I have posted many times about not being able to do some activities that I enjoy because of my back problems, but I have not gone into depth about just how important some of those things are. Not everyone finds something that they are so passionate about that it is the only thing you feel you need to live. I have been so fortunate to find that.
I have worked with and ridden horses for 11 years. It is truly my favorite thing in the world, particularly riding. I started at the age of 12 and have learned every important life lesson there is from them. The good, the bad and the ugly. My entire life could be falling apart, but as long as I had horses it didn't matter. I sleep, eat and breathe for horses and that silent and magical method of communication you can build with them. The simple thought of riding brings me to tears because it is the ultimate form of happiness and success. Horses complete me and I would gladly live my life with no money or materials so long as I had horses. Riding horses is something that I do to achieve ultimate bliss and happiness and I don't rely on any other person for that happiness. Just the horse and I.
I also have back problems because of riding. I continued to injure myself because I tried to continue riding and doing all the heavy lifting and work involved with horses. Most people think I was immature for risking my health. Sometimes I agree, but then I think of my love for it- what I explained above. That pure joy and content was worth every risk. Unfortunately now I am at the point where if I herniate a disc again I will require a 2 level fusion. I have decided to stop riding because of this. I have decreased my riding significantly since my original injury in Dec. 2008, but this is the first time I have committed to staying out of the saddle. Most days I am ok with that. But sometimes like tonight It feels like my heart has been ripped out. I have been so lucky to find horses- that thing that makes life whole. I often wonder why I was allowed to find it if I had to give it up.
I will likely work with horses from the ground and I still enjoy watching others ride and going to shows, but it also breaks my heart a little each time. I have no doubt I'll adjust, I have to. I wanted to post this mostly to vent, but also as a place for others to talk about some of the things they are no longer able to because of their back problems or anything related to that.
25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.