By Susan Glover.
Okay, 2022. Let’s do that.
2021 began badly for me and my horse Steve. Effectively, it truly began nice after which went downhill like a runaway wheelbarrow filled with horse poop. I’d been feeling one thing was NQR with Steve on and off the earlier summer time, which noticed us return to work after a nasty bone bruise knocked Steve out over the winter-spring. I bought his hocks injected and issues felt fabulous for some time after which…he felt not fabulous, however solely briefly, right here and there.
The standard questions began, those that come up when coping with NQR-ness and an animal that speaks a unique language than we do. Was I imagining it? Was that only a journey in deep footing or did he journey for a extra problematic cause? Steve by no means touches jumps so was that tick on the oxer only a one-off or an indication of looming hassle? And so forth. Lastly, after an enormous, fantastic leap faculty that appeared to throw all of my issues within the dumpster, Steve got here up three-legged lame. Investigations and extra investigations turned up large quantities of arthritis in his left hock, in all probability from the sooner harm to his leg that gave him the bone bruise. One experimental surgical procedure and plenty of months of stall relaxation, hand/kite strolling/flying, and really sluggish, cautious work below saddle and we have been again at it, considerably towards the chances. It appears like Steve will want common upkeep for that hock however on the entire I really feel like we dodged an enormous bullet.
Here’s a collection of images I took on the day I started to consider that his hock in all probability was okay. Steve truly had an abcess at that time and he was very dramatically limping round, barely capable of stroll…till I made a decision to show him out to roll and the next shenanigans commenced.
If you happen to look intently you possibly can see the thick coating of filth Steve utilized to himself in between working round like a dummy.The opposite day we did a enjoyable faculty over some barely greater jumps than we’ve but tackled with considered one of my trainers, Morgan. She had gotten on Steve first to see how he felt and when he began aiming himself at jumps Morgan laughed and stated he was clearly able to go. It was a lot enjoyable, I’m smiling as I sort, remembering. My horse actually loves to leap; I do know folks say that means an excessive amount of and lots of the time it’s as a result of their horse is working round like a scared or untrained maniac and that’s equated to enjoyment. In Steve’s case, although, it’s the reality. Leaping is simple for him and when he’s feeling good he likes to do little hops once we land and shake his head, after which he swaggers round in an enormous “I’m superior” stroll afterward. It makes me completely happy to really feel my candy boy having fun with himself, particularly since a couple of months in the past I wasn’t positive we’d ever leap once more.
Popping out of great horse accidents or sickness, it’s arduous once you add all the things up (no, not cash! Don’t EVER add up the cash, folks!) and see how a lot time was misplaced. It’s additionally not very productive, however I’m solely human, and I’m an ageing human with a nasty again, at that. Our final rated present was in August 2019. Since my different horse resides the fats life (actually) at his retirement residence, I’ve simply bought the one, so this implies I’ve been out of the ring that lengthy, too. We managed to slot in a few very informal education exhibits final yr, in between lameness, however that’s it. We’re not getting any youthful and this was alleged to be our time to get comfy within the Low Beginner Proprietor jumpers after which transfer as much as the Mediums.
Steve and me education again in 2019, picture credit score some good mother who randomly took a video of us.
So, was this a misplaced yr? Form of? I do know I’m alleged to say one thing uplifting about all the things that I realized and the way it gave me an opportunity to bond with Steve on the bottom or one thing like that, however actually it simply type of sucked. My first horse that I owned once I was a tween bowed a tendon proper earlier than the beginning of the present season. Had my dad and mom and I been prescient it was at this level that we must always have simply thrown within the towel.
From that have, by way of many different horses and accidents and sicknesses, to this one, I can’t say that I realized something worthy of cross-stitching onto a wall hanging aside from that horses are a dumb animal to like. They’re fragile and break (and typically even die) with alarming frequency. They will are available in from the sector with a deep puncture wound into their hock and no quantity of strolling the pasture will flip up something even remotely suspicious. They will put their leg by way of a fence simply randomly and want 22 stitches. They will get dehydrated at an away present as a result of “I don’t wish to drink THAT water, it isn’t MY water from HOME and I’d fairly simply DIE,” and you may spend $$$ on electrolytes and components to encourage them to drink…after which they’ll drink, lastly, however solely when nobody is wanting. Once we purchased my third junior horse within the lifeless of a Wisconsin winter, he shipped to us in a borrowed blanket and every week later all of his hair fell out. And so forth. I’ve so many of those little tales about my numerous monsters I don’t know whether or not to cry or snort.
However…horses are good therapists: they simply hear and allow you to emote at them, with out judgment. Effectively, mares may decide, however that’s the reason I’ve geldings. Horses allow you to take them on foolish adventures, costume them up in obnoxious costumes for vacation photographs, stick them in wheeled metallic packing containers only for the value of a stuffed hay web, and so they come by way of repeatedly once you ask.
So, yeah, 2021 was not an amazing horse yr for me however I’ve come out of it with my Steven completely happy and sound (um, not less than for now), so I contemplate myself a fortunate individual. I’m prepared for 2022, and no matter ridiculousness the yr throws at me I’m going to maintain at it, get pleasure from my fantastic horse, and possibly make some choices to the soundness gods that we are able to get again within the present ring.
I hope the remainder of you could have had a greater yr along with your horses, particularly within the midst of the trauma that continues to plague our world. We’re fortunate we’ve got these gracious souls we are able to flip to for consolation, and that’s one thing none of us ought to take with no consideration. Get pleasure from your horses as this loopy, seemingly infinite yr lastly winds down. Steve and I want everybody a really Completely happy New Yr!