Life is nothing but a bunch of circles, isn’t it? At least that’s how my life seems. It seems like I start at the base, get myself halfway around that circle, right to the top, and then, I slide right down the other side, ending up back where I started from.
I don’t know what I was thinking, I really don’t. With the history I’ve had with riding horses in the last few years, I cannot believe I convinced myself that I could do it again… ride.. show even…
I really believed I could get another horse, and ride it successfully and not cause all of those problems again. Truth is, I don’t know what caused the problems originally, so how could I possibly eliminate that factor if I don’t know what it is?
I’m back full circle with Chewbacca and am exactly where I was with Tate and Spyder. Exactly. 3 horses, 3 different saddles, 2 different breeds (Tate & Chewie are both QH’s while Spyder was a warmblood), different disciplines, and still end up with the exact same problem.
I am so absolutely sick to my stomach over this all, I can’t tolerate it. I really think I’ve cried more in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 3 years. This is what riding is about for me?
I swore after Spyder I was NEVER going to get another horse and this is exactly why. I didn’t want to create these problems. I just want to ride.
The truth is, though, I’m not happy just trail riding. I really do not like just strolling along on a trail doing nothing. I like working in an arena, I like getting a horse balanced and flexed and round. I like working on transitions and developing gaits within a gait, like extended trot, collected trot, sitting trot, working trot… all those different little nuances that make horse so beautiful and amazing and wonderful to ride. That’s what I like working on. I love to jump, too, and I love to show – even if it’s just stupid, cheap-O little one day open shows. I know I’m not the A circuit competitor I always dreamed of being, but I do like to show all the same.
I didn’t want to get a trail horse, I didn’t want to get a driving horse. But now I’ve got yet another horse I can’t do a damned thing with.
We spent 4 hours at the vet’s yesterday. He got a full exam by 2 different vets. He got a full lameness work up with flexions of every leg, every joint. He didn’t go lame on any of the flexions. That’s good, right?
Well, that splint is bothering him a little, and that appears to be the culprit as to why he was lame on the left front for the last few weeks. So he’ll need some treatments for that to help with pain, inflammation, and swelling and he’ll need to be re-xrayed in 4-6 weeks to see how the splint is coming along. Ironically, I am not the one that caused him to pop that splint! He did that all by himself just running in a paddock. So I don’t feel to guilty that that happened. I just filed that under the shit happens category and am moving on from the splint.
The real problem lies everywhere else. Just like Tate and Spyder, Chewbacca is tremendously back sore. He’s very sore over the lower back, the lumbar area, and across his hips. He’s mildly sore around the withers and shoulders.
The vet pointed out a few areas of saddle fit issues that are causing pressure. A saddle fitting is definitely in order, but a saddle fitting for what? A horse I won’t ride again? What’s the point in that?
For the back muscle soreness, he is now on a 30 day regimine of Robaxin… just like Tate and Spyder. And like Tate and Spyder, I don’t expect the Robaxin to help. I didn’t help with them, and it’s not going to help Chewie, either, but I need to give it all the same. He’s also on a 30 day regimine of an antiinflammatory to help relieve deeper pain, and aid in the treatment of the splint. He’s on a 30 day course of treatment for the splint which includes DMSO, equisarapin, surpass and wrapping.
He’s going to love me over the next month, forcing foul meds down his throat and putting nasty DMSO on his leg. (Garlic!)
He is on a 60 day lay up. 30 days of treatments, 30 days of ground driving. Just like I did with Spyder.
The logic behind the long lining is sound- it will allow him to work, stretch his back, work in a frame, and use his hind end and get round, all while having no one sitting on his back, so there’s no pressure on his back. Sounds reasonable. Very reasonable. It’s like physical therapy. It sounded like a good plan for Spyder, too.
Problem is, it didn’t work.
Somewhere in the next 60 days of all this, comes the saddle fitting too, which will end up being a great way for me to spend another $500 to try to fix a problem I can’t resolve.
I would be hopeful that maybe this time it will all magically work. I’ll do the therapies, the ground driving, and the fitting, and then suddenly, like magic, I’ll have a horse that I can actually sit on again. But please give me some credit for not being a complete idiot.
Yes I fooled myself once with Tate, thinking his issues were because he had navicular and he was kind of old. Yes I fooled myself twice with Spyder thinking her issues were… well, I have no idea, but I knew I was the cause of them. Yes I fooled myself three times thinking I had moved past all those problems and started leasing a horse, and yes, I fooled myself no less than three more times with those 3 lease horses and finally with Chewbacca. But you know the saying, 8th time’s the charm right?
I’ve got a clue now finally that I simply cannot ride. I don’t want a driving horse, either, so I’m not interested in buying a cart and harness for Chewbacca and boring myself to death on the roads sitting in a carriage. It’s one thing with Luke, but it’s not what I want for my own horse.
So, that’s it. It’s done. Over.
I swore after Spyder I would not get another horse. I did. Look where it got me.
I swore when I brought Chewie home that if “these problems” came back, I was done. Done. Over. Finito. I was not going to ride any more and I certainly was not going to get another horse.
Lesson learned. 20 years of riding, gone. Done. Over.
I don’t understand what “this” is or why it keeps happening, but I clearly cannot make it go away so it needs to end.