Back on Track ‘Horse Therapy’: Riding Past Cancer
Submitted by Eve Spin.
Click click… a voice over a bad microphone cracks the silence, “’Don’t move, we are starting the radiation now, hold your breath – this should only take a few minutes” … “shallow breaths and remember don’t move!” You feel the cold of the table that you lay on through the thin white sheet. You close your eyes and you still can see the lightning strikes of the radiation blows and you hear electrical crackles come in waves. What to think about? Just lie still… slow down my breathing…. like just before you go into the show ring. Relax just like you told yourself to do, the first time you rode your new horse.
Every week day for eight weeks for 15 to 20 minutes a day, I rode my horses if only in my mind. Walk, trot, extended trot, side pass, flying changes! Every step, every move, all in my mind. With the hope and the thought of being back in the saddle, to one day feel my horse move from a walk to that little jump of both front hooves picking up the canter. You don’t think about your first or last blue ribbon, or the silver trophy sitting on the dusty book shelf. You don’t think about how your zipper busted on your boots before your last class or how your horse slobbered green froth onto your new white show britches.
What you do think about is how, dizzy and sick from all the radiation that had been pumped into your body, it took all your energy just to stagger into his stall to throw the flakes of hay into his feeder, and how just as the thought of “please don’t bite me today” ran through your mind his big brown eyes locked with yours and he took a step toward you, away from his hay, and you felt his warm breath on your skin and the soft folds of his velvet mussel as he gently rubbed your arm… in that three seconds the connection, the bond of horse and rider — he is what keeps me going, he kept me on track. My horse! To beat the odds, to hear and see the wind in his mane. To feel his jump from a walk to canter. The connection of our hearts and our lives. My horse, the strong powerful horse that he is without even leaving his stall, without ever saying a word, has put me back on the track of life!
This picture is of us at Del Mar National Horse show! Four days after completing my last cancer treatment.
Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines and the lessons horses have taught us — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!
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