Back to Square one; Suspensory Injury

Pretty Boy

I guess my first mistake was getting comfortable with the idea of having a sound horse. Rapture and I had been doing lots of work in the arena, riding about four times a week for short periods of about 45 minutes; 15 minutes of groundwork, 20 minutes of a warmup, practicing transitions leg yielding, me working on my half seat, and then about 15 minutes practicing going over a cross rail about 18″ (easy for him), before our cool down. It had been hot and I wanted the exercises to stay interesting and fun for him, so I never pushed him much even though he has much more endurance than that. He had really taken a liking to jumping and I was impressed with his focus. I decided to look into getting ourselves some proper tack since he was getting into it and we had been borrowing a few things from some very kind, helpful and generous friends. I found an ad for a tack lot on craigslist that was such a blessing from God. It had everything I needed and some things I wanted, and the price was unbeatable. In addition to that, an old friend had some open front boots she’d been holding onto and offered them to me for only $20.

Yay, horse stuff!

I think I jinxed myself. The lot came with a bunch of standing wraps, quilts and pillow wraps. I remember thinking, “I won’t need these for a while, so I’ll pack them away real nice where they won’t be in the way.” Yeah right.

I was so excited to try out the boots I’d picked up from my friend. They are leather Equisport custom boots with real fleece wool that had belonged to a Grand Prix rider and I wasn’t sure if they would fit. I had a pair of open front jumping boots for the front and leather and ankle boots for the back.

Equisport Custom Open Front Jumping Boots and Ankle Boots

I had also purchased a Kimberwick online because I’d really taken a liking to the one on the bridle I’d been borrowing.

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I packed up my new bridle, halter, jumping boots, polo wraps and the package containing my bit. To my dismay, when I was checking out everything in my new bags of horse junk, I found one of the polo wraps was missing. I checked everywhere but it was nowhere to be found. Everything else, I put away in my storage boxes in the garage. The next day I woke up to a charge on my credit card that I hadn’t been expecting. It had overdrafted my account and I ended up just having to pay it and get over it. I tried to get into a better mood before I got to work. When I arrived at the barn, after doing the morning chores, I cleaned out all of the useless stuff in my tack room and put up my new bridle hooks that I’d made.

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(Each letter features something that has to do with horses. The L has a horse eye in the bottom loop, the O has tiny horse heads, the V has a head and a tail and the letter is the body, and the top curve of the E is the front half of a jumping horse)

I mounted my bridle hooks and organized all of my horse stuff so that I could easily get to everything I would need. I planned on working more on flatwork to gain muscle and balance. Then, we would go back to jumping once I knew his body was in better shape for it.

It was all downhill from there. When I went to retrieve my old man, Gemini, he was off on his front right leg and it was a bit warm. He got a cold hose and a handwalk, and the day off. I pulled Rapture out and, to my dismay, his leg was swollen, warm and he was a bit lame. He too got a cold hose and handwalked. He was eager to move around so I don’t think he’s very uncomfortable, but never the less, I wrapped it and put him back.

I assumed that he had either kicked himself or possibly hit a rock when we’d been out on a “relaxing” ride on the trail the weekend before. He had been doing very well and was getting a bit excited at the trot, rushed into a canter and stumbled. I dismounted, checked his hoof for a rock and walked him home. He had been out for a while and I figured he was getting tired anyways. He seemed to walk it off on the way home and I hosed his legs, checked before putting him back in his stall and everything seemed normal.

The injury is in the lower part of the suspensory, seemingly the branches, and it’s pretty hard so I think he whacked it pretty good. I was scared that he may have really hurt it so I had a few people check it out.

Then, I opened my bit and decided if I couldn’t ride my horse, at least I could put my new bridle together…

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That doesn’t look like a Kimberwick to me…

Frustrated, I had to laugh…out loud…hysterically… This day was beginning to give me an eye twitch.

I emailed the seller immediately and kindly informed him that the bit I received was not the same bit pictured in the ad and asked if there was a way I could exchange it for a kimberwick, to which he responded that they only sold one bit and they pulled the picture and description directly off of the supplier’s website.

More hysteric laughter ensues.

So now, I have lost a lot of money, two lame horses and a bit I DON’T want. I had texted the seller of the bags of horse junk and the polo wrap was MIA. To make matters worse, there was nothing to do at work to distract me.

I took deep breaths until I thought I might pass out, prayed for peace for a few hours and decided to look on the bright side. Winter was coming and I really wanted to see Rapture put a bit more weight on. This would be the perfect opportunity to focus on packing some extra pounds onto my boys. I could also take this time to just enjoy being with them without stressing about their exercise schedule and what we should be working on in the saddle. Also, God had delivered plenty of standing wraps to last during this time and I had really helpful people around with lots of knowledge and experience. Not to mention, an awesome vet who is always around and willing to answer questions and check on things when I’m being over-paranoid, who never makes a big deal out of nothing and is always free to give advice.

Now, I’ve embraced this season of rest and reflection. Not only that, but we are never short of horses to ride, and I recently discovered that I really love one particular young off the track Thoroughbred who has some needs that are just up my alley and very loveable; Moose!

It’s been a little over a week and things aren’t changing too fast, but I’ve been riding Moose and keeping myself busy with work and home stuff. There are lots of things I’ve been putting off and have been too busy for, so I’m starting to focus on. I’ve also been looking back at some photos from our adventures.

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We got lost one day on trail and found a long bridge between us and home. He couldn’t have cared less about crossing the bridge, even with cars whizzing by, and he walked the entire way home. I was so proud of him.

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Moving around comfortably in our weird Wintec Aussie saddle. I think I have the strangest tack on the ranch, and we always get weird questions about our stuff, but we find what works for us. As long as he is happy and comfortable, I don’t care what we look like.

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He was doing so well that he even stepped in on one of my lessons and took very good care of my student. She loved him and he couldn’t have been more well behaved. He is an amazing teacher.

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Warming up before free jumping, before he got all dusty.

Since they can’t ride, the boys have been going out in the arena for turnout in the mornings. They’re pretty lazy and won’t even move around unless they’re together. Even when they are together, the most they do is flirt with the other horses and roll in the dirt. Nothing makes a better morning routine than drinking my coffee and watching my boys roam around.

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