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We Are Flying Solo

November 25, 2018

Something Good Happened

It's been so long since I've said those words out loud, I have to say them again.

Something good happened.  And it looked like this:


I'm way behind, but I want to share it because not only is my best friend doing well over a year after the 7-week ICU stay of 2017, I can once again look at the world framed by the shiniest orange ears.

Side note:  I have never seen Solo physically smile in a photo... until now.  He was so thrilled & now I smile every time I look at that picture.

I was certain I would never sit on Solo again after a low bow in his RF leg we discovered in 2015 & another higher up in 2016.  I told everyone he was retired from riding & while I was very sad, Solo was still fully employed as my all-around therapy horse & Delight To Be Viewed every day on the farm.

22 going on 12
But this spring, he was looking great.  He was trotting & cantering up for meals, with some of his old suspension back in his step (vet said he'd likely lose that permanently after injury).  There was energy in his muscles & a bold spark in his eye.


So I thought, heck, I'm not going to hurt him just walking around bareback for 10 minutes - let's see how he feels.

He felt good.  Even, with no tripping (which had been a tell when the RF was bothering him).

The best view
So I put his saddle on.  I tried some bending, suppling, I tried some trot.

Um, he felt really good.  Although he was very clear that in case I forgot, he still finds dressage beneath him & he only humours me because he can.

I felt...ok, I felt ecstatic.  And terrified.  Because it HAS been so long since A Good Thing, that the possibility of one induces panic that it will somehow go horribly wrong.

But it hasn't.  And not only does it feel so good to sit on my favourite saddle on my favourite back, but Solo is a happier horse too.  I think we all need to feel needed in some way, to feel like we are part of something; my partner is no different.  He has never been thrilled with full retirement, he's a horse who wants to DO things with you (so long as they aren't dressage).

I'm not trying to "bring him back" to anything.  And I still won't jump him on that leg.  But we can enjoy trails, do light trot work, even, when he's feeling up to it, sneak in a brief canter on good ground.  It helps keep those joints moving & more importantly, it makes both of our hearts happy.

If you know Solo, you know that he is a deeply intuitive, emotionally-driven, intelligent, complex, & truly unique individual, like no horse I've ever met (even without my clear bias).  So I don't think I'm anthropomorphizing too much by saying that our daily exchange goes something like this:

Me:  Thank you so much, buddy, for staying with me.  And now we can ride together again.

Solo gently puts his forehead against my ribs & rests it there, it's his version of a hug: Thank you, mom, for sharing your time with me. 

Me:  I still need you for many more years, so stay healthy & strong for me, ok?

Solo:  I am here & will give all that I have...

Solo:  Now pour my food. 

Shine on, my heart

28 comments:

  1. Yes! I kept checking...I'm so glad for you. I just had the same conversation with my horses...it's time, the break was needed (by me to get centered again) and even if it's just putzing around, I need to be on my horses. Now if it would stop raining on weekends in Michgan!

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    1. A pox upon poorly timed rain!! Doesn't it know that rain is supposed to happen only at work or when you're sick so you don't miss out on anything good!

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  2. He looks fantastic! This made me a little teary, I'm so happy for you.

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    1. Awwe, thank you, and that made ME a little sniffly.

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  3. what a wonderful update <3 so glad to read this!

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  4. !!!!! I am so happy for you guys! That smiling picture is everything.

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    1. I really have no words for how much I love that picture -- or how many co-workers I puzzled when I showed them, saying, "OMG look my horse is SMILING!" (why didn't they get all excited, lol)

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  5. I've been checking in on you...finally... and now I could not be happier for you! I am so SO glad your best buddy is back in action and you can see the world between his ears. I know that MEANS the world. To him, too. #HappyTears

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    1. It means so much to us that you checked on us. <3 <3 <3 He did give me the world & we're both thrilled to wander (occasionally) around in it some more.

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  6. This is so amazing! I am so happy for both you and solo!

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    1. It IS amazing in the truest sense of the word. I'll admit that part of me was afraid to post anything for a long time because I feared it would jinx the happy into somehow going horribly wrong. Irrational, yes, but suspicious brain is immune to logic!

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  7. This is just....WONDERFUL! So happy for you AND Solo!

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    1. That is the exact right word: I am full of wonder that he got to defy the odds!

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  8. Yay!!!! Solo looks absolutely fantastic. I am so happy you two will have future saddle time (but no dressage LOL).

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    1. He definitely thinks he does, haha! We both have more back soreness than we used to, but for now, we can still put our backs together and putter around.

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  9. Wonderful, wonderful news!! Couldn't be happier for you.... hugs....Best Thanksgiving gift every!

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    1. :) We couldn't have done any of it without you. <3

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  10. Great to hear from you!
    Long live the Shiny.

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  11. Happy to hear you're both doing well! Long live Solo & all the good times :)

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  12. Thank you & the same back to you!

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