So I’ve been dogsitting the past couple of weeks, and I’ve been passing the time by catching up on literal years worth of the SprinklerBandits blog. It has had two effects: 1) I really really really want a baby bay OTTB with just a teensy bit of chrome 2) I’m gonna try and blog again because I dunno, horse pictures and talking with horse people on the internet. Here’s what’s been happening in the land of the Best Mare:
- In October, I finally buckled down and got Pearl an MRI.
The verdict is, she’s not going to return to All-Better status. I mean, I pretty much knew that– she’d been lame almost a year and had plateau’d in her improvement. Diagnosis: basically navicular, with a lot of soft tissue damage as well. We did a round of Tildren (because why max out just one credit card when you can max out two??) and started her on isoxsuprine. With that regimen + a little more time, she’s currently at a “wouldn’t see it unless you knew it” level of lameness. She was going a little stir-crazy (I get “hey your horse chased everyone around for 20 minutes today” texts pretty much weekly) so I sent my vet a “how much am I going to hell if I ride my lame horse so she doesn’t make herself lamer” email and we have official permission to do light trotwork. With an occasional canter as the Princess sees fit. Which she often does, and Mean Mom has to hold her back. So, that’s that. Like I said, I knew at the point she wasn’t ever going to go back to full work, but it still stung a bit hearing the actual words. And by stung a bit I mean the vet was like “oh gosh, I really hate when I make people cry.” It sucks and I still dream about galloping and jumping her. Still, it’s a far cry from the worst case scenario, and she really is the perkiest horse I have ever seen.
- The Great Exodus finally happened! Christy & co left Barn S at last and moved on to greener pastures. As in there is literal pasture for turnout instead of just gross mud patches. I’m super happy that everyone was finally able to do this, and everyone seems really happy where they settled. Of course, that also means all the horses I was riding dispersed and I don’t really have the time to be going to a million different barns that aren’t super close to where Pearl is, so I lost those rides– but I’m so glad they’re safe and happy and well-fed now. Christy is also working on a super cool new website that everyone should go check out.
- I got a new job! As part of my can-I-ride-my-horse email to my vet, I also included a “what do I do with my life” paragraph because you know, I was supposed to apply to vet school two and a half years ago. She mentioned they’d be hiring a vet assistant in the spring, I applied, and 477828282 interviews later I have a job at the Fancy Vet Clinic. Which I wouldn’t have if not for Pearl being broken, so I guess that’s a silver lining or what have you. And it’s only a half hour from the clinic to Pearl’s barn, so I can head over to ride after work without too much additional windshield time.
- With the snow and ice melted and spring more or less happening, it’s time to bring Eliot back into work. Which is good, because I’m sort of losing my mind not riding regularly. I started out as strictly a Lesson Kid so it was great to have the unstructured riding time I had in college when I first leased/bought Pearl, but now I really want to make actual progress. E had a lot of time off over winter due to lack of indoor + not quite broke enough to just ride sporadically as the weather allowed, so now it’s my job to bring him back up to speed while Lauren decides what she wants to do with him. I lunged him a couple times and hopped on last weekend.
He was really great. His “thing” is that you’ll have a good few sessions in a row, and then he decides that really he doesn’t much like this whole employment thing and he does charming things like bolt away on the lunge line and go crashing over/through the fence, or refuse to be caught in the pasture. I’m trying to keep things fun by mixing it up and doing shorter more intense sessions rather than longer sessions with tons of walk breaks where he can get distracted. I’d love to take him out on trails, if I can find a buddy to go with.
- Pearl basically decides what Pearl wants to do on any given day. I’m going to shell out for a trail membership so we can go on lots of long walks. Once I started riding her again, I noticed immediately how much easier it was for me to ride her effectively. All that time on other horses has really paid off. I try not to dwell too much on how much of a bummer it is that now that I can actually ride my horse, she isn’t particularly rideable…
- I started volunteering for CANTER Illinois, and have been seeing some serious eye candy. I’ve never been on the backside of a racetrack before and it’s been a very educational experience. I love watching morning workouts. I wish the horses had names on their saddle cloths or something so I could follow them! Because yeah, I really want a baby TB of my own. My guy Gentleman’s Honor is still racing at Oaklawn
under Gary Hartlagejust got claimed again by Hooties Racing/Doug L Anderson, so if anyone reading this has any connections there, put a word in for me!
- With working 8 million jobs comes more disposable income. Once I get the last chunk of Pearl’s vet bills paid off, Eliot should be in better shape to have Christy come over for some lessons. I’d really like to start takings some jump lessons again too, and I have a couple ideas where to go for that.
So, that’s pretty much where everybody is at. Not the most ideal situation in the world, but I’m making the best of all the pieces.