Sunday 3/30: Freedom! Made the full jump to semi-retirement as Pearl got to go out in the big pasture with Tucker. She did a little investigation to make sure she could still push Tuck around with a single withering glance, a victory lap or two, and then realized that it’s hard work running up and down a hill and the ground is made out of food and settle right in. Happy pony.
Then I rode Prior….good to the left, not so good to the right, earning a “be firm!” from Christy as she passed by. It being a sunny Sunday afternoon, the arena was crazy crowded and at least not showing means I won’t have to deal with the horror that is a warmup arena. Dressage People can bash hunters all they want but hey, all the ones I’ve known at least have called their space! If there’s such thing as reincarnation I definitely must’ve been a racehorse that got in a collision, because few things freak me out as much as riding the opposite direction as other people and when the aisles get switched around at the grocery store.
Even got a bonus ride in! Lauren (also known as Tucker’s Mom) stepped funny off the mounting block and has bad ankles, so I got to ride her adorable new boy Eliot. I’m not necessarily ever going to be the superstar rider who can get on any horse and instantly make it look like a million bucks– if I was at a Fancy Barn, I would not be topping the list for extra rides– but I can happily accept my niche as solid, trustworthy mid-level rider that will get on anything offered with a smile on my face, and I do feel
like maybe I’m not the worst person/rider ever good when people appear to have no qualms about asking me to hop up on their prized possessions. Eliot is a doll who is going to make up into a very fancy boy. I felt like a little kid learning how to post the first few steps of trot, and then when we went to lengthen my stirrups we discovered that E doesn’t think he should have to stand still in the arena while all the other horses are getting fed. So we trotted around until he decided that was a thing he could do.
Excited to watch him come along, and very lucky that I get to help work with him.
Tuesday 4/1: Just groomed the princess. Slowly but surely, the brown is sprouting into green…
Thursday 4/3: When it rains, it pours. Stopped by to groom Pearl and give her her snack. Headed over to ride Eliot and Prior, on the drive over got a text from Sarah that she was tied up with work and wasn’t going to make her lesson, did I want to ride in it? Lesson surprises are the best surprises. Sarah is the bomb for thinking of me.
Got everybody’s assortments of beet pulp/hay cubes/supplements/senior soaking.
Ended up getting on Eliot at peak arena traffic time. Steering a 16.3 5-year-old largely resembles driving (piloting? motoring?) a boat, so we just sort of tried to find an open space and not mow anybody down. Did a lot of “let’s walk, hahaha you thought you were all done didn’t you, let’s trot a lap.” See? There are lazy Thoroughbreds, too.
Got on Derbs for my lesson, which was great– hooray massage/chiro/injections.
Realized I didn’t have enough time to ride Prior after all. Gave everyone their mashes. Topped up water buckets. Went to do a last check on everybody before leaving and noticed Eliot was standing in his stall, frantically pawing like a horse waiting for dinner, except he still has more than half his snack left. Watched him make some really freaky movements with his neck…um, is he choking? Call Christy over because it’s an unwritten rule that if you are a Trainer you have to be able to Fix Everything oh god have I broken someone else’s horse? Eliot starts hacking and drooling. Yep, definitely choke. Try to call Lauren to see what she wants done, except she’s at her dad’s birthday dinner an hour away. Leave series of semi-coherent messages for her and every one of her family members we had on file between us. Played the “if it were my horse what would I want done” game and decide it warrants a vet call. Count lucky stars Christy is there because I am the biggest baby about making phone calls even under normal circumstances and am subsequently afraid that my inability to form complete sentences when in the same room as a telephone will be mistranslated as Hysterical Horse Owner and the vet will push the Do Not Let This Kid Into Vet School button that all vets have on their phones or truck dashboards or wherever, I don’t know. Christy gets instructions from vet, and also handily can give IV shots unlike some of us
vet school applicant steeeeee-rike two. Tranq kicks in, watch in fascination as Eliot starts to drool beet pulp out his nose. Lauren calls back, explain the situation, she heads over.
Wait half hour to see if just tranq/banamine was enough for him to relax and pass the blockage on his own. Haha, as if. Vet arrives to tube him. I get to hold the tube in his nose as bucket after bucket of water gets pumped down his esophagus. Little by little he coughs/drools/spurts it back up until holy crap we hit the mother lode that is an enormous amount of beet pulp coming out of his mouth no wonder you choked you dork. Am legitimately disappointed I forgot to take a picture of the aftermath. All’s well, we go our separate ways, and thankfully I’m mostly tired enough to push all the what-ifs out of my mind. Arrive home, dump filthy Carhartt in the laundry bin, crash out. Horses….