To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

He will dance no more

Last night Rick examined Russell thoroughly with digital x-ray and ultrasound. I was praying that he would be able to provide a clear diagnosis, and while my prayers were answered, the answer was devastating. Somehow, in his stall/paddock, Russell managed to tear his left rear suspensory ligament so severely that it pulled a 1.7-cm chunk off his cannon bone; Rick said he's never seen a lesion that bad before. Russell's days as an athlete and my dancing partner are over; with treatment and time he may heal enough for gentle trail riding. I am typing through my tears.

28 comments:

Miss Effie said...

Hug!!! That's all I can send you is a hug!!! I am so sorry.

Michelle said...

Thank-you, Miss Effie - even if it did make the tears start again!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

What?!! Oh nooo, Michelle, I'm so sorry. Your sweet boy - I love how you call him your dancing partner. While I am glad you've come up with a firm diagnosis and can address his pain, I hurt for you and what this means. You're in my thoughts.
-danni in oregon

Cariann said...

I'm so sorry to hear this... glad Rick was able ti figure it out but sad for you and your dancing partner.

wendyu said...

Oh Michelle! I am SO SORRY to read this! If I could I'd give you a big hug too.

Christine said...

Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear that. You must be heartbroken. (big hug)

MiniKat said...

Oh NO! I don't know which is worse... knowing he's in pain or knowing you're heartbroken. Many hugs to you both.

Kara said...

Michelle I am so sorry! I know all too well what having a career ending injury to a horse that is your dancing partner means. I feel that heart sinking feeling for you and sending hugs your way as well.

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

I'm so sad for you and your boy... I hate it when there is an injury like this with no real good explanation (meaning you didn't see it happen, etc) and it's so heart-wrenching. Sending special thoughts your way!

Cynthia said...

Oh Michelle my heart is so heavy with your pain. Although I have been around horses all my life, I have not been able to materialize one -for myself- since I have been living full-time on a farm. I have so enjoyed reading your experiences, sharing your joy in having Russell; I am just heart-sick for you.

I am sending you best wishes for your own emotional healing and prayers that Russell is able to recover sufficiently to have a high quality of life.

Country Girl said...

I am so saddened to hear of this tragedy, Michelle. My heart breaks for you. Oh, I just don't even know what to say here.
{{{ hugs }}}

Marie said...

I am so sorry to hear of Russell's injury. It is amazing what they can do to themselves in a safe environment.
My heart goes out to you, big hug, with tears in my eyes.

seashells said...

oh sadness.

Nancy K. said...

OMG! Oh, Michelle ~ I am SO sorry. I can imagine the heartbreak you must be feeling. My heart hurts for your dashed dreams. It hurts even more for Russell, who has no idea how much his life is going to change. I'm just so very sorry...

((((((BIG hugs))))))

You and your beautiful boy are in my prayers.

butterflycow said...

My horse was never a dancer by any stretch of the imagination.. but it was devastating for he and I when he tore a tendon...several years of recovery and he was always lame but I loved how hard he tried to get better..
Heartbreaking, I know.
I wish Russel an easy recovery.. and I hope you can find comfort in his healing.
Melanie

Shepherd Valley Farm said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about Russell! My husband and I will pray for your comfort and Russell's healing.

Kelly Bartels said...

Oh no, I am so heart broken for you. I know how hard I cried when I got the diagnosis for my mare, I was sick over it, as I'm sure you are as well. Your love for all the animals in your care is inspiring to me, and if you are like me, the horses hold a special place in our heart.
Maybe the Lord has another path that he wants you to walk with Russell. My thoughts and prayers are with you, may you find comfort for yourself and may Russell heal quickly.

kenleighacres.com said...

I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful dancing partner. What a devastating diagnosis. Hugs to you and him.

schoonoverfarm said...

I am so sorry Michelle. It could have been a life threatening condition if you want to look at the bright side. I hope he recovers so he's not in pain and can walk with you still.

Tammy said...

Hey Michelle,
Somehow I missed this one, so am coming late to offer my words. I'm very sorry to hear this, as I know that 'dancing' with Russell is very much at the fiber of your being. It's a lot to lay down for you and I'm so sorry. I hope that Russell can make a full recovery and at least be a trail buddy. Take care,
Tammy

janna Edrington said...

Oh, I am very sorry. I hope Russell makes a good recovery and be your walking partner, if no longer your dancing partner.

Lois said...

Oh Michelle...I just read your news about Russell's injury. I am so very sorry for you and for him, and the confinement that he faces. But the horse/rider relationship is so precious and deep, and that closeness won't go away. I hope that Russell will heal enough to be pain-free for walks in the woods.

Carol said...

I'm sooo sorry to read this. I know you must be heart broken for him, and for you too. I just don't know what to say... I hope that maybe the vet is wrong and with lengthy rest the prognosis will be a little better.

Leigh said...

Oh Michelle, this is indeed devastating news. It's seems exceptionally so because of the circumstances surrounding the injury. I'm so time crunched that I just don't keep up with blog reading like I wish I could. Belated hugs and prayers for the grace to have peace.

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

Michelle-I'm so sorry to read that Russell is no longer sound. It's so difficult to process events like this when you know you've done all the right things. How sad it must be for you. Good luck with his recovery.

Patrice said...

Hi, Michelle-
This is my first time on your blog and I now follow you. I feel so bad for you. I admire those of your who are into dressage. I have never been that graceful on foot or horseback, but I love our horses!I hope Russell heals well.
Patrice
www.everydayruralty.com

Michelle said...

Thank you all for your kind words and shared tears and hugs! It helps to know there are others who understand. Russell is more comfortable now after five days of bute and his first extracorporeal shock wave treatment. Time will tell how well he heals. In the meantime I intend to keep up my muscles and skills by taking advantage of others' offers, riding their horses once or twice a week, and maybe even riding Brian's (big) pony.

Welcome, Patrice! I don't know how much will be happening on this blog because of Russell's injury; you are welcome to follow the more general happenings on our little hillside property at my other blog, www.boulderneigh.blogspot.com.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Greetings from Southern California

I am your newest follower. I invite you to visit my blog and follow me if you want too.

God bless you :-)

~Ron