When you are desperate for some consistency in your mental approach to something, being delayed from even being able to try can be really difficult to deal with. Patience is required. Particularly when horses are involved. So is the ability to put those issues to one side and just carry on with ‘normal’ stuff is what’s needed. Hmmm.
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Patience hasn’t always been my strongest point at times with certain things. I’m a doer, not a waiter! That said, I can procrastinate with the best at times too. I suppose I’m a bit subject driven! With horses though I think I generally pretty patient though.
Although with Tiny’s haematoma, I’ve had to be.
While we’ve been looking after his knee I’ve had to try hard to forget about my current (ridiculous) feelings about jumping and building a stronger/better relationship with him. The delay in being able to even consider putting us at fence together has had to be dealt with and the best way, is to just get on with ‘normal’ stuff and keep building the rest of our relationship together.
The knee itself hasn’t really been that much of an issue, he was only sore for the first day or so. The puncture wound didn’t seem an issue. Much manipulation of the joint by the Vet achieved no cause for worry either. It was just a flipping great big bruise that gave quite a worrying look to his leg and rivalled the anatomy of an elephant at times.
The streamlined Thoroughbred leg was absent without leave.
A course of antibiotics and sticking him on the easy list was the way forward. We did give him a few days off at first but, under advice, returned to exercise (field or ridden) as it was helping to disperse the haematoma. We kept it to walk/trot work though to keep the pressure to a minimum if there was any. Thankfully he’s pretty sensible in the field, so there wasn’t much worry about that either. One of the nicest things about Tiny is his nature. He’s pretty laid back and really doesn’t mind about much in life at all. So long as there’s food in sight he’s happy with the world.
One things for sure, he’ll never be a TB that struggles to keep his weight on…
So the slightly enforced quiet time has helped in other ways. The prospect of getting back on a fit horse when he’s had a few days off isn’t always something to look forward too. Particularly not when your only real route off the farm is up that long grassy field. A world of open space. A place where hissy fits and explosions would be first on the list for many horses. Especially one who spent 5-6 years of his 7 trained in a similar environment. Not so Tiny. He just bumbles out with me Pony Club kicking his sides to get him to go forward. I swear given half a chance he’d stop to talk to each of the young calves as we go past their barn. Or maybe its the chance to eat silage with them he’s considering…
Actually he’s lazy at home, especially in walk and in company. However he’s super safe too and that was always the very first thing on the list when we were looking for a horse. We don’t live on the M25, but we do have high hedged, narrow lanes full of farm traffic. We have devilishly noisy log splitting/wood chipping machinery on our doorstep too. It’s earth shatteringly noisy at times but neither Tiny or Hugo could care less. So knowing he’s not going to jump out because a Sparrow coughed is great. I’ll take the constant niggling out hacking in return for road sanity thank you. Work loads and different fitness needs for both horses lately have meant I’ve been hacking out more on my own. It’s a flipping joy to do it too. Ok, so the flaming weather has been vile. Going out with icy rain in your face isn’t a joy, or that hideous damp misty grey gloom at this time of year, but at least the only issue is the weather and not that my idiot of an ex-racehorse has decided that life on the lanes on his own isn’t a problem.
Seriously though, it has meant his recuperation (if you can call it that) hasn’t been traumatic. It’s actually built more trust in him really. We’ve been trundling around the lanes with my podcast playing in my pocket. I reckon he quite enjoys listening to some of them too, ears flicking away. In the yard he stands happily with hoses running, doesn’t mind you poking and prodding, flexing or rubbing. He’ll just carry on standing there, nibbling your hat maybe.
Oh and joy of all joys, we managed to keep a full set of shoes on this time round. 4 whole weeks of 4 wheels on my wagon!!
The swelling has gone now, what remaining heat that was lurking with it has gone since I started to apply some Arnica cream to the haematoma too. Brilliant stuff and actually I rely on Arnica pills for my own tired hands. So we are ready to get back in the field. If only the December weather and my pre-christmas work load would permit us a chance to get out hunting.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with that first rail. Until then though, I’m trying not to over think it. I’m keeping it in a box. I’m hoping when I open that box it’s a bit like Christmas day and something fabulous appears…
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With love from me and The Orange One, see you next time!
If you missed the first part of this series and you are wondering what on earth I’m wittering on about, head here to start the saga… Back in the Saddle – Part 1