Thursday, August 18, 2016

Where Do I Go From Here?

The short answer is - I don't know.

The past few weeks, I have been letting Boca just be a horse, and practicing a form of benign neglect. Now that he is on full board and I know that he is being taken care of, I have been pretty absent from the barn. In fact, I haven't been there since Saturday, which is unusual for me. When my mom asked me if I have been riding him, the answer is no. The reason is, it is just too hard. I don't want to question my decision or start the random carousel of thoughts back up in my head. I know on one level, I am trying to start the process of detaching, to make it easier to comprehend that we aren't going to be a team anymore.

People have asked me a number of questions -
Are you going to still take lessons? Are you going to lease? The answer is no.

No, I do not want to take lessons. No, I do not want to lease. I have been there before. I leased and lessoned for years before buying Boca. And I don't want to. I don't want to share. Call me an only child, but I've been there, done that, have the T-shirt. And I'm not interested in doing it again.

Will I get another horse?
Yes. At some point. I just don't know if that point is going to be sooner or later.

If I wanted to get a horse right now, my budget would be really, really small. Like tiny. Like straight off the track OTTB or OTSB. If the right horse came along, I would do it. But it would have to be the right one.

Or, I can take a break for 6 months, save every penny, and have a decent budget to work with in the spring, one that would give me more options. But that means I have to get through the next 6-8 months sans horses and somehow stay sane.

I alternate between feverishly searching online sales ads and floating in a state of numbness and mild depression. I am making it through every day, but not well. Beautiful sunny days hurt me. They are a reminder of all the riding time I am losing, losing, losing, as days pass.

I am trying to wait, be still, let the right answers come. But it is hard.

If you need me, I'll be over here, cuddling my puppy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Getting Ready for Retirement

Boca has spent the last few weeks getting ready for retirement.
As you may suspect, he is handling it quite well.

In one of those weird twists of fate, which makes me think that maybe the universe does have a grand plan for us, Boca has an awesome new home lined up.

The same week that I broke the news to my old trainer that I was retiring Boca, an acquaintance reached out to her looking for a second horse. The woman had recently purchased a small farm, was moving her horse home, and needed a companion. She preferred an adoption type situation for a horse in need, but hoped to get a horse large enough, sound enough and sane enough to do an occasional trail ride with her husband.

My old trainer connected the two of us; we have had many phone discussions, S has been down to visit Boca, and it looks like a done deal.

In the next 30 days, Boca will be going to live with S and her horse on their private farm. He'll have his own 1 acre grass paddock, with 24-7 turnout and a stall for inclement weather. I have released all of Boca's medical records to S, and am putting together a 'Boca fact sheet' for any and all Boca-related information.

S and I have some weird parallels in our lives - including being on the same island, staying in the same hotel. Two years ago, we went on the same hunter pace. I was directly behind her, and when her friend's hackamore broke, I offered a piece of my costume to repair it. It is weird how lives intersect.

So, that is the plan. Boca will be with me for the next 30 days. When S's new farm is ready, I will ship Boca down to S to start his new life. I will get to hand the lead rope over, and watch him walk off into the sunset with his new person.

I am actually ok with all of this. I know I am making the right decision for Boca. I am retiring a healthy, happy horse, that will go on to have a great life with new job description.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Not Where I Thought This Road Would Lead

On July 26, Boca came up lame again in his RF. My regular vet was preparing to go on vacation and would be out of the country for a few weeks. Before he left, he recommended the next step would be to inject both Navicular Bursas. After that, we have exhausted all diagnostic tools available in the field. The next step would be an MRI.

I was very stressed about the financial implications of another round of injections, and worried that the coffin joint injections provided relief for only 4-6 weeks. In addition, Boca has been on daily Previcox, plus the loading dose of Pentosan, with no improvement.

While my vet was away, I decided to have a 2nd vet review Boca's records and x-rays.
I got the phone call Monday morning. This vet's interpretation of the x-rays was that Boca shows extensive bone remodeling in his RF. In her opinion, it is significant for a horse of his age, and has progressed rapidly in the 2 years since his pre-purchase exam.

In her evaluation, Boca will not stay sound at his current work level. Her opinion is that he is more suited to a light riding/pleasure home.

With this input, I have made the decision to retire Boca. 

I am not sure what our next steps will be. If the right situation came along, I would place him in a pleasure/trail home.

So, this closes the chapter on our hopes and dreams and plans. Not where I thought this road would lead.