I have a confession to make. I spent the afternoon with my friend and fellow blogger, Molly, and her BEAUTIFUL little mare, Bella. Molly lives only about 10 miles from our desert home and boards Bella nearby in a large and beautiful boarding facility that Molly and I discovered by accident one day! It has misters for the horses during the hot summer months, but Bella was born in the desert, in Mexico, so she's already used to desert heat. She'll be fine! My fear is a fear of riding. Like Lisa, of Laughing Orca Ranch, I was injured while riding a horse (actually, while getting OFF!). I had gone riding with a friend in August of 2008 and I slipped and fell to the ground when the saddle slipped. The next day, I could barely walk. After an MRI, it was discovered that I had two slipped discs and they were pinching my sciatic nerve. OUCH! The pain got worse and worse until I could barely stand or walk. It was affecting not only my physical abilities, but my mental health, as well. I went in for physical therapy and two cortisone shots and by December of last year, after the second shot, I felt better, but now I have permanent nerve damage and I can't feel my feet. I often step on the kids at school (they are very understanding!) and I have to apologize profusely! I just can't feet their little feet! So, yesterday when I went to visit Molly and Bella and Molly asked, "Do you want to ride her?" I felt that knot in my stomach, my hands started shaking, and I said, "No." Now, WHY did I do that? It was just STUPID! Bella is a nice, calm, wonderful little mare. All she does is walk. I mean, for heaven's sake! Lisa at least got back up on her mare! Thank you, Lisa, for sharing that with us! (See: http://laughingorcaranch.blogspot.com/2009/12/twas-day-after-christmas.html) What can I say? I hope to someday get back on a horse, but, honestly, every time someone asks if I want to ride their horse, I say "NO!" What is WRONG with me? Fear? Probably. I'm nearly 58 years old (young). The ground is a LOT further away now than I remember! I'm not as limber as I used to be (heck, I'm not limber AT ALL!)...But, this is ridiculous! My cousin, Valerie, is the same age that I am and she rides every day! She doesn't worry about falling off. Heck, she had a horse rear and fall on her once and she's still riding! So, my question is...is my fear physical or mental?