Being Productive While Dealing With Setbacks and Injuries

As everyone knows, accidents happen and they’re often a game of inches. Inches between safety and catshrophe and sometimes you might happen to be on the receiving end of those incidents.

This week it wasn’t my horse on the receiving end, it was me.

In prepping for our clinic, this weekend I happened to clip my foot in a lawn mower and you can imagine how well that went. A trip to the ER and 9 stitches later, I’ve still got all of my fingers and toes intact, and shaken as I may be I’m only a little worse for the wear.

The most devastating aspect is being on the injured list and having to take a temporary hiatus from Indy’s training. Fortunately I have the best substitute trainer in the world for a fiancée, but knowing that I can’t physically participate in his training is a huge disappointment for me, especially since I was hoping to take Indy through is first de-spooking clinic this weekend.

But you know what? Everything happens for a reason and painful as this may be, we’ll all make it through just fine and rather than focus on everything I can’t do, I’d much rather focus on what I can do.

Even from my living room or from a chair in Indy’s paddock, I can be studying up and continuing to learn new games and exercises for us to put to use once I’m back on my feet. I can watch replays of the World Equestrian Games and look up the final rounds of the Retired Racehorse Project. The bottom line is that this can still be productive time even if I’m not the one to be physically training right now.

As I see it I have two options: mope around about an injury until it heals or attempt to be productive and take advantage of this downtime to study and learn and heal.

So to keep my mind occupied, here’s my reading list this week:

  • Hunter Seat Equitation, George Morris (my second time reading)
  • Equine Fitness, Jec Aristotle Ballou
  • 101 Arena Exercises for Horse & Rider, Cherry Hill

A day spent learning is never a day wasted and with several days at my disposal, the best way I can spend this time is by educating myself. The worst thing I could do would be to mope around thinking of what could have been if I hadn’t got into a fight with a lawn mower. Sh*t happens and you can choose to make the best or the worst of it.

Just because I can’t ride right now doesn’t mean that I can’t be productive or work on building that relationship with my horse. It’s certainly not the ideal path I would have taken, but then again it’s not like I challenged the mower to a duel. I had a momentary lapse that happened to cost me some time.

I don’t need to ignore Indy or put his training on hold. It’s on me to adapt to this role and simply make the best of it by reading and watching other people who are better at this than I am.

Consider this an opportunity rather than an inconvenience.

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