So the other day I said I was amping it up with the riding before I have to have a while out of the saddle post op. Today I took park in a BHS pleasure ride. I haven’t been on a fun ride since December 2016 because of what the hours in the saddle does to me. The pleasure ride isn’t about careering around the countryside and jumping though, it was meant to essentially be a long, chilled country hack – sounded perfect!
My family have always used the simile of slices of cake to work out distances on journeys. If today’s ride was split into slices, the first quarter of the cake was just normal riding pain and beautiful scenery. During the second quarter my left leg and foot were pretty much numb. We were just thinking that we must be in the last stages when one of the officials uttered the words
‘You’ve done the short part, now you’ve got the long part to do!’
Bearing it in mind my riding party consisted of a tiny child being led on foot and two ladies with a previous broken knee and sciatica issues respectively, this wasn’t great news!
I genuinely felt sick from the pain during the second half and wasn’t entirely sure if I could move, let alone get my bum out of the saddle! When I got off I almost cried – not sure if it was because my leg had started trembling uncontrollably or because I was so full of pride for our achievement! I feel like perhaps I didn’t need to do what is probably a week of riding squeezed into one day but I am so glad I did. Who knows when our next fun ride will be or what I will be like then!
At the end of the day though, I will take pain over what another rider on today’s ride experienced. On our way round we had to pass the lifeless body of a horse who had died on its way round (presumably of a heart attack). I cannot even comprehend the immense mental pain that rider will have gone through today. It was so unbelievably sad. Dodgy hip or no dodgy hip, I was able to go and see my pony in the field this evening – I feel very lucky I can do that. it was a sobering reminder that life is short and you should count your blessings everyday.