I have a confession to make. I've come to the realization that I am completely, utterly, totally, ridiculously, 100% useless without my functional horse. Every single important life decision I've made in the past four years has had her enormously factored in; for instance, the reasons that I took both the post-college jobs that I did were nearly entirely because of the benefits SHE reaped from them. (And yeah, it was good experience for me and all that, but that was way less important to me.) The major reasons for taking those jobs all centered around getting some great training for Gogo, or having a nice place to rehab Gogo, or whatever. I have come to realize that when my horse recently broke for good, I suddenly had no reason to take the job in NC anymore, because the greatest benefit the job had to offer was training and housing for HER. When I found out she couldn't come anyway if she was broken, it made my life simultaneously a lot easier and a lot harder - easier because I had a reason to say no, and harder because suddenly, I didn't know what to do, where to live, or remember what my lifelong goals were supposed to be.
In other words, I am utterly lost without her.
Very obviously, she's still here! It's not like she has gone somewhere or will be going somewhere. But I've come to realize that SO much of my life, time and energy goes into planning for her, thinking about her future, designing schedules and goals for her, shopping around for stuff I'd like to get for her, picking out which shows and/or places I'd like to take her to, playing around with supplement/blanket/tack/etc. choices for her...... that when all of those things come down to the very simple, very rudimentary "all we need to do is provide a good living situation for her and let nature do its thing," I suddenly have vast gaps in my day where I just DON'T know what to do. I feel completely confused and a little bewildered. My life has been given a good hard shake, and it feels like my brain isn't getting the full extent of the message. I'm in denial that I may never do more than sit on my horse's back ever again.
I am at war with myself over the best course of action for Gogo right now. Every fiber of my being screams against turning her out with a fresh soft-tissue injury. It's simply a fact: she WILL get hurt. It WILL hurt her. It MAY permanently damage and deform her. It MAY offer perfect, miracle healing. It might completely ruin her, and cosmetically and structurally destroy her permanently. The last horse I saw that was turned out with a SDFT injury ended up literally so deformed and lame that she knuckled over at the knee in an effort to not use her painful limb, and was severely lame at the walk even after the tendon was declared set for life. THAT could be Gogo. OR, she could take good care of her body, build up scar tissue, and come back as a mildly useable animal someday. The fact of the matter is that the body compensates for whatever it needs to in order to make itself functional. Likely, she'll build up an ugly bundle of disorganized scar tissue and heal herself. She'll hurt herself out there, oh yes! She will. Which is why I am at horrible, stomach-turning odds with myself. It's the right thing to do, retire her and let her loose to be a horse and give up hope of her ever being really rideable again. If she ever IS rideable, great! If not, it's fine too, so long as eventually she turns out pain free. Understandably, this is completely killing me.
I pulled her turnout after a day or two of seeing how utterly miserable she was post-injury. Dr. C said to just turn her out and that's that, but I just can't stand by and know that she's hurting. With a little bute, cold-tubbing and wrapping, her spirits improved, but she's just been sort of mopey ever since I stopped spending the vast majority of the day at barn. I think this retirement-until-further-notice is going to be really hard on her. This mare lives to have a job.
This is truly going to be a painful leap of faith. Letting her out into a herd and letting her just be a HORSE for once is in all honestly going to be the ultimate best medicine for her. I will just have to keep a desperately close eye on her, and be ready to alter my plans if something horrible should happen. I can only anticipate she's going to get into scraps along the way... she's a nasty piece of work out in the field. I love her, but you know she is! She WILL get hurt! But then she will heal again. I want to bubblewrap her and coldhose and wrap and rest her, but I just know it's just not right or fair at this point. What am I trying to prove? What am I trying to do? All I want is for her to be comfortable and happy. I don't care if she ever comes back to be even semi-rideable or not.
Only I hate every moment that she's hurting. So I continue to be at endless odds with myself.
As for the living situation, it currently comes down to where I can keep Gogo. I have a place for myself either in MI or in CT, but I have a place lined up for Gogo in MI only.... not in CT. I guess that means I'll be leaving New England, although hopefully not for good. I love it there, and leaving it will make me hurt.
Until we figure out a solution, I will keep teetering around in my little fog, looking for some sort of ray of sunlight to guide me out again. I suppose it's time to learn to be my own person again, someone who doesn't completely rely on her horsey best friend for the vast majority of her strength, drive, and happiness. I just... don't like that. At all. She is, and always will be, the center of my whole little universe.
The very special Ridgeway weekend
1 day ago