There's nothing like sitting with one foot up on my computer desk, glaring at the ice pack on my ankle. I've managed to re-injure the anterior talo-fibular ligament that I tore while playing tennis in college. Marvelous.
Like most stories of this type of injury, mine is nothing dramatic. I didn't fall off a bolting horse or disregard my own safety in the midst of the perilous rescue of a trapped foal. Oh, no. I stepped out of my horse trailer. Okay, so I was scrambling out the rear escape door and over the wheel well, on a slight slope, in the morning darkness. But still.
Never mind the pain that left me crumpled beside said horse trailer for several breathless minutes, nor the foolish uphill climb to the hay shelter with the intent of continuing my farm chores, nor the nauseated collapse on the hay that preceded a painstaking descent to the house, where Travis supplied me with pillows, ice, and comfort. I'd gladly suffer the pain again, many times over, to have back the six weeks of training and conditioning time this injury is likely to cost me.
After four years of hard work and planning, this is supposed to be the season it finally pays off. According to my Training Tracker, I'm supposed to ride Aaruba in three LD's and one 50-mile endurance race. I'm supposed to get Consolation under saddle and in her first LD, and Acey under saddle as well. Is there any particular reason, I ask, that I must be injured now?
Not everyone is empathetic. Already, I had to disabuse a co-worker of the notion that an sprained ankle is no big deal, because obviously it won't affect my ability to sit on a horse. Uh-huh. I suppose he's also one of those people who believes that riding is easy because "the horse does all the work." These days, I respond to that particular observation with a reply borrowed from another horseperson. "Oh yes," I agree. "It's just like skiing. You know, because the hill does all the work."
Incidentally, the horse trailer out of which I was climbing is a new addition to In the Night Farm. Originally a gooseneck, 4-horse straight load, it has been converted to a stock-type trailer. Travis located it on Craigslist and drove to Phoenix, Oregon to pick it up just last weekend. I was crawling around it it at 5:30 Tuesday morning because we currently have it set up with an adjacent pen so that Crackerjack aka "CJ" (2006 Barb colt, Jack's Legacy x Consolation) can train himself to load by climbing inside to eat his hay. I took the accompanying photo Sunday afternoon as CJ checked out the new arrangement.
Right now, that's about all the training I am able to do. I hope it isn't long before I can ditch the aircast, to which I should be grateful because it enables me to walk, in favor of the sturdiest brace that will fit inside my boots. I'm guessing a minimum of three weeks will pass before I can resume groundwork with the Barbs -- and probably at least twice that long before I should. It's not the end of the world, I suppose, but that's how it feels.
Please pass the Kleenex.