One of the things I found most interesting in my conversation with the psychic was the comment that Ashke knew my back was injured and he was trying to help it heal.
My lower back has been an issue since I was 13 and has been both better and worse in the 37 years since that riding accident. The chiropractor has helped, as have the Good Feet inserts, but those things aside, I still deal with pain on a daily basis.
Pain, especially debilitating pain, causes fear. One of my biggest fears when I brought Ashke home was getting thrown and seriously injured. I was thrown in June, just after I started working him under saddle. I severely bruised the muscle and bone across my pelvic shelf and lower back. It didn't break me, but it did sideline me for about three weeks. Since then, Ashke hasn't even tried to toss me off, but I still ride with hesitancy.
I didn't expect to have issues with riding. But I have. My muscles are weak and need to redevelop strength, especially in my core. I became very sedentary when the disc slipped and gained about 30 lbs, 25 of which I have lost. I have gained enough strength and tone to ride comfortably at the walk and trot, but still feel it at the end of the canter. I feel like I have found my center and am no longer fighting to stay on, but the movement of my hips and back at the canter causes those muscles to really hurt at the end of the ride.
Ashke told the psychic that I still felt wobbly and that he is hesitant because he doesn't want to lose me. He is trying to help me gain strength and for the two of us to find our balance. I can feel him trying to achieve that balance when we ride. I no longer feel like he is going to bolt out from under me, or spin away or buck. I feel like we are both working toward the same goal of finding balance and ability at the faster gaits. I know he just wants to get out and go and my goal is to be able to do that by the beginning of the summer.
One of the things I've discovered is that the pain I thought was spinal, caused by a ruptured disc, is actually muscular. I know from xrays and an MRI that there has been damage to the cartilege at my SI joint, but I think most of the pain is from the muscles being forced to do work for a change. Lazy muscles.