My back. It’s not killing me, but when I deviate from the posture I would assume in the saddle, it kind of— it goes a bit twangy. I can move, it’s not like I’ve thrown it out, but if I move in a certain way, it lets me know it’s there.

The thing I can’t figure: did I do something wrong, or did I do something right?

Jumped a double several times in succession in my private lesson, and I was focusing on sitting back up, on the landing, sooner than I have been. I have been aware that I’m leaning over Reb’s neck that split-second too long. So yesterday I worked on it. If it didn’t show, well, at least I was thinking about it. I had suspected that it was a weakness in body that was preventing me from recovering with speed, and yup, it’s true. Feeling some ‘pull’ in that area makes me think, well, pulling anything isn’t good, but having the feeling there means at least I was using those muscles.

I can feel my back all along my ribs. Which I never do, as rule. Lolling about last night, reading, I shifted to reach my drink and BWaaaBWaaaaWAAAAA — my muscles vibrated like the strings on a banjo.

I don’t find it worrying, just interesting. I expect I ought to be supporting myself with my abs, and that the back thing is just a reminder of that. When I lean forward over my keyboard in abbreviated jumping position, nothing hurts. But it does show me that, duh, it’s all in the centre of gravity, and I really ought to fire up the Pilates DVD that’s been lurking on my bookshelves.

The thing with riding owies and ouchies is that they always feel fine once you get back on the horse. I know, I know, doctor, doctor, but I’ve become one of those people who won’t go because I know what they’re going to tell me to do: stop until it doesn’t hurt.

I’ve fallen, and gotten the wind knocked out of me; I pulled a thing, a tendon? in my ankle, and that felt a little off for a while, I only just noticed it didn’t hurt anymore; I pulled a similar mysterious thingie in my hand, I got that one from jumping Delilah, my hand slipped on her neck, bang; I’ve pulled the bit in between the groin and the top of the thigh, once or twice [three times] practically breaking my leg to get Rebel to go. I bruise like a peach, and got a big one from riding without stirrups, and not having hung the irons properly: the buckle jabbed and jabbed and a palm-sized welt bloomed on the inside of my thigh. I got bit once, where it bled, but otherwise the countless nips don’t really count.

I don’t mind this litany of injury. I am secretly delighted that a toll is being taken. My inner tomboy is absolutely delighted. I don’t care to add to this list in a major way [we all know what I mean, and superstitious, I won’t set it down in B+W], but I’ve seen others bounce back. One girl dislocated her shoulder and had to sit in the old portakabin until someone came. She was sporting a sling for a couple weeks, and then, boom, back in the saddle, you’d never have known.

Yeah, yeah, she’s all of fifteen. I’m not. But I’m certain I’m getting stronger every day, on track to feel better about myself, be healthier, than I ever have did or have been. A few bumps and bruises don’t go amiss— to me, they’re just emblems of my great undertaking.

And if you think I’m going to miss Saturday, you’re crazy.

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