I started this post out originally talking about all kinds of announcements of sorts I wanted to share with you and spun in the news at the end about JB's first ride, but when I finished, it didn't seem right , it seemed like JB's first ride really deserved it's own post, so I erased all that other stuff and started over. The other stuff can wait.
For a few weeks now as time and weather have permitted, I've been taking JB for walks and doing ground driving sessions in the arena. Friday night I had gone out to halter him and the plan was to just brush him really well and let him hand graze. I was just coming off having a knock you on your butt flu and I wasn't feeling real motivated to do much, but I needed to go out and be with a horse nonetheless. The sun , which hadn't been out all day suddenly appeared from behind the clouds and it got nice and warm. I walked back into the tack room to get a different brush and JB, who tends to like to also get into the tack room, followed me in and sniffed at his saddle. I know this is going to sound a little crazy but he seemed to be telling me wanted to go for a ride. JB and I are pretty connected and I would like to beleive, after everything we have been through together, that we are tuned into one anothers thougths on some levels. I thought for a second maybe it was too soon yet. All the doubt crept in but really , what was I waiting for? For him to tell it was time?? Well, he seemed to be doing just that. So, the decision was made for me...
As soon as I grabbed his bridle, he got the most anticipatory look on his face that I have ever seen on a horse. He definitely got excited about it. He was trying to get him mouth on the bit before I even had it ready to pop over his little ears. He was pretty cute about it. Anyways, your probably wondering when I going to stop babbling and tell you how it went , right??
Okay, I'll tell you. It went fine. I know.. anti-climactic, right ?? Well, there really isn't much to tell honestly and that is exactly how I imagined it would go. I got on and we walked off, quiet as ever. JB was very tentative and unsure of himself, having to bear the extra weight of a rider. He was very careful and that's a good thing at this point.
The less than good thing is that JB is not sound, not really anyways. It's not what I would call a limp, but a shortened stride on his right side, which I beleive is coming from the shoulder, not the pastern. His shoulder sustained numerous soft tissue injuries (torn muscles, ligaments, etc) in the accident and he had a huge hematoma in his heart girth area. My hope is that this will improve as he gets stronger, along with some massage work and stretching. He's not in any pain, he runs and jumps at liberty without hesitation. The pastern doesn't seem to bother him in the least and I am very happy about that.
Riding JB for the first time was obviously a bigger deal for me than I am able to even try to begin to portray here so I won't get into all that. When I finished my ride on JB and jumped off of him, my husband, who had come up to the fence of the arena to watch, walked over to me and said "Congratulations, this is a big deal" I hadn't thought about it that way because it just happened and I hadn't planned on it being the day I ride JB, but he was right. It was a big deal, considering. I managed a meager "thank you" and choked back the tears I could feel coming. I was mildly sad because I had hoped JB was going to walk off feeling much more sound than he did but realistically, a year ago, at this time, I was struggling with the decision on whether I should put JB down. I can deal with a shortened stride and a horse that is just happy to be with me.