Thursday, May 19, 2016

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy sucks.

This is not my first round of PT, I've done it a few times over the years, so I feel I can be fairly definitive when I say that it's pretty much the suckiest thing that ever sucked. 

It's uncomfortable, and it's hard. It's supposed to be. I've been using my body the wrong way, and now it's used to that and resisting. 

I know, because I've done PT before, that as I progress it will get easier and my neck is already starting to feel better, but PT is sucky right now and I prefer to live in the right now. 

PT reminds me of dressage. 

Dressage is hard, and it often sucks. You're developing a better way of moving in the horse and a better way of riding in yourself, but you're fighting the bad habits and cheats you both have learned. 

There are many times that I really want to throw a tantrum at PT, because it's hard and it hurts and I'm bored. But I know it's going to help in the long term, so I resist the urge to curb stomp my inordinately perky Physical Therapist. 

My horse does not have the option to write blog posts fantasizing about curb stomping the PT, so he acts out in the only way available to him: actual tantrums. 

I get what he's saying: "This is hard. This hurts. This is boring.", but now it's my turn to be the inordinately perky and curb-stompable Physical Therapist. He doesn't know that it's going to help in the long term, I have to show him. So, I ignore the temper tantrum and try again. 

And, yes, hurting is normal. I know many people reading this are getting ready to release their righteous indignation in the comments, but before you do that ask yourself, "Does it hurt when I try new exercises?". Of course it does, any new exercise program comes with a heaping dose of aching muscles, and you shouldn't expect anything less from your horse. The difference is that we rationalize the pain as a badge of honor on our way to greater athleticism and a healthier lifestyle, while our horse is just like, "Dude. WTF is up with this?".

Dressage is hard, it's supposed to be. There are times it will hurt, there are times it will be boring, there are times when your horse will throw a temper tantrum worthy of an Oscar nomination. You have to just keep plugging along and maintain that curb-stompably perky attitude. 

Or you could drink. That works, too. 

Best Training Scale Ever.






Tuesday, May 10, 2016

When Life Hands You Lemons, Get Another Horse.

A few weeks ago I posted this picture on social media with the caption, "My son is pouting because he doesn't want to let his sister have a turn on the pony. I see another pony in our future."

We've all felt this way.

My son was never as interested in riding as my daughter, mostly because he's two years younger. Having one pony worked well, because he never rode long, and was always on the leadline. But, this year he's decided that he's actually interested in riding by himself and wants to have equal pony time. That's not exactly fair to Spots, so I figured we'd start sort of looking. Nothing serious, just browsing. 

And then a lady I know from the shows I run contacted me. She had seen my post and wanted to know if I'd be interested in her retired horse. I knew the horse from my shows, he was a quiet, steady fellow. Just the type of horse I needed to babysit my son. 

So, we struck up a deal and Beau's Last Anchor is now the newest member of our little farm family. 

My son is taking his new charge very seriously.
He's a 25 years young Quarter Horse and a real solid citizen. And my son is so happy to have his very own horse. We're only "borrowing" him, his owner loves him very much and has owned him since he was three, so she didn't want to give up ownership of him. He's here to live out his life as a free lease.

Because, obviously, what I needed to do with my neck being all screwy was take on another horse. Maybe that's only logical to horse people.....

In other news, I did get my MRI results and there are no significant changes since my last neck MRI, so my new Doc thinks it's muscular and ordered Physical Therapy. Basically, he thinks that my muscles have tightened up around the herniated discs to try to protect them, but the tight muscles are actually making the problem worse. 

I started PT last week, and so far it consists of traction and electrical stimulation therapy. I did ask the PT if she treated many horse people, and she said she did. She also said that she never tells horse people to stop riding, because she knows it isn't going to happen. I like this PT. 







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