In riding, this is one of my bad habits, born from the days of being thrown into a jumping saddle at a young age, atop a horse much too big for my short legs and flying around a jump course, in two point. What can I say…Old habits die hard… but leaning forward isn’t always a fault.
The 2010 riding season proved to be a storm of challenging winds blowing down on me. A career ending injury to a barely budding endurance athlete. JB had just begun to hit his stride in the Fall of 2009 with his first successful completion of 25 mile CTR ; a most difficult ride as far as terrain, footing, obstacles. JB managed to bring both me and himself through it , not without out struggles but in one piece and healthy nonetheless. It was defining moment for JB and I as partners. We faced some steep challenges but he definitely showed me he was the little horse that could. In the following spring of 2010, some of our first condition rides out, I was pleasantly surprised with this new horse that seemed to be emerging right before my eyes. He strode out with strength, speed and sureness in his step that I had not experienced before. I was overjoyed. After 3 years of struggling to get JB to this point, mentally and physically, we had finally arrived. He was ready to do endurance. It felt like we were on the golden road to many exciting adventures. I was looking forward to the journeys that lie ahead for JB and I.
But the golden road of future success took a hard left for us when JB was injured.
JB’s subsequent rehab from Pastern Arthrodesis surgery has consumed most my time since April. The process has proved to be a windy, challenging course. There have been unpredictable gusts, and alternately, there have been persistent, steady winds. There has been rain, thunder and clouds that loomed.
And we aren’t quite half way yet. There are still puddles to step in, winds to face.
I have tried to limit posts on JB’s rehab, not because I am trying to hide or diminish the challenges we have faced, there have been many; but because I am busy leaning into the wind, facing those challenges as they come at me, and trying to stay the course, stay positive, leaning forward into better times ahead.
JB has been transitioned into a 48 x48 pen now. He’s been there for 3 weeks. He bucks and runs, as much as he can in that space. Physically he’s getting stronger with each day that passes. Mentally, he’s recovering and I see glimmers of the old JB come out. He’s getting less reactive on noises but sometimes, he has bad days and he reverts. I am encouraged however; I can now at least start the lawnmower within a few of his pen without worrying that it will send him into a panic.
We go for daily walks in hand; he wants to trot, but I can’t let him. He wants to run with the herd, but it’s not time. His manners have suffered during his recovery, so I have started asking for him to remember. He’s coming around but it’s a process. Every day is a new day for us.
His old atrophied hoof is still growing out and the new hoof is coming in….slowly. I am not sure what he’s going to end up with at the end of his healing. Right now, his hoof looks very odd. Every 3-4 weeks, we have to rasp his hoof to keep the wall from making too much contact with the ground, in order to keep as much torque off the joint as possible. JB will remain on Farriers Formula until the new hoof is completely formed and hopefully he’ll have a relatively normal foot again.
JB has his 6 month post op anniversary in November. At that time, we will do radiographs. I am both anxious and nervous for that day. It’s the day I’ll know what our future road will look like. Will we find that golden road again where we can cover mile after mile together? Or will it be an easier path that we’ll need to take?
Only time will tell. Either way, as long as it’s a road we can travel together , I am happy.
When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare, Henry V
Summer 2009 Lupine Lake