I returned to horseback riding 4 years ago never realizing the impact it would have on my life. After several accidents, there were 18 years of doctors, physical therapy and medications. Frustration was constant as was pain. It took the medical field several years to realize the pain not only stemmed from the injuries; but, also, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and Chronic Tendonitis. During that period, it never occurred to me that life would change. That is, until the day my husband convinced me to take a trail ride. I hadn’t ridden a horse since before the first accident and was positive I would never ride again. Thankfully, his persuasion was stronger than my argument against it and I did take that ride. It was a long walk on a draft horse; but it proved to change my life. I soon began to research trail riding stables, then lesson barns and leasing. Once I started riding regularly, something was different. I began taking very long lessons and with much movement, I gradually realized a difference in how I felt. After six months of riding at least four hours a week – my pain level decreased dramatically. At first, because it was gradual, I didn’t realize the connection. When I began to volunteer at Manes and Motions in Middletown, a Therapy barn, I witnessed amazing results for people with disabilities and realized why I was feeling so much better. It was something about riding a horse. It was awesome.
Two years ago, the barn I used for lessons and leasing closed. Within two months the pain level began to rise again. My balance problems followed. To say the least, I was desperate. Unfortunately we received large amounts of snow the first winter so it was more difficult to find a barn for lessons. Some might say I should have taken anything I could find. Unfortunately, I ride western and in CT there is an abundance of English, Dressage, youth and show barns. I could have started my own website on stables in Connecticut after researching my area and beyond.
Spring finally arrived and though friends gave me tips on barns, none of them worked out. But I did learn about UCONN and it’s riding program. I began trail riding twice a week, even though it was almost an hour away. I am hoping, by the end, I will find a permanent place to ride once again.