Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm Thinking About a New Horse

This seems to come as no surprise to anyone except me.  I've been resisting and resisting with all my might.  Jackson has made me happier than any other horse in my entire life.  He's also been lame most of the year and he is, again, lame.  Lame.  Lame.  Lame.  Not abscess lame.  Laminitis lame.  I've moved from denial to grief.  All my dreams of the dressage journey and trail rides on the beach are shriveling up like the hollow apples left on the trees.

The pain ebbs and flows, but most of the time he stands like this.  Even with bute and pads, he isn't comfortable.  I caught him the other day doing the laminitis park -- the stance they take with their feet forward and their weight rocked back.  I turned away.  I tried to pretend I hadn't seen it.

For Christmas, my parents gave us a generous gift.  We were going to use it to do some remodeling in the mud room bathroom.  Yesterday, Brett suggested that I use it for a new horse.  It's not enough for a whiz bang warmblood.  But it is enough for a steady sound trail horse with potential.  I looked at some horses on line.  I talked to our trainer.  And our vet.  And the nutritionist.  My parents said a horse would be a better use of the gift than the bathroom -- and they don't even like horses.  I went to bed depressed; feeling like I was putting Jackson in the old folks home and looking for a new husband.  Of course, I'm not.  Jackson will live here forever.  But, that is how it felt.


This morning, while I was picking his feet some dogs started barking and he startled.  He jumped sideways, knocking me over.  I landed on my left seat bone and it hurt.  Jackson hobbled back to his hay and I hobbled out to the edge of his run-in shed and sat on the wood edge.  I folded my arms across my knees, put my head down and sobbed.  Deep, hard, can't breathe sobs.  My seat bone didn't hurt that bad, but my heart was breaking.

I expect it will take me a long time to find a horse.  I want sweet and sensitive, smart and brave, curious and willing.  I want sound.  I want hooves so hard they don't need shoes.

In the meantime, I'll be riding Flash whenever Brett lets me borrow him.  And I'll be sitting with Jackson, cleaning his manure stains, and scrubbing his tail.

And maybe by next Christmas I'll be riding my own horse again.

19 comments:

  1. Sending comforting thoughts your way. This made me cry, too.

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  2. i am so sorry, annette! i know this is breaking your heart! and i feel terrible for jackson, too!

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  3. I'm very sorry you're going through this. Having experienced the same last summer, I'm all too aware at how painful it is to move forward. It breaks my heart every time I work with Beautiful and Cowboy comes to the edge of arena and watches me. I feel guilty sometimes because I think it would have been easier for me had he died rather than just being a lame head-shaker that I worry about all the time. Then I feel very bad for thinking that because I love him so much and I want to spend time with him anyway I can. It's a roller coaster, for sure. I hope you move through it faster than I did...or am.

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  4. I feel so bad for you as I went through the same thing with my horse. He had lamanitis so bad and it broke my heart. There is a group on yahoo that had tons and tons of information that was very helpful http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings/. I did have to put my horse down because he had a tumor in his abdomen. I has been 9 months and I haven't gotten another horse yet but look and think about it all the time. I miss him as he was a great horse. I hope you can het Jackson comfortable as it is so hard having a horse in pain. Betsy

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  5. So sorry to hear this Annette. Heartbreaking...

    I hope the perfect next horse finds you... in the meantime - know that Jackson will love you whatever you do. ♡

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  6. So, so sad for you and Jackson!

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  7. I went through a milder version of this four years ago. My nineteen year old horse, Plumber, was borderline sound and letting me know he didn't like the hills on our trail rides. I made the decision to retire him and bought Sunny, my trail horse. Four years later, I can tell you it was a very good choice. Retirement suits Plumber--he is happy and pasture sound. He seems content. Sunny, chosen because he was a reliable trail horse, is actually much better for the horseback stuff I am currently doing (lots of trail rides, no more roping). Both horses are doing very well, and I am so happy with how it has worked out. I hope something similar can happen for you.

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  8. You have me sobbing with you. I'm with your parents! Get another horse. Knowing that Jackson can live with you for the rest of his life will make it bearable. You can continue to love him to pieces and will probably be able to ride him off and on. Don't think for one minute that you are giving up on him...there are no others out there who could give him a better life. Please give him a big hug for me. I will keep Abbe forever too, even if she is not sound again. These horses are family....

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  9. Sometimes it's the only fair choice for the horse. You know I bet you could trick train him, that way you could maintain your relationship with him without causing him pain by riding.

    It's the right thing. Lily is lame again and if I didn't have Smokey I'd be out of luck. Of course now I have a horse that is just not sound. I'm hoping I can get her comfortable, right now it's not too good.

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  10. I'm so sorry about Jackson's lameness and the heartache that you are experiencing. I hope Jackson can be well enough to be a happy companion to your other critters. And I hope you find the right horse to join your family.

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  11. Poor you. Poor Jackson. No horse should have to suffer like that in so much pain and discomfort. What a sad way to live his life. :(

    ~Lisa

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  12. What a heart breaking post. It made me cry too. I wish I could say / write words that would bring you some comfort, but I know there aren't any right now.
    I think you're doing the right thing, for Jackson and for you. Wishing you a peaceful time as you adjust and make plans.

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  13. This is the right desicion for you and Jackson Annette! I was thinking about this quite a lot lately and wondered when you would take that step. I agree that a sound new horse will def make you a lot happier than a new mudroom! Take your time and look at a kazillion horses and have them thorougly x rayed and vetted before you buy!

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  14. So sorry Annette, but at least he isn't going anywhere. Your heart is big enough for both. Take your time.

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  15. I am so sorry to hear about Jackson. I have been going through a very siilar thing with my own mare. She is only 3 but, got injured by another horse this summer and is not likely to be ride-able ever again. It is such a heartache. I hope you find a wonderful new horse and can still enjoy your realtionship with jackson, bittersweet as it may be.

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  16. I am so sorry to read this about Jackson. I was hoping that he would make a recovery. I can well imagine the pain that this decision cost you but I believe it's the right one. If you are looking at horses may I suggest looking at an Appendix? (TB/QH cross) they are excellent horses for riding and do well in dressage.

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  17. So very sorry for you...please don't take offence, as none is intended, have you thought or tried barefoot trimmers?
    Tara

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  18. I'm sorry your baby isn't sound and that your heart is breaking.

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  19. "Maybe by next Christmas.."

    you did well!

    Poor Jackson. I really don't know what I'd do besides what you are doing. You clearly already have him in a laminitis pen. I wish there were better treatments available.

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