A former co-worker and I were talking horses one day. She returned to riding as an adult too, though now she has drifted away again due to family responsibilities. She said that once she started taking two lessons a week, she got very sore and lived on Ibuprofen.
I wondered if the same would hold true for me once I increased to twice a week, if the slowly diminishing soreness that resolved itself about two days before my next lesson would become completely chronic and never let me be. To my surprise, the answer has been no. Quite the resounding one, at that. I’m not crazy-wild sore, walking bow-legged, or settling into a cement-like stupor after sitting for a few moments post-lesson. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing things right because I’m not experiencing the same level of tendon and muscle fatigue, but according to Leah, I’m improving so I MUST be doing SOMETHING right! I mean, isn’t it supposed to be Hard and No Pain No Gain and all kinds of Striving and Struggling All of the Time? Isn’t every single moment of your life supposed to be exactly like that or you aren’t really out there doing something worthwhile?!?!?! Isn’t the unexamined life not worth living?!?!
(Pause for breathe. Too wrapped up)
Apparently not! Sometimes, you can just Be!
That’s one of the biggest things riding gives, me, the opportunity to Just Be, to Just Be at whatever level I’m at which is sorta dressagy with long stirrups in an old Wintec all-purpose saddle, still getting used to other people in the ring , knowing what to expect from the horse, novice on the top and bottom with a thin layer of whipped intermediate in-between.