Thursday, November 17, 2011
The trouble with horses
Wait, there is no way you have enough time to read the full list. Not to mention that most of you could probably add lengthy additions to any list I might create. But, it often strikes me that we go along with our horses, enjoying them, enjoying riding, enjoying barn life and forgetting all that we know (we are horsepeople) is lurking out there just waiting to rear its ugly head. Human injury, sure. I (knock on lots and lots of wood) haven't had a major horse related injury in a while, though there was the stress fracture in March that while not caused by riding kept me from it for a while, but friends have been a bit less lucky. Facebook reveals a broken collarbone, a recently healed shoulder, and a a run of bad luck - blogged about here http://skipjackeventing.blogspot.com/2011/11/its-been-bad-luck-kind-of-year.html. Horse inury, even more common. I've been lucky through the years, but Gizmo is currently rehabbing from an injury that is probably coffin joint related. There is some lack of clarity, which adds to the fun, but he is in a great place and I have a great vet. Horse illness can be tougher. Not so bad when it is Keegan's 2 day minor fever (although I was glad enough that Madison had the ride on his first time back). Worse when it is Eli's arthritic neck. Is this the total cause of his bad behavior, or just an excuse. Either way, Eli is off to find a job that pleases him more and doesn't involve dressage. And much worse, and very sad, Medley's diagnosis. My friend Sherry got Medley within a few weeks of when I got Gizmo and has developed their relationship and love over all that time. I can't imagine how tough it is for her knowing that she only has a few months more with Medley. Which brings me to one of the great things about the trouble with horses; the great horse community that totally gets it. Jackie and Hilda at Ashmore who are taking great care of Gizmo and sending pictures and updates on a regular basis, my wonderful vets both north and south, my friend Holly who is picking Eli up to take him to her place and work on finding him that new home and new job, Caitlin Silliman who despite the craziness of her work schedule is spending time with Eli and keeping me updated on his condition. And then there is the joy that is horse buying and horse selling. So far, all horse buying has been generally good. Sure, every now and then there is an Eli, but who could have know he had arthritis in his neck and buying horses expands ones horse community. I think of Nancy Kempe in Texas from whom I bought Gizmo in 1999 and to whom I still send a holiday card with his update every year, Nancy Wilcox from whom I bought Keebler, Margaret King who sold me Tobe, Finn and Eli, and most recently Kate Chadderton, the original off the track buyer of Keegan. And honestly, selling and/or leasing has often done the same. Keebler has added a Michigan fan club to his Florida fan club and has the best life ever thanks to Lynn who has been leasing him since 2009 and has seen him through multiple injuries. It is great fun getting updates from Andria Pooley (except for that broken collarbone) and we mourned together when Guinness had to be euthanized 9 years after she bought him from me. Kaiti Saunders is my go to expert eye when I want to buy everything in sight, Lauren Tjaden sold several horses for me and then bought Vic and even though she is no longer riding, we are still in touch. See, horses and being a horseperson make you forget the troubles. I started there, but the post really wanted to go to the good stuff - the riding, the volunteering, the cool people you meet doing both as well the community it all creates. Here's hoping that tomorrow's cold weather lesson on Keegan doesn't produce any interesting troubles.