Riding outside on a cool foggy morning, something unexpectedly startled Esperanza, she immediately went into a canter. At the time, I didn’t have much rein, we were walking and relaxing. I lost my balance, falling backward onto the ground. For a while, I couldn’t move, then my son and instructor Don helped me up, Esperanza standing nearby, wide eyes and breathing heavily looking toward me. I knew if I didn’t get back on that I might be worried next time so with help to get up and onto Esperanza. We rode for a short time, just at the walk. I could hardly move, the pain was increasing as the adrenaline settled. Later at the hospital, I learned I had fractured my back and ruptured the lower disc.
After some months, I was able to ride with Esperanza again. When I asked her to move into the canter, she hesitated at first and then went into the canter. As this occurred, my body began to shake, I felt a rush of nausea. I told myself it was nothing. Over the years, I noticed at times unexpectedly my body would tense or begin to shake as I asked the canter and the nausea would return. I noticed that Esperanza was reluctant to canter.
Curious, I explored what might be happening and learned about state management.