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How a horse made me reborn

Hi everyone, I am Priyanka and I have been suffering from low back pain throughout my life. Sometimes it is severe sometimes it is bearable. A Couple of X Rays and MRI years back revealed that my disc was bulging. But then however exercise I tried it stayed. A year back I again underwent MRI and this time I was detected with Lordosis. Which in plain language my spinal cord was bend giving it a tilted frame.

Crap! I thought if only life could not be worst. I felt hopeless. Till the time I rediscovered something that I had always loved. I loved horses ever since I could remember. My first view of a horse was on a greeting card that my mother gifted me when I was 3 years old. But my parents could not afford such a sport and back then there was no riding facility back at Guwahati. So with time I shut the hopes to even be near a horse forget touching one.

I got transferred to Raipur in 2020 and was feeling quite lonely and abandoned in the new place. But then I thought why not give it a try since it is a city. But then what will people think at this age? Still, I gave it a try and googled Horse Riding Raipur. The results showed 2-3 options but all closed. I was about to give up when I thought why not give a buzz? The first one Brego & Hector Riding School replied we have closed down after the first wave of pandemic. Of course, keeping and maintaining horses is not a menial job! The second call was answered by an attractive voice of a lady. I asked her if she runs a Riding facility and she said Yes! Yipee! I was above Cloud 9. I said that Google was showing it to be closed and Geeta ma’am replied she had no idea but since they have changed the location of the facility hence maybe it has not been updated.

I took a cab and went to the location and my heart jumped when I saw those magnificent creatures. I shared my apprehension with her regarding my age. To my delight, she said “There is no age limit in Equestrian Sports! You can ride and even compete till you want, but then that will require lots of practice. Not to mention dedication.” I had to sign an Indemnity bond as an undertaking should anything happen to me while riding it will be completely my responsibility. I did not think twice before signing. For me sitting on a horse was like a dream. I also shared my back issues and she told me to take a call. My heart knew what I wanted so I started putting in extra efforts to do exercise to strengthen my back.

The first two months were difficult as horse riding is not easy as it seems. You need to develop your core muscles and due to my swaying back my right side of my body was weak. Yet I did not give up. My trainer Vijaeyta slowly progressed with me and in winter I used to land up at the stables even before the sun has shown up. But watching the sun go up while sitting on top of your mount was entirely peaceful and soothing. I looked forward each day to meet my horses and it was therapeutic. I started becoming happier and slowly we developed trust and I learnt how to unsaddle a horse. Every horse is different like people. I have fallen down twice from horseback but then it took away my fear. I wanted to feel the joy of speed and slowly I progressed to canter which is the third step after Walk and Trot. And right now I have started doing Basic jumps. I planned to participate in the Hack show at Delhi National Show this year but then I had to cancel it due to the second wave of Covid.

Someone asked me how long do I plan to continue and I answered “As long as I breathe. To feel the wind brushing against my face while you gallop I would not give it up for anything.” And as Geeta ma’am, as I call her says to me “Do not ride for the sake of medals only, Ride with your heart!” And I guess that sums it all up.



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Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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