When you've stopped doing something for so long, it will take you some time before you can get back up to speed. That doesn't mean that you might not catch up quickly. It just means that you're a bit rusty.
That's how these past few weeks have been for me.
I didn't know what to expect when I first got back in the saddle. I didn't know how much I would need to review to get back to where I used to be. All I knew was that I would need some polishing up.
What I didn't expect was my position in the saddle to stay the same. I certainly didn't expect my leg position to fall at the right spot on my first ride nor did I expect my jumping position to be correct. For someone who had to work hard for many years to correct these two things, it was a great surprise. Thank goodness for muscle memory!
When it came to the actual riding, things are getting better with each ride. At first I was a bit unstable and tried to twist my body too much in order to get the horse to bend. Then, I started to motorcycle the turns. Now, I'm having difficulty finding the right takeoff distance.
Obviously, with time things will get better. I mean, I can already see my improvements when I compare each ride side by side. I also know that I am learning to communicate with a new horse (and a horse with a large stride might I add). As much as I would love to be doing the things that I used to do, I know I have to remind myself that I will... once I've worked back up to that level.
I'm also surprised that I'm not as soar as I thought I would be. Don't get me wrong, I do feel it the next day, but just not as bad as I thought I would. Maybe it has to do with muscle memory again or maybe it's my age. No matter what it is, I'm sure happy that that's the case.
With every ride, I'm reminded of how much I love this sport. I admire every rider's time and dedication to their passion. There is something truly special between a horse and a rider that cannot be properly explained in words. It is something you need to experience to understand. Now that I am back in that environment, the only regret I have is that it took me this long to get back to where I've always wanted to be.
Until next time, happy riding!