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Friday, March 9, 2012

A stumbling block

Writing about how happy riding makes me is a bit hard when I haven't been riding since October. I haven't been successful in bringing Fenway back into work. As of this week, he's officially retired.

After a winter off for the Great Wet Darkness, I've tried gently reconditioning him. After a month of worsening lameness, I'm faced with this truth: his on-again off-again leg issue is more on than off. His hock, which was out of commission for the entire summer of 2010, has flared up again. He needs further diagnostics and treatment but no matter what he is probably due to be retired from service as a mount for adult riders.

Fenway's veterinarian and I had a heart-to-heart about it and he said what I'd been thinking: Fenway's hock isn't well, and repeating the cortisone injections that give him temporary relief is no substitute for retiring him. He may need the injections to stay comfortable and they may continue to help but the vet and I both know they are not a cure.

I'm wrapping my head around never riding my friend Fenway again. It's not creating a huge lifestyle change for me—after all, I hadn't ridden all winter—but it sure is putting the kibosh on a lot of great dreams. There are so many places we haven't been yet. There are so many things I wanted to do, and I spent so many hours looking forward to a day when my girls would be in school and I could really grow as a rider again.

I've been really crabby lately (sorry, family!) and a mule ride is usually the cure. It's time to shake this funk off one way or another! Time with the livestock will help, and I hope I can go sit in the barn for a while tomorrow.  I'm also going to try to enjoy other hobbies—hiking, gardening, shooting, writing—and look for more work. Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cortisone!


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