Saturday, August 04, 2012

Horsey Bits

When I was in my early 20's, I took up English riding, a lifelong dream.  But I stopped riding some years later when I took a terrible fall while completing a jump.  It was a Christopher Reeve sort of moment that luckily only ended up as whiplash and a concussion.  Sadly, that injury turned into chronic neck and back pain, which eventually became myofascial pain syndrome (chronic muscle pain) and then chronic headaches.  I've been living with an exhausting disability ever that has restricted me from doing many of the things I love.    
Me and Taxi, a prince of a horse

Horses were a great love and sometimes I miss riding deeply (especially when equestrian events are on TV!). I was rather good at it and it came naturally, as though I'd found a calling.  So to be honest, every few months I entertain the notion of taking up lessons again!
Western riding in recent years...not quite as much fun as formal English!

But now I have something I never had before...fear!  I am not bothered by the horses and have gone riding many times since, but the idea of jumps scares me to death.  I am very afraid of a fall, so maybe it is time for non-jumping riding lessons?!

So I was touched recently when David returned from a trip with this gift for me - a bracelet that looks like a snaffle bit for a horse!  I just love it...

It is made from brass bits and reclaimed leather and looks very horsey indeed!

I have not taken it off in days and have been wearing a lot of black (which it looks very sharp with).  It reminds me of what I've been missing and that at some point, one needs to get up the nerve to follow one's dreams.

Do you have a dream you aren't following?  Something to think about...

If you would like your own equestrian bracelet, this Etsy shop has a nice affordable selection! 


  1. That is so sad that you cant do what you love. I am finally following my dream, creating, and I adore it all. I hope you can find a way of doing what you love dear Terri.
    Ness xx

  2. Non-jump riding sounds like a good plan. Even being around horses without riding sounds like a start. I had not known that your headaches had a definite source. It all makes sense now. I'm sorry for the loss that this has been. Love the bracelet! What a thoughtful man you have in your life.

    I am partially following a dream. To give my entire self over to it doesn't seem possible or even right so I hold back.

    Fortunately, it does not involve horseback riding as I was thrown from a horse at age four and have never wished to ride a horse again. No, they didn't make me; it was that traumatic for us all.

    Keep us updated...

  3. I'm sorry to read about your lingering pain issues since the fall you had. I'm sure it was hard to give up your passion and even harder to live with the facial pain and headaches. I'm sure you've researched and tried various treatments, but have you considered Botox therapy? I know physicians are using it now for different health issues such as headaches.

    P.S. your bracelet is very pretty and a lovely reminder of something you enjoy and care about. So sweet!

  4. I am so glad that you told us your story as heartwrenching as it is. Unless one lives with chronic pain, it is something difficult for others to understand.

    You look so happy and natural on a horse! Yes, take riding lessons at your own pace...let the jumping be a part of your past and on to new adventures in riding...

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artist Series

  5. It would be easy to say you should just get back on the horse but knowing the pain you're living with, it might be best to stick with a carousel.

    The bracelet is awesome. It could be Hermes.

  6. Your hubby sounds like a great guy who loves you clearly. You look so pretty in the photos.
    Never too late to pursue your dream.
    I'm trying to pursue mine, for years, still waiting.
    Peace and Love

  7. Terri,
    I am so sorry you are not able to ride and jump as you once did. I hope by sharing this with us you will find comfort and support from the blog community and your readers. I know you have a loyal following from all over the world. Cheers and continue being strong!

  8. Anonymous12:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing and I hope that with time your chronic headaches will abate. I rode english when I was a kid but never to the jumping stage. Hubby and I did enjoy trail rides in the Rockies when we lived in Calgary and it's a great way to connect to a horse and the stunning national parks!

    Your bracelet is so touching of a gift and speaks to how sensitive your husband is to know that this will be treasured.

    Take care, NB in Ontario

  9. You look so natural and at ease on that horse Terri!! I say go for the non jumping lessons to satisfy your longing.

    That bracelet is fabulous, very Gucci-esque. ;)

    PS- thanks for your sweet comment about my little house yesterday.

  10. hi terri, you look stunning on your horse. i too love riding but have not ridden in years. just got too busy with raising boys and there was never enough time. i recently went back and took a lesson and it was fun. but i just can't work it into my life or budget right now. xo

  11. Hi Terri,

    I, too, grew up riding but gave it up when my children came along. I miss it and look forward to getting back to it one day. I say stick with Western saddles and what I used to call a 'bomb-proof' horse. If you can trust the horse not to spook or take-off you might be able to get past your fear. I hope that you are able to manage the headaches and pain in such a way that it might be possible for you to try.

    All best,

    PS, I love the bracelet.

  12. Hi Terri,
    I've been thinking a lot about the whole following dreams thing lately and your post is very timely for me. Thank you. I'm determined to get going on several sculpture and art projects which have been on the back burner for years. It's morning here in England and before I get back to Vancouver mid Sept. I'm now determined to have some projects completed or well under way. :)

  13. What a terrible accident! My daughter is horse crazy and is in Pony Club and has taken riding lessons since she was 4 years old. I often get a wee bit nervous, though, that she'll have a bad fall. It would be so hard to leave riding behind; there's nothing quite like the smell of a horse barn, and saddle leather. While I'm not a rider myself, I have worked with them quite a bit during vet school, and love these gorgeous animals.

  14. Happy to find you! I am from Southwestern Onatrio, and totally get you. I had an accident which resulted in brain injury...besides losing my confidence as a rider, I was afraid of falling off of my very active saddlebred. But I bought a clyde/thoroughbred and she is amazing. My confidence has returned, and I am learning dressage. Don't give up, just change the direction! PS let me know if you have found any good headache meds...I have yet to figure that out! Take care!

  15. You look so pretty on a horse and I can tell that you have a great passion for riding. I'm sorry to hear you are no longer able to jump.. perhaps just walking and being content with that? Your bracelet is just so pretty.. how special to receive that from your husband :)


  16. I would be just like you......once I have a bad experience then I'm done.....and it would take an act of God to get me back on an horse.....I love the bracelet....