You do what you want (as long as it’s what we want)

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Ah the rolltop. I don’t think I ever jumped this straight… 

Jump lesson! Yeah!! I actually have been having a hard time getting my head in the game this week. So many sad, emotional, bummer things have been happening and it’s just a huge mindfuck actually. A horse broke his leg at my barn on Monday, I got there as the vet was coming to put him down. It was horrible. Needless to say, I didn’t ride Oats (he got treats and some hand grazing), and he had his beginner lessons on Tuesday, Wednesday he gets off, and I had my lesson yesterday.

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Riddle me this- why do jumps look SO BIG on the ground/when you are jumping, and so…small in videos and photos?! Unfair! 

Yesterday I also learned more work news that sucks, basically the end of an era. So, I’m struggling right now with perspective and change and all that fun stuff, with the added bonus of stark realization that horses, pets and people aren’t forever and the fleeting moments of greatness we have with them is just that- fleeting.

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Isn’t this a nice jump? Brenda’s new lattice and standards! 

It was also psychotically windy yesterday- about 70km/hr winds at my house when I got home. I was antsy beyond belief, fidgety and anxious. I couldn’t settle at all. At the barn it was quite windy too, but not so bad as at home. I was freezing at home. The wind blew a few jumps down in the outdoor though!

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Into the four-stride line.

But you know what? Despite the total shitstorm that this week has turned out to be, riding was really good. I just love riding my pony! He’s such a good boy. 🙂 He makes me really happy.

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Into the in-and-out.

Our coursework was pretty good, and FOR ONCE my brain didn’t fall out when the jumps went higher. That, friends, is success. And that’s all I wanted. Of course our leads sucked, and our straightness could use…some work…but hey, I’m just so happy that for once it feels like I rode competently, forward, straight and focused. Plus I got to visit with some friends and that always makes me happy. The barn should be my happy place!

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And out of it! 

Small wins this week, sadly. But I needed it so, so much.

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Oats knocked this one so hard, it went FLYING! Lazy! 

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Danger

I almost lost old Oats on Thursday.

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My car broke down (since fixed) so I had to cancel my usual jump lesson that I have on Thursdays. I also had my phone on silent so I didn’t hear it ringing with an emergency–Oats was choking and going into shock.

I still want to cry thinking about it. When I got into work on Friday morning, I had 23++ missed calls, voicemails and emergency Facebook notifications. I was TERRIFIED.

The good news is that he came out of it fine *he has bad cough now but he survived and that is what is important. The only thing. It seems like he had eaten something like a twig or blackberry bramble in the field, couldn’t swallow, came in to eat dinner and his dinner starting coming back up. He was panicking, couldn’t swallow and was coughing up phlegm.

He was shaking, trembling violently and sweating and breathing heavily. If this had happened and nobody noticed, he would have died. Luckily for Oats, his pasturemate’s owner saw something wrong with him and saved his life by calling the vet. He was intubated and the blockage was pushed through. He was in severe shock though, and that took a lot longer to come out of.

My god. I was horrified that the ONE day I am not at the barn this happens and they couldn’t get hold of me. My god. I was crying at work, saying I can’t deal with this again. My work understands, so they let me leave as soon as my car was back from the shop so I could go and see Oats.

I zipped off asap and he was back to his old self *(with a terrible cough).

I am not ready to live my life without Oats.

 

Just until forever

So as I mentioned yesterday, I was curious to see how my dressage lesson would go on Tuesday. How would Oats be feeling? He seemed to be working out of any strangeness on Sunday, but last week was too weird for words…

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Keep this lovely feeling going!

I’m pleased to say he was fabulous! His trot was lovely, he wasn’t angry or ouchy with tightening the girth, and his canter was fairly nice. I told my trainer what was going on last week and she agreed that it is not like him to act this way, and it was likely due to one of two things: illness like the flu, or soreness- getting cast in his shelter, or standing for too long in one place. She also suggested that due to his age (14 now!!), we start looking at getting his hocks possibly x-rayed to see if he has any arthritic changes.

I totally agree with this course of action–I hated to feel Oats going the way he was last week. I wanted my bouncy, funny pony back!

I am checking with the barn manager to see when the vet is out for spring shots, and I will have him do a lameness flexion on Oats to see about his hocks, if he finds anything, then it is x-ray time. I will also be carefully monitoring how he moves/is feeling in the next couple weeks.

In our lesson, as I mentioned, Oats warmed up lovely and was back to his old self. We worked on a fairly challenging (mentally) exercise: shoulder-in at walk, and then transition to trot, and hold it at the trot, and then move to haunches-out with his head to the wall, changing bend.

Oats did find this challenging, but I’m pleased to say that his hissy-fits of ‘I can’t do it!’ and ‘I don’t wanna!’ are mostly over. He played well with me, and was mostly cooperative and working to his full strength. We worked these exercises well until the end, when Oats got tired and was like, ok – ENOUGH! And the we trotted freely, bending in the corners, and mannnnn his trot was soooooo good.

He snorted and snorted and snorted while we trotted! Somebody was thinking very hard in that lesson, good boy. I was very pleased with his efforts yesterday.