We had some serious, unrelenting rain a couple of weeks ago. I know this put a damper (pun intended) on my riding so I opted to help a friend out at his restaurant for the week instead of staring blissfully out the window, willing Mother Nature to stop crying. This meant I didn’t get out to the barn for four days. After one of the best schooling days of my life with #MareDrama, I was feeling confident a little break would be just what she needed before we buckled down for this last push in training before our scheduled horse trials on June 4th.
After I finished my whirlwind week at the restaurant (folks, tip your waitresses/waiters, it is NOT as easy as it looks especially during college graduation week), I toured a new private facility that offered cross country schooling along with various other schooling options at a super price. Feeling excited to schedule a schooling date prior to our HT, I headed straight to the barn to help turn in the horses and ride.
#MareDrama hobbled in three-legged lame.
Nothing is more scary and frustrating then coming back from a break from riding then finding your horse clearly in pain. I am not pointing fingers at anyone at the barn, it is a low-key boarding barn so there is a lot of foot traffic but no one person in charge. Do I wish someone had called me? Absolutely. But no one is to blame but myself for not making the time to come out before my shifts at the restaurant. All symptoms pointed toward an abscess, especially after the rain we had, so I set out to treat it as such. I told myself to give it 24 hours of treatment and if no better then to call out the farrier to pull the shoe and get a better look at it. All I could see in my brain was my horse trial date quickly slipping away.
24 hours passed and she was no better so my wonderful farrier turned his entire schedule around to come pull the shoe and take a good look at it. As soon as he pulled it, we saw icky gunk on one of the nails. We found the abscess — hooray! My farrier was confident that by the time he came back on Friday to put her shoe back on, she would be good to go and I wouldn’t have to change my schooling and show plans.
Well, Friday came and we couldn’t put the shoe on. She protested just enough while he was trying to nail it on that we made the joint decision to give it another week. If no improvement, time to call the vet. She was going well enough with regular abscess treatment that I was able to hack her bareback so I am hopeful she just needed a bit more time before we can tack the shoe back on and get back to work.
I cancelled my schooling and show dates, emailed the show secretaries, and let my friends know that we would have to postpone our trip to XC school. Everyone was so kind and understanding. I made a post on Facebook about our abscess woes and had an outpouring of support and offers to come ride their horses if I needed saddle time. I went and visited my pony that I leased to an awesome facility for the summer and they asked me if I wanted to take him on a trail ride with a group. Hmm, let me think on that… uh, YES! He’s doing awesome and I am very happy with the decision I made to let him be useful for someone else, even if I wish I could have him back for a week while the white dragon is out of commission.
Now we wait to see when #MareDrama can return to full work. I know in the grand scheme of things I am VERY lucky it appears to just be a bad abscess. Postponing my goals for the summer for a month or so was no fun but I refuse to take short cuts to heal my horse just so I can try bring home a $2 ribbon. Horse Junkies, please send us all your healing juju, we are ready to get back to work!