It’s a gray day today. Doesn’t matter if you spell it grey or gray it is that kind of day. I picked out a red t-shirt to wear to the gym this morning and realized I had not it seen for awhile. On the front it says: I’ll stop riding when I’m dead. That was the perfect one for today.
I have had this t-shirt for 17 years. I got it in the summer of 2000 . The summer when I was still recovering from a very major surgery for colorectal cancer. But I was back riding! I did not know it then but I would have 10 years of CT scans annually and colonoscopies before I would graduate and be declared a “survivor”. When I put on the t-shirt this morning I thought about what riding and horses mean to me. Biasini is still down in Florida until the end of this week and so I am not riding. That was fine a few days ago as I had lots to catch up with when we first came home. But now? Now I am still busy but there is a big piece that is missing…..my horse. So, I get up and I go to the gym.
I go to the gym so I can be fit enough to ride. I need the endurance and the muscle strength and the mobility and that is what I work on at the gym. After the gym I reward myself by going for a latte. I need a reward because frankly I find the gym a tad boring. It’s ok and I know it serves its purpose but I am motivated to go because of my riding.
MY HORSE AS THERAPIST
There have been a few times when I have been struggling with various issues; health problems for someone in my family, the usual stresses of life affecting me or those close to me. I love to go to the barn and as I go through the gate, I park all the “issues” at the gate and do not pick them up till I drive back out. I can take a break or at least I do my best to take a break.
If I go out on a trail ride I often will talk to my horse. I talk to Biasini and I have talked to the horses before him. They have all listened so well. If there are things that are getting me down or stressing me out I will talk about those things. Out loud! That is my exception to the parking the issues at the gate. I talk to my horse and I tell him the truth.
I am in training with Biasini. I take regular lessons and we both work hard. I have to make plans and set goals and work toward realizing those goals. Biasini is an athlete and so am I. it does not matter that I will be 68 my next birthday. I am an athlete! This is what keeps me going, what keeps me thinking, what keeps me working toward something in a future I believe I will live to see. A future I believe I will live to see.
And that , Dear Readers, brings me back to my t-shirt. I’ll stop riding when I’m dead. Nothing more to be said about it really. And I think there are two other riders that I have written about recently who would feel the same about their riding. Dale Dedrick, Paralympic equestrian and Janne Rambough, First Lady of Wellington Dressage.
I believe we will all be riding on!