So this is my first public announcement of the fact that I am pregnant, it’s out there now. I also have a confession to make *deep breath*;
I HAVE NO INTENTION OF STOPPING RIDING, until I am physically incapable of getting off.
Having lived in this almost taboo state for 19 weeks now, I found comfort in the recent Horse and Hound article, found here;
I know that there are many out there who will see this post as an indication of the most reckless and selfish nature there is, maybe there is some truth in this but everything we do in life is a calculated risk. Only a few weeks ago in Madrid I slipped on a wet pavement and in to the road, luckily there were no on-coming cars. I find that descending escalators in rush hour, wearing a suit and carrying a laptop more of a high risk activity while pregnant than riding. Not only for the obvious potential of falling face down and being jostled in the crowds but for the stressful and tiring nature of the activity, only to be followed up by siting immobile at a desk for many hours.
For the sake of my mental stability, I need to continue riding for as long as is possible and this I will do on a choice of my trusted steeds. I have remained heathy, mobile and not putting on excess weight, I still have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Yes this is a lifestyle choice, it’s mine and it makes me happy.
I know there must be people out there who will agree; once you find yourself in the grip of the alien world of pregnancy there is a sudden shift in peoples behaviour toward you. This is along with a list of physical symptoms which can leave you wondering who the hell you are, and how you ever managed to even get out of bed in the morning without a list of guidelines and a blood test to confirm it was safe to do so. Of course we are grateful for the concern and we acknowledge that we are amongst the lucky ones, but insisting people change their lifestyle can be mentally damaging.
For those who come in to regular contact with a seasoned rider, you will most likely be aware of the steel with which these women are made of, for most it is a lifestyle, their Raison d’être. You are more likely to evoke teenage feelings of rebellion within them in an effort to prove they are not made of china, this is what is dangerous. Calculated risks go out of the window in an attempt to retain a sense of identity. Don’t judge us, help us; mucking out my 3 takes twice the time it used to, my hips are sore, my shoulders are tired and my feet hurt but I still get a sense of pride when I have perfectly set beds, full hay racks and water buckets. I like this feeling, and if I can’t enjoy over indulging with alcohol and stilton this Christmas you will find me taking extra special care of my boys because this is the one thing which I can do which still makes me feel like me.
Now if you will excuse me, I have a jar of pickled onions to finish off before googling a way to dismount a 17.3 without a crane.