Today's birthday ride was nothing like I've had in the past. Usually, I head up to the Lodge and go out for an afternoon with Mom or Bill. Since my birthday is in the middle of the season, I don't get to ride with both of them for my birthday - just one or the other.
My birthday ride after I put Estes down was a nice enough ride on Washoe and I'm glad I was pushed into it, even if I wasn't sure I was ready to be back up on a horse. My heart was still broken, but it was a good ride and reminded me why I loved being out on the trails.
Last year, I didn't do a birthday ride at all. Skeeter wasn't nearly ready for the trails (still isn't, but maybe next year), but we did go down to Julie Goodnight's for Horse Master, so that kind of took the place of a birthday ride.
I haven't been back up on a horse since Pearl bucked me off in May and I knew I just had to do it. What I hadn't realized was how much my confidence had been shaken by that incident. Skeeter would have been perfectly fine today if I'd just tacked her up and climbed aboard. I, however, would not have been. We spent probably 45 minutes on ground work before I even considered climbing up. My goal was to get up and sit. If I got any "riding" in, that would have been a bonus.
Annie has been riding Skeeter and Copper (and will start with Pearl) twice a week, so I knew Skeets would be fine. I just had to get myself up there. And I managed to. There were some stops and starts, but I did finally swing my leg over. I had pounded some PVC pipes into the ground in a square around the mounting block so I had physical things to maneuver around and "targets" to look at while riding. If I have something to look at, then I spend less time looking down at Skeeter.