I decided to start taking horseback riding lessons. Last Saturday the girls had a make up lesson so I was able to get back into the saddle after 9 months of not riding. I had forgotten some of the saddling details, but felt more comfortable in the saddle than I had previously.
Monday was a regular lesson day for the girls and because hubby happened to be home that day, I was able to ride with them again. Two lessons within 3 days!
When I first started riding I thought all I would need to do was give the horse a little kick , say giddy-up and off we’d go. Pull the reins right, the horse goes right. Pull the reins left, the horse goes left.
Those of you who have ridden are probably chuckling about now :-)
It’s much more of a work-out than a little kick and a pull of the reins. My legs need to do a lot of work guiding the horse. My core works hard keeping me balanced and in the saddle. If I’m not using my core appropriately, I will end up out of the saddle and laying on the ground. The reins are used, but not nearly as much as I originally thought.
My first day back in the saddle was spent getting used to riding again. My second day I was able to do a lot of trotting, which I really do enjoy. Trotting requires more of the legs and core though, so by the end of the lesson I was feeling it.
The next day I was in physical therapy. I have arthritis in my knees and am trying to do everything I can do to get some improvement in my knees. My PT session requires more and more leg work and during this week’s session, I could really feel it in my back as well. I knew I would feel it even more within the next couple of days and yesterday morning I woke up feeling it in my back.
I got up and started my day as usual and while bending over to pull clothes out of the dryer, I felt something pop in my back. It was then that I said, “Oh no”! I could barely stand up as pain shot across my lower back.
All day yesterday I was in pain. Sitting down hurt. Standing up hurt. Walking hurt. Laying down hurt. There wasn’t anything I could do to alleviate the pain. All I could do was try to find the most comfortable position and go about my day as best I could.
Sleep was minimal at best last night. Every turn caused pain and I couldn’t find a position that was totally pain-free.
Unfortunately, I could barely get out of bed this morning. My back was in so much pain that I was on the verge of tears, wondering how I was going to manage getting thru the day with 4 kids. FS2 was especially concerning as he requires a lot of lifting and carrying throughout the day.
Now let me brag on my girls for a moment.
Knowing that mommy’s back was not good, Naomi came downstairs before I did this morning. She turned on lights, let the dogs out and cued up Sesame Street for FS2 to watch.
Lili has helped me change diapers, put FS2 in his high chair and has done the majority of the heavy lifting and even did most of the work making lunch today.
Naomi helped serve lunch and cleared off the table after lunch.
They have really stepped in to help and I’m so proud of my little girls. They are showing me a level of responsibility I wasn’t sure existed yet.
My back problems have caused me to think about the future in some very different ways. Hubby’s back problems were a primary reason we put homesteading on the back burner and yesterday I was a bit sad to realize that my back could be the reason homesteading never happens for us. How can we run a farm of any size if we are down in the back?
But today is a new day and as the day has gone on I’ve become more and more determined to do what I need to do to get my back in better health. The girls have reminded me that homesteading is a family affair. It will take all of us working together and I believe we can somehow get there. My moment of “Oh no” has turned around. As I sit here in pain, I feel a level of optimism that things will work out in the end.
Until then, we will make plans, enjoy our RV travels and camping. It will be an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors as we work hard to build strength and stamina that will one day be needed on the homestead.
The physical problems we are dealing with now don’t have to be an obstacle that stands in the way of achieving our future goals. As long as we have the right attitude, we can take the challenges before us, work hard, and turn these difficult moments in great opportunities.