Friday, September 19, 2008

Four-footed Physical Therapy

I ride for fun about once a week. I don't have my own horse -- the place where I ride has horses owned by other people I'm allowed to use. One of these is a big, large-boned horse that went dead lame several months ago. The talk was he might be done for, at least would never be ridden again. But as time passed he seemed to get better. Finally it was decided to try riding him again, and I was asked to do it. I'm not a super, Olympic-level rider but I do have experience riding older horses that have physical issues and might need some stretching-out, or extra care in how they are ridden. The horse was used to being ridden by me too, which would help.

It's a nice feeling, being trusted. By humans and by animals. The horse knew I wasn't going to ask him to do something he couldn't do yet without pain. The humans knew I could gently urge him to start using the muscles and tendons that had been injured earlier, just enough to loosen them up but not enough to damage the healing that had taken place.

Horses can't say thank you. But you can feel their mood, and when stiffness and soreness change and it feels good to move, when they want to go fast again, I feel happy too. This horse will need a lot of work. He's lost muscle and strength during his recuperation. But I can help him with that, and we will both benefit.


Blogger Grim said...

Horses will fix a man if anything will. If they don't kill kim, of course. :)

7:21 PM, September 22, 2008  

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