Thursday, March 4, 2010

Horses and Good Health

I believe horses to be veritable soul healers. A good horse is also not bad for your health; in fact, active horse people are among the healthiest folks I know. I ride with countless women who have had broken backs or necks or herniated discs (like I did) and we all still ride. The horse in the pasture beckons to us every day to get well faster so we can get back in the saddle.

I had a car accident in 1991 where I was rear ended by a humongous City of Austin electric vehicle and that wreck left me with two herniated discs. The doctor in the ER room told me I should never, ever ride a horse again and that I would have lifelong pain. I often ignore many things doctors tell me, especially if they have anything to say about my horses. I ride all the time and I am pain free. I believe the will to ride guaranteed that I would one day find out why I was so ill so that I could hurry up and get back out with my beloved horses. I now know I have a systemic Candida overgrowth as well as food allergies to gluten, corn and dairy that likely caused me to be hypothyroid and have weak adrenals. Sometimes I think the Candida was the starting point for all of my health woes and I am incredibly determined to win the Candida battle. I have cleaned up my diet and added many beneficial supplements and I feel great most days. It took me a decade to reclaim my health but if I can do it, you can too.

I have three American Quarter horse geldings and one special mammoth donkey who believes himself to be a horse, so I count him as my fourth horse. He insists on doing every thing a horse does. He also refuses to associate with our herd of mini donkeys. He is a silly donkey but if he so badly wants to believe he is a horse, I am happy letting him think that.

Yesterday was a picture perfect day in Central Texas, so me and my favorite Aunt loaded up two of my experienced trail geldings and headed out to a 44,000 acre state park where we can ride for hours. We met our riding friend John, who is 65 years young and may be the healthiest person I know. He takes zero medications. I really believe that the medical establishment should be studying John's good health. How many 65 year olds do you know who are out riding horses every day and who take no medications whatsoever? Not too many.

Yesterday was a perfect day for us and for our horses. We basked in the sun that has been absent from Texas for months. We walked, we trotted, we loped and we often let the horses pick our path. After our ride, I had a sweet moment with my two geldings as we all shared a huge, healthy apple together. It turns out they like apples as much as I do.

There were many years when I was too ill to ride, or even groom my horses. Luckily my incredible husband took over most of their care and good horse friends would help me as well. Yesterday I had the energy to ride for 4 hours and then come home and walk our 5 dogs. There was a time in the not too distant past where just the thought of throwing a 40 pound saddle over a horse's back was too much energy to think about spending.

I never want to go back to the days of being bedridden. I want the good health I now enjoy every day to go out my back door to my horses and commune with them. I want the energy to ensure my dogs get their daily ranch walk. (Well, I walk; they gallop)

I also want you to enjoy your days. I often cry big horse tears for all the people I know who are suffering from extreme fatigue and who go to doctor after doctor and never get any better.

If you are reading this blog, know in your gut (literally in your gut) that you can regain your health as I did. It is not impossible.

Keep reading, keep learning, and eat well and soon you will be well.

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