Friday, October 30, 2009

Bad Tidings Come in Threes...?

Don't worry, Junior is just fine. He's fat and loving his life as a lesson pony. He digs the attention, has stopped cribbing, is playing with his Jolly Ball (I found it full of water the other day...impressive) and seems to be in a lovely mood every time I see him. Today I forgot my boots and had to ride in my Chucks. Did you know western spurs just don't work on Chuck Taylors? I do now! So I rode without spurs during KAT's lesson of newbie college kids so it was good practice for busy warm up pens. He was fine, just had to move my feet around more to get him to respond in his normal manner. He had already had a lesson and turn out so I didn't ride hard, but I did make him do a nice true lope for me. It was 72 degrees and sunny today so we went for a walk outside in the breeze to dry off the humidity induced sweat. He's a little terrified of dry cornstalks in the wind. He was not sure about it when it was green and now that it's brown and very loud in the wind he would have nothing to do with it. I think we'll do some tarp work in the spring when it's windy....

So the Bad Tidings. Max, Junior's BFF is on stall rest for a really bad cut on his coronet band which he received in turnout. He's doing just fine, but it'll be a while before we know if he's going to be 100% afterwards.

Bad news #2 is that our only Arabian in the barn had to be euthanized yesterday due to a compound fracture of her pastern. She was 22 years old. She did that in turnout, too. Both of these accidents happened when my horse (and Zippy, too) were with them. Neither of these injuries are consistent with a kick from another horse, so there's nothing to make me think that my horse is at fault, and he's not aggressive but he will encourage other horses to run and play. Though lately when I've turned Jr. and Max out, Max is the one running around and Junior is calmly eating his grass, so I know I shouldn't feel responsible in any way, but KAT said he, Zippy, and the injured mare were all running together when she saw that something had happened. The Arab was running on three legs. Aside from the tragedy of any sweet, bomb proof horse having to be put down, she had been purchased by a family with a 7 year old and a 4 year old .... just one month ago. This mare was also a lesson horse (the first horse I myself rode at this barn) so there's also the life lesson for all the little lesson girls.

So the third? Not happened yet, or hopefully we have already forgotten the first, and the mare's death is actually the third.... we can hope.

So what is the overanxious horse owner to do? She hugs and kisses her own pony and says a little prayer (to whomever will listen) to keep that silly pony (and yours, too) safe. These are "fragile friendships" and we are nearly guaranteed to outlive all of our 4 legged friends. I think the triumphs outweigh the tragedies, but it's still terrifying to be reminded that accidents can happen at any time. We do our best to protect, but tragedy can always happen.

This is a video I had watched ages ago. This woman's dedication to her horse was inspiring and frightening. Her words "your horse has come in acutely lame from the pasture" still echo in my mind.

Luckily this horse seems to have recovered enough to be a useful mount. If you watch her latest video, though, she hasn't had to best luck either!

Tomorrow will hopefully be nice enough to turn Junior out long enough for me to really get his stall cleaned. It's kinda nasty after being ignored by me for two weeks..... I can SOOO tell the difference when I get all the wet out on Saturdays and when I do not. I took two tubs out tonight so there will be a few less tomorrow. Oh the joys of horse ownership. No really, it IS a joy. I am constantly grateful that I get to be a horse owner.

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