While not fully cleared to get back to really riding, the shoulder has been cleared for Physical Therapy, and for swimming. I’m also allowed full range of motion with it, so I can at least put Cally’s halter on, take her out of her stall, etc. So big improvements!
Twice now I’ve been able to take her out and lunge her a little. Not so much real work on the lunge, because I’m still guarding the arm and not wanting to put too much pressure on it holding the line in case she does do something squirrely, mostly getting her out and moving her around and letting her stretch her legs a bit. She’s been quite good about it, loping around like a hunter yesterday. I think she very much enjoys me showing up, brushing her and feeding her treats, then leaving again.
PT has been good, too. I’ve done two sessions, with another scheduled for tomorrow. The first was mostly an evaluation and a session of electrode/heat therapy that was quite nice. The second involved a lot of exercises to stabilize my shoulder. As the therapist explained, I’ve lost the only skeletal connection from my arm to my body in the dislocation, so it’s basically just muscle and scar tissue now, so I’m having to relearn how to move it properly. Turns out, that involves using the shoulder blade, and the muscles behind it, to properly move it. So my back is a bit sore, in a good way, from the exercises I’ve been doing, though I think in the long term they’re actually going to improve my riding because they’re moving the shoulder blades down and back the way Kelley is always trying to get me to do. In reforming the muscle memory, I’m being forced to do exactly that, because there’s no other way to move them. In the end, it might help my riding, and give me a few little exercises I can do before going in the ring to maximize my effectiveness. Not the way I’d prefer to have gotten there, but not a bad outcome in the long run.