Hrmm.. I'm all about good news, or at least I should be. Bad news causes stress, which is bad for my heart, and my mind.
Here's the good news - I'm getting stronger. Physical Therapy continues to challenge me, increasing repetitions, and increasing weights on the machines. I've learned how to do a lot of stretches, resistance band work, and the use of a lot of different core weight machines. It's pretty neat to see where I'm strong, and I push hard where I'm still weak.
Here's the iffy news - I'm still not at full strength. The cardiologist told me the mitral valve, probably damaged from the kick, is still not 100% functional. Of all the heart valves to muck up, I picked a good one, as the mitral valve is not a "have to have to function". From the 24hr monitor test, he identified a few arrythmias, all of which I felt. They were identifed as "normal enough", and I've been sent on my way.
I'm back to work, slowly building up my hours to a full work week. I've got two or three weeks of PT left, and so I continue to work hard there. Some days, the act of just getting through the day exhausts me. The task I thought simple, taking Romeo to Hoof Camp, kicked my butt, and I'm still recovering from it. I wake up some days, completely convinced I can do anything I want to. Seven or eight hours later of working at full speed, I have to lay down and nap, or I can't hardly hold my head up.
I'm working off of frustration. I want to longe less, ride more. I'm learning that, with Harley, I need to do both. I am setting goals, one little step at a time - Longe him myself for a full week. Longe him a week, and saddle him myself each time. Then longing saddled, followed by a ride or two at walk. We're moving at a snail's crawl pace. I've frequently awarded myself the "Turtle of the Week" award, moving entirely slower than I ever have, and trying to be cheerful about it.
My search for a babysitter gelding continues. I've sent out a few emails seeking something, and gotten zero responses as of yet. So it's also a lesson on patience. I suspect Romeo's Hoof Camp will return to me a quiet trail buddy once again.
I've set some 2011 goals, with my mind and body knowing they will take hard work. At the same time, it's frustrating. I had big hopes for a brief show season with Harley, and some good solid work on Romeo. Now, as you can see, I'm going to be delighted if I can even school around at one or two shows. I won't even set hoof in a dressage test ring this year, and that saddens me.
Hug your horses, and ride hard. Don't let little habits go, correct them at once. And if the babies you ride give you a wild ride, hold on tight, and enjoy.