Monday, July 20, 2009

My Right Leg

A couple of months ago, I visited Dr. Dermatologist for my twice-yearly strip-search. As a red-head, I am destined to be inspected, poked, prodded, and dissected. This used to be an annual event, carefully coordinated with the end of show season, but 18-months ago I made the mistake of showing up with a sunburn (yea, not a good idea ...). So now Dr. Derma and I catch up twice a year.

Dr. Derma searched for something called a "suspicious mole," and suspicious moles require removal. The last two were on the inside of my calf, so I rode with a sponge padding the inside of my left half chap. This year's removal was on the back of my left thigh, right were the edge of the full-seat breeches rub. Not a good spot.

I padded the stitches with layers and layers of gauze and paper tape--of course I have to use paper tape, I have sensitive chestnut-mare skin--and went about business as usual. At least I thought I was.

Then, on Tuesday, a student snapped some photos of me riding. When I saw those shots, I thought, "Who was that on my horse? It couldn't be me. There's no way I sit that far off to the left. Nope, no way. Must be the Evil Twin." Well, Evil Twin must be exorcised before the weekend, as filming for Super-Duper Secret Takes on the Warmboods Episode 1 begins on Saturday.

I'm a riding instructor, so I know how to fix this--ride without stirrups. So I did. And since I ride a lot of horses, I got LOTS of practice time. Maybe a little too much, or so I thought on Thursday morning. Ouch. Not only did my right thigh hurt, so did my tummy muscles, but only on the right side. Maybe the stitches did get me a little off to one side. Maybe.

We packed up for the show on Friday, and I distinctly remember packing my new-and-improved right leg. But somehow on Saturday I couldn't quite find it. In warm up, I kept grabbing the SOS strap to pull my seat deeper in the saddle. Once my right thigh started really complaining, Super-Dooper Secret would lengthen her neck and float.

And float she did. To two blues and a red, with scores from 67-70%. Go Secret! Next stop, Eastern Arabian and East Coast Championships. I'll make sure I pack my right leg for that trip.

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