So this week I did something I have never done before. I rode wearing my glasses. And by rode, I mean I hopped on for all of five minutes. Let me explain. I have been wearing glasses since I was 13. First I only needed them for driving, so much to the horror of my riding instructor when she found out, I didn’t wear them when riding. Apparently I didn’t feel the need to be able to actually see properly while attempting to control a 1,300 pound animal with a mind of its own. By the time I was 16, the glasses had become a permanent fixture, so I switched to contacts. I’ve been a contact lens wearer ever since. And yes, I do wear them while I’m riding, and yes, I do ride better when I can actually see.
Unfortunately, my right eye has been a little irritated of late, so I’ve had to forgo the contacts and wear my glasses – and I’m completely uncomfortable wearing them riding. I’m paranoid they’re going to fall off my face, or I’m going to fall off and the lenses are going to shatter and blind me. Not willing to give up my weekly ride, I decided I would get on Luc anyways and just have a light, relaxing ride.
So much for that idea! The second I brought Luc into the arena, he was a complete and utter basket case, in a way that I haven’t seen in a very long time. He was spinning and spooky and terrified of the wind howling outside. In all fairness, it was incredibly loud and the banging of the door was a little unnerving. After spinning around the mounting block several times, he finally settled enough for me to get on. Then took three steps and stopped dead to stare wide-eyed at the scary arena door, now making an odd clattering noise as well.
I pushed him forward and we attempted to walk around the arena. We made it halfway down the long side before I started to suspect something was wrong – and it wasn’t my paranoia over wearing glasses filling my head. I turned him in the other direction and knew without a doubt something was wrong. He was unwilling to bend to the right, and when I’d ask him to he’d still counter bend the other way, along with a little sidestep.
You see, Luc had his annual vaccines two days prior, and it looked like he still had some muscle stiffness as a result. I hopped off him, untacked him and then his owner, my sister Jen, gave him a massage and held his food dish up for him so it would be easier for him to eat. Now that’s true love. By the time Luc was done eating, Jen was covered in green slop, from head to toe and everywhere in between.
Hopefully he’ll start feeling better soon. At least his spirits didn’t seem too affected. He was as loveable and obnoxious as ever.
As for me, my eye seems to be a bit better. I’m hoping that by next week I’ll be back to wearing my contact lenses, and back to being confident about riding.