Despite the fact my legs were shaking, I headed towards the barn as soon as I heard Dave's car turning in the drive. I called out to him my intent to retrieve my horse as I crossed his path in the yard.
With each step forward my gait deteriorated into the now familiar shuffle I acquired immediately after my first surgery. I pondered the sensibility of my desire to ride as I recognized the sensation of my feet dragging the ground. The resolve of my spirit outweighed the weakness of my body pulling me closer and closer to the barn.
Pulling the bolt from the latch I noticed its heavy weight but failed to realize the sensation actually reflected my current strength. I approached the opening of the door like it was any old day but felt the resistance of a brick wall. I had to put my shoulder into the door's frame to make it rattle. It wasn't moving an inch.
I weighed the trade offs between the energy I would expend opening the door myself or walking back to the house to get help. With the shaking in my knees I knew the ride was over before it started if I made the trip to the house. Instead I figured out the leverage it would take to get the door open wide enough to bring my horse out.
Hearing the first rattle of the door my horse spoke to me. The soft rumble of his voice fueled my effort with the resistant door producing enough adrenaline to get it started on its path. Having always been a tough slide, it stopped just inches from where it started but those inches were enough to give me room to wedge my body against the door's frame so I could push through my legs.
With the additional leverage I was able to get the door opened wide enough to get my horse and myself safely through. In the process I used so much energy I lost my balance as the door reached the end of its track causing me to fall through the door into my horse. Legs stood firm as I knocked into him.
As I regained my balance I looked up to see the horse was wearing his bridle with his halter over the top. The idea my horse had stood tied for hours while wearing this bridle made me cringe. Thoughts of what could have happened flooded my mind and once more I appreciated the great mind of this horse.
I scanned him searching for the reins and found they hung unmolested around the saddle horn. Then I spied the lead. It hung from it's snap on the halter ring to the ground resting in a pile of poop. The horse had been secured with a chain that hangs in the stall for just that purpose since Legs is a Houdini who can release himself if tied with a regular lead. The lead rope had not been removed as intended for this form of restraint to be safe.
Again I appreciated the wisdom of this horse. He'd had three ways to get into trouble but instead stood quietly keeping himself safe from the threats left by a careless handler. While earlier I had felt maybe the Fates were taunting me, now it was obvious if the Fates were affecting me at all it was in the form of protection. Were they going to help me through a ride or was it time for me to submit for the day?
To be continued...............