This post has been one I’ve been toying with posting (this all went down a few weeks ago). But seeing as it ends mostly happily, I decided to share. My apologies if some people got part of this post earlier this week, I think I did something crazy on the blog app.
It started out as one of those rides where things all started to fall together for me! Grover and I warmed up well, with only a few reminders to keep my elbows soft and wrists straight. I cantered around in the driving rein as a reminder to not give with my hands, but with my arms.
Then we started popping around some small jumps and right off the bat I had a much better feel for the pace, and came in at really nice distances. Grover was the perfect gentleman, and gave an honest effort for me.
I stretched up, focused on bringing my shoulders back approaching the fence to help maintain the pace, and we ate up the lines. I actually counted out loud the whole time; to keeps my brain occupied. As a result we actually had several lovely courses, including one where were schooled the add strides so that Grover couldn’t just blow down the lines.
At the end of the ride I felt like $1,000,000. I had ridden correctly And in response my horse had been much happier and more correct. It felt so great to have the pieces all come together!
However, I did get off and while picking Grover’s feet out in the aisle he began to act very odd, and very wobbly. To the point where I yelled at him twice, afraid that he was going to lay down on me. My trainer saw most of this and immediately came to our aid. I walked him off, she did some basic testing and while neither of us could find something ‘wrong’ with him, the cherished schoolmaster just seemed off. Both of us gave him some extra cuddles and tucked him back into his stall for the night. The vet was out the next day for other reasons, so he’d take a quick peak.
On the road to Rolex I got the text. The vet had found a heart murmur in Grover, and it was recommended that he be retired immediately. My trainer is Mr. Grover’s #1 fan and took the vet’s advice. So as of now, my lesson that night, where he was perfect, was his last ride ever. He is now going to live the posh life of a cute lawn/stall ornament and be stuffed full of cookies by his fan club.
I won’t lie, his retirement was a huge blow to my movement forward, since we had been talking about half leasing him this summer. But the bottom line is that no one got hurt, and Grover should live a happy horsey life still. Just in a different context.