Trying to crawl out of a hole

Or: Please don’t let history repeat itself.

This time last year I had gotten my sweet boy Joey unexpectedly back from a lease. Lame.

I miss you friend

Lame and rapidly deteriorating with no real answers from my vet and no desire to keep throwing good money after bad on pursuing advanced diagnostics.

He was my first horse, the horse I busted my ass to get after my entire life of working towards it. 30 years in the making, he was my dream horse in so many ways. It was only months after I bought him before he went lame and was never truly sound after that. I owned him for a year and a half before it became clear to me I would have to euthanize him. That was this time last year.

Handwalking is only fun when you can paw in the standing water in the arena.

Here I am, once again in December with a horse that has been not quite right since early October. Phoebe was doing well rehabing from her pulled muscle, we had done our prescribed weeks of handwalking and I lunged her once (where she was so wild I couldn’t assess soundness whatsoever). Then the weather started its normal November downpours, my arena started flooding, and when the arena wasn’t flooded the wind was so bad it was a supremely bad idea to lunge a fresh horse in the dark, and risk any reinjury. So I resigned myself to just leave her alone for a bit and try again in a month.

Bored pony is bored.

Phoebe, naturally, decided to let me know just exactly how she felt about being on an extended break. She broke out of her run several days in a row and very passive aggressively tried to avoid being caught and brought back to the barn. She figured out how to open the gate between her and Wake and for another several days I found her in Wake’s stall, having played so vigorously with his water trough that it was empty. We got new gravel in all the runs (yay!!) which my special mare promptly dug a giant hole in. I get it Phoebes. You are over it. So am I.

Clearly she wanted to go back to work so I was planning to just deal with the weather and leg her back up. Then the farrier came and we discovered some heat in her hoof on the left hind. Naturally she is off on that back end as well. Could be an abcsess, could be who the hell knows. I’ve been soaking for about a week with no signs of pus.

So much foot in bucket time. Also, WOW do I need to sweep in here.

Honestly I am feeling pretty defeated. I don’t know what I am doing, I have been trying for over 2 years now with my own horses and I haven’t even been able to manage three lessons between them. I have put so much time and energy and of course money into this and it is just not going well. Originally I wanted a horse that I could maybe do prelim on. Now I just want a horse that I can ride and take regular lessons on. Yet even that seems so monumentally out of my reach.

I don’t know. I hope I am just stuck in bad brain land and that these thoughts are just a super fun negative feedback loop brought on by the gloomy weather and short days and all that. Except, if it isn’t? If I have a horse that can’t really stay sound? What do I do then? I am not confident I can handle having to euthanize two horses. After putting so much of myself to get to what I thought would be the actual beginning of my eventing career only to not even be able to get started. Currently I don’t have any faith in my ability to choose a sound, appropriate horse for myself. I also don’t have any money, and since I have decided to go back to school in January (while continuing to work full time… ) all of my money will be going there. So where does that leave my life with horses? Do I just accept that the universe has been screaming at me to just give it up already?

I know I am still an incredibly fortunate person and that plenty of people would love to trade their problems for mine. I also know that I am likely viewing this situation through a pretty dark lens. But that’s where I am at right now. A place where I feel pretty grim about my future with horses.

5 thoughts on “Trying to crawl out of a hole

  1. it’s good to hear from you again – i had been wondering. but i’m so sorry you’re feeling this way right now 😦 my experiences haven’t been quite so extreme but i do know what it feels like to keep pouring yourself into a dream only for it to spring leak after leak. no real advice, except to say that things might feel better as the days start getting longer again (only 15 more days) and when Phoebe hopefully resolves whatever the f is up with that hoof (fingers crossed it’s an abscess!).


  2. Sometimes it feels like the universe is just taking a giant dump on you. Definitely feel all the feelings that way when better things come along you’ll better be able to feel those feelings too. I hope that whatever is going on with Phoebe’s foot that its resolved simply and easily. Congrats on going back to school. I did Grad school/working and horses all at the same time too and while it was super tough and maddening at times, it was still very worth it (and being over a year away from it I’m better able to appreciate the experiences).


    • I’m not doing a traditional grad school route, more a continuing ed/certificate program so I can get my CPA. No less challenging I’m sure but hopefully shorter in duration and of course, increase that earning potential!


  3. Awwww, I hate that for you! If it makes you feel better, I know of 2 people whose horses had abscesses that took well over 3 weeks to burst. I think one was a month. Not that that helps the whole riding thing at all, but it most likely is just an abscess, just a stubborn one. I for one can’t wait for the days to get longer again, not a winter fan at all. It’s just depressing.


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