Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When horrible things happen to wonderful people

In my last post, I mentioned that lack of horse shoes was not the only reason September sucked.  In all honestly, September should have been awesome - it signifies the start of fall (at least for me!) and cooler weather, more riding because the weather is better, and the holiday season is just around the corner (I love Thanksgiving!).  And besides the fact that Charlie started off September by losing a shoe (seriously, he lost the first one on 1 Sept), September seemed to be shaping up well.  I planned a quick trip to PA for the first weekend to attend Cherie's 10th wedding anniversary party and pick up a new horse trailer - all great things, right?

While in PA I got the first piece of horrible news - my trainer had been in a very bad riding accident leaving her in a medical induced coma after going through brain surgery with lots of bruising on the brain.  Most of you (especially the eventers) have probably seen the stories about Amy on Eventing Nation or The Chronicle of the Horse but if you haven't, she either fell or was kicked in the head.  Thank goodness she had a helmet on and just as important, someone just happened to be at the farm when she had her accident and was able to get her help immediately.  I work in a Neuro ICU unit so I felt some measure of comfort in that I knew sort of what to expect and honestly thought that once the swelling subsided (a few days, a week at most), she would wake-up with maybe a few cognitive issues (short-term memory loss, some residual weakness, etc).  But she didn't.  I'll spare you the details but it took her at least a good three weeks before she was opening her eyes.  I would ask my co-workers, who have years more experience than me what they thought and they would just kind of shake their heads and say it doesn't look good, it's taking too long.  I knew this in my head but my heart refused to give up hope.  The thing about Amy is she just has this way of making you believe and now it was my turn to believe in her.  I don't really know how to explain it - she's super positive but you know she'll always tell you the truth (no sugar coating).  She always has time for my stupid questions even though I'm not the most consistent student.  She's quite simply amazing.  As I write this, she is residing in one of the best rehab facilities in the country making amazing progress everyday - I wouldn't expect anything less.  She's walking more and more everyday, talking more appropriately everyday and basically just getting back on the proverbially horse.  If you have a minute, please swing by her recovery page on Facebook.  If you have a few spare dollars, please consider donating to her medical recovery fund.  She may not be as well known as some other BNTs out there but I'm betting she's touched many more people with her lovely personality and amazing talent.

So if the news about Amy wasn't bad enough, my friend Cherie lost her amazing quarter horse stallion to a freak pasture accident.  Her husband found him in the pasture with a broken leg.  They were able to get him to the barn and take x-rays (he's a vet) but surgery was not an option.  As I was crying on the phone with her, she was in the barn petting his nose.  She said he was still as bright-eyed and friendly as ever.  Like nothing was wrong.  It's so difficult to write about Justin - he was truly an amazing animal.  He started off life as a western reining champion, moved onto eventing with Cherie competing easily through prelim before switching to the jumpers.  He tackled 1.40m jumper courses and was getting ready to make the jump up to grand prix when this happened.  And when he wasn't being a jumping freak, he was teaching his 55 year old owner how to jump.  One of a kind.

Rest in peace Lark's Justin.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Climbing back on

Obviously I've taken a huge tumble off the blogging bandwagon.  Sorry about that.  Wish I could say it's because I've been doing all sorts of fun and exciting things but alas, that is not the case.  I've probably ridden about 20 times since I last blogged - at first, it was too hot and then Charlie spent 3 out of the 4 weeks of September minus a shoe.  First it was the left front and then it was the right front because he really is that talented.  I wasn't super motivated to take him to the farrier for another reason that deserves its own post.  And honestly, I've been feeling super stressed about money and a little depressed about the future.  Nothing horrible but I tend to sweat the small stuff and love to worry about things that are barely a blip on the horizon.  Basically, I have to go back to school to finish my bachelors in nursing, which really irritates me since I already have a bachelors in business not to mention tons of real world management experience from my previous jobs as well as a masters degree.  While I'm sure I will learn something from the BSN program, I don't think I'll learn enough to make it worth the $$$ I'm going to have to pay.  Sigh...such is life.

In pony news, he has all four shoes on and has managed to keep them on for a week (knock on wood!) - woohoo!  It's the little things, right?  I've sat on him a few times since he got new shoes and he was quite good one day - very willing to move forward into the bridle, and a total punk the next day - basically refusing to go forward if I had any contact with his face.  My fault.  What can I expect considering he's been ridden so sporadically this summer?

Just in case you all thought he was wasting away - a light summer and September off does the body good.