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We Are Flying Solo

September 13, 2012

You Buy, You Break

I could smell it already -- the clean air in a silent forest at the top of the mountain, a living quiet broken only by the sound of hooves on pine needles and limestone.  So when I went up to the farm last night, I thought I'd just do some light dressage schooling with Encore, focusing on suppling his muscles in balance, because he had a weekend of serious mountain climbing ahead.

That would have been way too easy.

It was a beautiful evening, too, and I almost quivered with anticipation of the soft, zen vibe of sitting on my horse in the setting sun.  Then I pulled off his fly sheet.

Raging across the middle of his back was a huge scrape, swollen and hot and sore to the touch.  You may have heard my bubble popping as I remembered why you have to always live in the moment with horses.

He hadn't broken the skin, just torn off all the hair and it looked much like I feel when I whack my hip on the corner of a dresser and say many bad words.  So I rubbing in some SoreNoMore and covered it back up.

It was a perfect opportunity to snag a bareback ride on Mr. Shiny instead, so I pulled him out, much to his glee as he has been doing his eye-begging once again, pleading me to fuss with him.  I started brushing him down and curried some mud off his hind fetlock -- to discover a full-thickness filet cut upwards through his ankle.  I could lift up the flap of skin and see pink tissue inside.

Of course.  My theory that the more horses you have, the more injured horses you have, stands intact.

Solo did not have any heat, swelling, or any signs of a problem around the cut, so I crammed a bunch of purple goo in there while he yawned.

Tonight, Encore's back looked and felt significantly better, so I hope that we will still be able to enjoy our mountain weekend.  It's not just about relaxing, it's something I have been trying to do all summer, because Encore lives in Flat Land and the mountain work could well be a make-or-break for his fall season, as he still needs a boost in hind end strength.  Our BFF riding partners have finally had an opportunity to get away and it is valuable in so many way. 

But somehow, and I don't even see how this is possible, I yet again end up at the last minute wondering, "Will he be better?  Do the pros outweigh the cons?  How does this fit into the big picture?"

Over it....


  1. Ugh! It's amazing how when one has >1 horse, the chances of them all injuring themselves at the same time gets exponentially higher.

    Here's hoping they recover well together.

    And... how much of a difference does one weekend really make? Seriously. From a science-y perspective. I ride in the hills 1-3 times a week, depending on how motivated I am to not do dressage. My guy is in excellent shape, but I'm wondering how little I could do to maintain that fitness. (ie, if I moved barns).

  2. Well, we have no hills at our home farm so we have to haul to them. One weekend in the mtns can totally boost his strength -- I saw it with Solo, he would be significantly fitter after doing a horse trial than he was going in.

  3. What's that saying... people plan, god laughs? I hope Encore is feeling fit for your trip. The highs and lows of horses are too much sometimes... :D

  4. Just realized your title is the reverse of the old saying. Nice one.

    Are we talking walking through the hills? A sudden terrain change seems like a con to me.

  5. Hahah, Val, I'm glad someone got it! Yes it will all be walking. It is far too rocky to do anything but there. We take lots of breaks -- actually last time we went, Solo had to step in as backup horse (I see his plan now) and he did great, even pretty much unfit. I just listened to his limits.

    CFS, that is the truth! But even when applying medicine, Solo puts his nose on me and reminds me why I don't give up. :-)

  6. Hah, the more horses you buy the more they break themselves. Bre has been sound as can be other than the occasional abscess. Now that I have horse number 2 she suddenly has a swollen leg and gimp foot. I guess she decided new horse=no reason to make old horse work. Knock on wood Dickie has had a variety of wierd issues but nothign that affects soundness. One horse too young to ride, and the other lame. Lot's of money going out on really pretty pasture ornaments.

  7. I think this is why non-horse people are quite sure we are insane....

  8. Best laid plans, right? Hope both heal up quickly!