to stretch things too much first time out.  Boy, could I feel those butt muscles that had been severed!  Washoe was a dream.  Mark Rashid did such a great job with him at last summer's clinic, on teaching him simple collection, he rides like Jesse now; very smooth walk.

I had a couple of promises to keep...and I did.  Bill got on Washoe first, to make sure he wasn't fresh.  No worries there even though it was his first time out this spring.  I had promised a friend that I would let Bill lead me  - on a lead rope - just for safety sake.  We did that (for about 4 steps)!  It was obvious this was the perfect time for the first ride, so Bill climbed on Ranger and off we went.  Ranger was the dufus who had to check out everything that had changed over the winter.  He practiced a lot of 'touch'.

Gotta practice more stretches to get the heels down, but I couldn't even do this before.
Well, I'm still on a high and there is snow in the air.  The storm has arrived....but I GOT MY RIDE!!!!


  1. YES! I'm so excited for you! What a wonderful accomplishment - you ROCK.

  2. I am so so so SO excited for you! What a beautiful day, and how wonderful that Washoe was perfect for you! That was meant to be (who knows what Jesse was plotting? hee hee!)

    Glad Bill captured it for posterity - the Boinic Cowgirl rides! :)

  3. Thanks, Funder. I'm still hyped. Look out next sunny day! If I can do the two mile loop in town, I'll be headed for the mountain!

    Rachel-who knows with Jesse. Bill got mounting and dismounting on video, but we haven't figured out how to get it on the blog yet. Will have to talk to techno GunDiva.

  4. YEAH! YIPEEE!! WHOOHOOOOOO!! HOT DAWG!!!! Look out world, the Bionic Cowgirl is on the MEND and on her HORSE!!!!!!!!!!


    So so so incredibly happy for you Juanita!!

    Lots of loves from us, and may you have LOADS of rides this summer!!!!!! No- wait0--- not just this summer, but FOREVVVVAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

  5. What a success story! Horseback riding just might be the perfect physical therapy for you, too. Congratulations!

  6. Yippee! You look like a fairy princess on a great steed! So glad for you and love, love the perma grin!

    Happy Easter.

  7. Woo hoo! There is nothing more healing than a horse under ya!

    So happy for you,


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