Tuesday, December 31, 2013


"This wasn't how it was supposed to go." 

That is the overwhelming thought I hold right now. I suppose it's the planner in me. It's also the fact that I knew I'd never sell that horse and that he'd live out his long days with me. That we'd learn to drive and do proper lead changes and that someday he'd be the wonderful "old guy" in the barn. We were supposed to have years and years left together. 

But we don't. And I'm not sure what to do now. What to to with this blog, what to do with the tack locker full of memories and plans that awaits me when I return home next week. What to do with this massive hole in my heart. 

I take it a day at a time and some days are better than others. Christmas and it's flurry of activities such as baking and wrapping and reconnecting with family and friends has been helpful in suppressing reality, but I can tell that going home, back to reality, back to the life where I WAS a horse owner, where I planned my days, weeks, and seasons around Junebug, will be quite... well... different. 

Since I like to plan - even though EVERYONE keeps saying "you don't have to think about that yet" - I'm trying to get some strategies in place so I don't just end up in a wailing puddle. So, in the spirit of The New Year, a time of renewal, I'm thinking of these things:

1. Take weekly lessons. Renew my confidence that I can ride horses and not just that I knew how to ride MY horse. 
2. Ride all of my friends horses. See #1. 
3. Get help from friends as I clean out my tack locker, do it when the barn/tack room isn't busy with lesson kids, bring Kleenex. Possibly wine. Consider donating something to a rescue. 
4. Remind myself how lucky I was to have found my heart horse at all, a priviledge denied to so many, instead of the dwelling on the complete unfairness of his departure.  ....this is a moment by moment struggle right now. It's exhausting. 

I had some new decal designs in the pipeline before all this happened so I will be getting back to that eventually. After all, there's quite a big vet bill that still needs to be paid. And yes, it was worth it, even if it only gave me another 5 weeks with him. 

I hope the New Year brings you peace and joy and an abundance of warm horse snuffles. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Much Too Soon.

How very quickly life can change.

I had to let Junior go. As you know, he had colic surgery on November 6th. The surgery went well and he seemed to be on the road to recovery. On Friday morning, December 13th, he colicked again. The vet diagnosed another impaction. Even after over 12 hours of constant veterinary care, by late evening it became clear that he was not going to recover. We'd had some hope as he started passing some manure around 9:30pm, but very quickly he escalated to violent rolling and throwing himself agains his stall walls. The drugs were no longer holding and it was clear that he was in too much pain. The last rectal exam revealed that he now had a colonic torsion.  I made the hardest decision any horse owner ever faces and I let him go. 

He was so good to me for 5 years. He was everything I needed and so much more. We had so many adventures together, but there were so many more we should have been able to have. He was my teammate, my heart horse, and my best buddy. The loss I feel is incredible. We were so lucky to be surrounded by our friends on Friday, including Junior's Other People.  Junior was surrounded by love all the time, right till the end. He will be sorely missed. Life can change so very quickly, make sure to appreciate all the gifts in your life. 

Happy trails, Junebug. I'll see you on the other side.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Five Weeks Post-Op

Time goes so quickly sometimes!  Especially when you need to coordinate We are about 5 week out from Junior's surgery and he is doing splendidly.  I hate to say that out loud as we're not yet in the clear, but we have had zero complications so far.  That hasn't stopped me from freaking out on occasion, such as the day I noticed his belly looked like this:

Notice how much it dips? The vet's reply to my inquiry text was "I think standing in his stall has been unkind to him :-)" so I guess we'll call it a hay belly.  It matches the muffin top I'm getting from not riding. (It has nothing to do with my ability to eat my feelings or the abundance of feelings I've had over the past month.) Oh well, it's too cold to be skinny anyway. We will both have some work to do come January!

He is coping better with stall rest than I anticipated, but he did rear when we began our walk last Sunday and he's spooked a few times for me and for his OP, so we're keeping a chain over his nose and puffies in his ears.  Today though, he was super chill.

At this point he's allowed to be turned out, but because he's still not allowed to gallop or jump around, he needs to stay in an area less than 40'x40' and sadly I cannot accommodate that right now due to weather and other logistics. So he's still on daily (and sometimes twice daily) walks. On January 7th we will have the all-clear to do whatever.  I'll be visiting family for 3 weeks over the Christmas holiday and when I return we will get back to work.

I will leave you with yet another adorable photo of Junior and his brofriend making out.