Cherish Your Rides

I don’t talk a lot about other horses at my stable, even the ones I interact with a lot, just because their owners didn’t ask me to, and I don’t feel the need to drag them into my little piece of blogland.  Except for one.  I dragged one in.  Because she was special, and she belongs to my best friend.

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She’s the closest thing O has ever had to a best friend.  That’s probably because they are both super opinioned mares, and no one else wants to deal with them.  But it’s still cute.

On April 27th, Honey started exhibiting very unusual and extreme symptoms out of nowhere; she struggled to stand, had fluid leaking from her ears, and held her pretty face with a tilt.  With neurological issues raising flags all over the place, our vets banded together to come up with a very aggressive plan.  While she improved and could leave her stall for hand walks within a week, things didn’t keep getting better.  She fell one day, with my friend leading her.  And then again, and again.

She started to shake in fear of things that she saw every day.  To look in her eyes, was to know that she didn’t recognize or understand what was happening to her.  They battled for almost a month, but yesterday my friend made the call she hoped she’d never have to.

Perfect together.

Perfect together.

Honey will no longer be in pain, or fear of what is happening.  She will be at peace, racing across the fields like she loved to do.  Even just a day or two ago, somehow through it all, she still recognized O, and they would wicker and snuffle at each other with the stall between them.  Maybe it was their way of saying goodbye too.

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Honey just turned 10 years old.  She was a Thoroughbred with a gorgeous face, a tricky right lead, race wins under her belt, a super cute jump, and a heart of gold.  She carried my friend through her pregnancy, recovery and was a true part of their family.

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She will be missed terribly.  The only words my friend wanted to leave here was the simple reminder, always, always cherish your rides, you don’t know when they will be your last.

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Riding Mentality

To cut to the chase, this week has sucked.  I feel like bad news had a baby with bad luck and together they made this week.  Horses are sick, being an adult is hard, people are sick, people suck, and somehow I’m just chilling in the middle of it feeling sorry for myself.

So here’s my question.  Where do you draw the line on whether mentally you are fit to ride? BEspecially with a mare, or a sensitive horse, putting yourself in the tack when your mind isn’t in the right spot can be so much worse than not riding.  So opted to not even try.

 I went out last night and didn’t even bother putting on riding clothes.  Instead I grabbed my mud covered beast from her pasture, groomed the heck out of her, and made her pose for pictures.  I was in absolutely no state to be on her back.

 
   

O joined my pity party with gusto and allowed me to console myself by shoving treats down her throat and asking her why life was so frickin’ complicated sometimes.  Although she had no answers for my life questions, she looked cute and chomped grass in a rather sympathetic way.  I can’t ask for more than that.  Cheers to a long weekend and new week!  

  

Quiet Sundays

I imagine that all barns have a ‘quiet’ time when there seems to be less horses and less crazy happening.  Since I work 8-5, I rarely get to enjoy these moments.  Somehow this Sunday I got to the stable before anyone else, and was able to lavish attention on, groom and tack up before another soul showed up.  Well minus this guy…he was obviously a bit lost.


He was just checking out the facilities.

Anyway, I was able to hop on with another adult rider and get my walk/trot work in before the crazy started.  O was quiet, lazy in the humidity and seemingly sound!  I pushed her a bit more today, and now we’ll see how she recovers tomorrow.  Overall, she feels good, but I will say the time off has made her a little sour towards “hard” work, so I definitely got my exercise too!

We’re Back! (Mostly)

Wednesday was gorgeous out.  I couldn’t resist getting on the pony and taking it for a cruise.  My trainer happened to be out there and wanted to see her move around.

She was swingy, perky and didn’t seem to be bothered by anything.  From the ground you can see better how she’s landing on that ouchie foot.

First word, and best words out of my trainers mouth, “it looks pretty darn good”.  I wanted to whoop or fist pump.  But I’m not that cool; so I reeled that sh*t in and settled for happily bouncing around on my very patient little horse.

This is what I was doing. Just mentally.  Thanks for the image Google.

The plan is to continue lightly riding her this week, walk, trot, maybe a little canter mixed in, and see if the soreness continues to decrease.  Of course, I made my trainer repeat it again, just so I could hear the positive diagnosis. She changed her words, probably because I was being obnoxious, and then called her “mostly” sound.  Whatever, still more internal whooping happening over here.

No more hand grazing....it's time to get back to work!

No more hand grazing….it’s time to get back to work!

This weekend, my horse and I will do fun things.  I’m excited, and ready to get this show back on the road.  O and I both got a little fat during this month off, so now it’s on to find that happy fitness place for both of us.

I’ll Take It

It happened ya’ll!  I rode my horse!  

Yes, it was only at the walk and trot, but hot damn it felt great.  It was perfect weather, fun people were all out riding, and after seeing her lunge a bit Trainer cleared her to start some light work!  

She’s still landing a bit funny every few steps, as if trying to protecting the foot.  But now it’s so minor we don’t know if it actually hurts or she has just been doing it for almost a month and doesn’t realize it won’t hurt anymore.  And it’s so SO much better than even just last week.  

  
Either way, we both know that my horse does better with work.  She actually felt pretty great most of our ride.  She was forward, pretty relaxed for not being ridden in 3+ weeks and behaved like a rockstar.  I didn’t do much, but I also couldn’t stop smiling.  Progress people, I’ll take it.

she rocks at selfies

Life With Less Horse Time

This past month or so of having less riding and horse orientated time either from us trying to give O a bit of a mental/physical break.  And let me tell you.  It’s really weird.

Cutest girl.

Cutest girl.

Sometimes I have wondered, which I hope is normal, how much more time I’d have if I wasn’t involved with horses.  Would I have another less stressful-expensive-timely hobby?  Would I be a better wife or friend?  Would I actually have time to clean my poor house?

Pretty sure I can give a resounding ‘nope’ to all of those.  What I’ve done with my extra time…bought horse stuff, researched horse stuff, thought about my horse, stared at my horse, talked to my husband about my horse, and blatantly ignored my house.

So we can work on my crazy wrists and our upward transitions more.

So we can work on my crazy wrists and our upward transitions more.

While in some ways I appreciate having a little extra time to myself, but more than anything I miss the horse time.  I am really hoping we get the official ‘all clear’ this week so she can start getting back into work.  God knows I’m not getting any cleaning done.