Instead, when I woke up Saturday morning, my injured knee had swollen up overnight to the size of a softball. It was super stiff - no straightening or bending, and very uncomfortable to walk on. Out of commission. I spent the day, other than walking the girls and taking care of Val, on the sofa, eating handsful of ibuprofren + icing and elevating my knee. (which apparently I should have done from the start!) I had worked and ridden twice since I hurt it with not much ill effect. I definitely didn't realize the extent of the problem.
Enforced idleness is hard for me. And sitting on my butt all day gave me plenty of time to think. To think about aging... about how much time there is left to accomplish my riding goals... will physical limitations slow me down, or stop me? Heck, not only my riding might be affected, but my ability to take care of Val. How long will I be able to sling 60 lb bales of hay, 50 lb bags of feed, or even lift my saddle to tack up? I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it, and I hope that it is still far in the future. I've been fortunate to have exceptionally good health up to now. My confinement to the couch reinforced the importance of preserving it.
So, since I didn't put a leg over Val this weekend, I'm going to savor Friday's ride. We breezed through our warm-up. Val was super relaxed - snorting and blowing from the get go. We achieved some lovely forward walking - eight on a scale of ten. Smooth transitions. And finally, gorgeous, energetic trot work where Val was round. Working over his back, using his core, and reaching.
It occurs to me the less than ideal footing I've been
This was the first ride where I've felt the possibility of what Val and I can do dressage-wise. A glimpse of how it will be when we put it all together. And it felt great. I can't wait for our next ride.