March 18, 2011


the refined diagnosis:

continued tightness/microtear in left hip flexor
extreme tightness in the tensor fasciae latae (TFL) muscle
gigantic relentless knot in the left quadratus lumborum
extreme muscle tightness on pretty much my entire low back, particularly the QL and the lower part of the erector spinae

so basically, although nobody's used the word, I'm suffering from something that looks like lordosis. all the muscles from my belly button to my thighs are WAY TOO TIGHT.

as a result, my spine's being tugged all over the place, and my pelvis! is twisted! when I lie on my back, one leg is slightly longer than the other; when I lie on my stomach the OTHER leg is longer. amazing, right? it's like a sideshow.

I had the world's best massage on wednesday, and since tuesday I've had two chiropractic adjustments. the chiro sent me home with a worksheet full of stretches, which I've done religiously.

on tuesday she said, "do you think riding is hurting it?" and I answered honestly, that no, I didn't think so; that the pain comes and goes seemingly with no relation to the riding schedule I keep.

then I rode yesterday and the mare threw a MAJOR TANTY, so much so that I dismounted and clipped the lunge line to her bridle and drove her around in a circle for a few minutes so she could pull her damn self together. I rode for a half hour and when I got off, I realized that of course riding is hurting it; the muscles you use most are your abs, your hips, and your back.


so, I am off riding for awhile. it is very sad. I am currently consulting the oracle internet about things I can do with the mare in lieu of riding. lungeing, obviously, and depending on the weather I may begin hand-walking her on the trails behind the arena. (they're currently too muddy for that). she needs a great deal more exposure to the outside world, as she is often entirely too spooky for my tastes, and she has rather impeccable ground manners, so trail walking might be a good change of pace for us both. we will also probably just wander around the property, looking at scary things. a colleague said, 'do all the things you'd normally do, but just bring your horse, kind of like you're carting around your dumb younger brother.'

I'm also, with much chagrin, planning on trying to sell my beloved Crosby saddle at a tack sale this weekend. I LOVE that saddle -- the leather is in beautiful shape, and it's really such a nice piece of tack, which I got for super cheap -- but the reality is, it's too small for me. It has cutback withers, which means the pommel (the part where a saddle horn would be if it were a western saddle) is higher and farther back than normal saddles. In other words, I am turning my crotch into hamburger every time I ride. it's not helping my leg position and unfortunately it's just never going to fit. it's an incredibly hard decision and I'm really sad to part with it (hell, that's why I bought it in the first place) but it's not helping either of us to have me riding in a saddle that's too snug.

so, there we are. no running, no riding. no strength training, except for the very minimal exercises I've been given. bikram has been given a tentative OK. I have no idea how long this will all take. if you see me in the next month or two, I apologize in advance, because half my brain at all times is thinking about my hip: am I standing correctly? should I be stretching it? am I standing more on one leg than the other? is my back tightening up?


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