Friday, October 22, 2010

first and last rides

When I got to the barn last night I had one thing on my mind. I was going to ride my monster outside around the farm. For some reason I’ve been terrified to do it alone. The last times I’d ever ridden him outside I had a baby sitter, someone to watch us and basically hold my hand through it. I was thinking about it yesterday and I’ve ridden outside many times. In fact with Yellow I’d only ever once ridden him in an arena and that was when we took him elk hunting in Montana. Why was I so freaked out? I know I have a pretty good seat and am able to handle most anything that a horse can dish out, and hey that’s why I have health insurance right?

So when I got to the barn two of the girls who board there were taking off. “We threw hay and mixed grain so all you have to do is bring them in and water. See you tomorrow!” said one of the girls as they scurried out the door. HOORAY! That is an awesome day in my books! So I watered and dragged in all the monsters. Then I went and got ready to ride the beast.

I for some reason feel like I’m more secure riding outside in my western saddle. Maybe its just a psychological thing and goes back to all those hours I spent trail riding Yellow with my friends, or maybe I just think that in Minnesota/North Dakota you have to trail ride in a Western saddle because it just looks right. I don’t know. So I hauled it outside and it reminded me why I prefer my dressage saddle…my western saddle is heavy! I had decided to tack up outside because we still have screens in the big doors and I didn’t want to risk leading pinecone through the people doors with this gigantic saddle of mine. I’m sure he would have fit but I was nervous to try. I brought him the long way around the barn. Just to let him look around. The second I started leading him towards the trailers he stopped dead in his tracks. Eyes bulging out of his head, nostrils flared out. Guess I know he’s still freaked out about the trailer incident. I assured him we weren’t going in the trailer and I got him over to my saddle. I tacked him up with out incident and got on. We walked around the north side of the barn where the out door arena is going up. And a tractor about a mile away caught his attention and I had to assure him, that it wasn’t going to eat him. We rode up the driveway and then headed north on the gravel road. When we got to the tree line of the property I turned him around and we headed south to the south tree line. He was fine. A little jiggy, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I then rode him for 10 minutes in the front of the barn and he was fine, a little barn/buddy sour but not as bad as most horses I’ve ridden.

When I got him untacked and brought him back to the barn I kissed him on the nose and went to grab grain. I started dumping grain and when I got to Wizard's stall he was laying down. My heart sank. I got him up and called his owner/the barn owner. He’s been on a pretty strict feeding schedual. He’d eaten some of his hay, and all of his senior feed mix from earlier. His owner asked me to ride him bareback for a few laps around the arena. I rushed to grab my helmet and my clip on reins. He was down again. This time it took some more effort to get him up. But I got him up. When we got to the arena and I hopped on it was half a lap before he pooped. I felt a bit relieved. But I kept riding him around for about 10 more laps. When I brought him back to his stall he instantly layed down. He looked like he wanted to roll all the way over but didn’t. I thought maybe he wanted to get a good full roll in so I brought him to the arena again and turned him loose. He walked around nose to the ground walking in circles like a big dog, then he rolled half way over and then got up…he then continued to walk around for a while and found another spot to roll and this time he rolled all the way over. After he did it I heard his tummy grumbling. I thought that must be a good sign, that he was able to get things moving in his guts. I brought him back to his stall, and he laid down again. This time he laid all the way on his side for a while, his eyes half open. His breathing was weird, then he laid upright, and looked so tiny there all curled up. He kept looking at his stomach. He looked tired of fighting this, he looked like he was tired of being in pain. He looked like he was ready to go. I called his owner back up and said that I did everything I could. Then I started crying and said “I feel like its all my fault! I tried everything and he’s not getting better!” That’s when she said “it is NOT your fault!” and then I heard her voice tremble and she said “it happened when it was supposed to happen. It’s been two weeks and it happens almost every two weeks”. She thanked me for describing everything that was happening and said that I could go home since she’d be there soon. I went up and tried to give Piney a hug and he of course tried to bite my butt…but he did stick his nose through the stall bars as I closed the door and gave me a kiss.

When I got home Wizards owner called and said that the vet was coming out to give him something so he could rest easily that night and that they would be back in the morning to end his pain for good. I spent a good part of last night a crying mess. We’d done everything right and he had been doing so good! It just sucks so bad that you can do everything in your power and still it doesn’t work.

This morning Wizards pain will finally be over. He lived an amazing life and was loved by everyone who met him. He was the horse that many, many children learned to ride on. He was a confidence booster and the safest mount at the barn. He gave me quite possible my best ride of my life and continued to build my confidence in the saddle. He is going to be missed by everyone at the barn. Love you buddy..

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on facing your fears! Gosh, I am sorry to hear about Wizard. I am sure he appreciated your help and is now grateful that he no longer has to put up a brave face. He's now galloping around pain-free.