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

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Poignant memories

Lance and I have had to work around road construction in the arena this week:

Brian used to play in the sand often while I schooled Russell, the horse in my header. But he hasn't touched these toys for years. What inspired my lanky 11-year-old to dig them out of the weeds and make tracks and hills in the sand on Sunday, I'll never know. Seeing them there Sunday evening when I took Lance out for a schooling session brought back memories and tugged at my heart.

I schooled Lance Sunday and Monday, then gave him yesterday and today off while we endured a late-summer sneaker wave of heat. He hung out in the pasture with Ollie and Breezy – but not Sam, Rick's old cutting horse. We let Sam hang out in the barn so he didn't have to move far for food and water.

Brian noticed that Sammy wasn't eating with the other horses Tuesday morning, so Rick brought him in and examined him carefully. Sam's body condition has really gone downhill over the last couple of years, in spite of the calories we are pouring to him; he can't afford to lose his appetite. Then there's his labored breathing, which has been noticeable for months. An ultrasound of his chest didn't look normal, but his bloodwork is. He could be suffering from congestive heart failure, or cancer, or – who knows. At age 27, there isn't really any more that can be done. My husband has made a lot of memories with and on that horse over the last 20 years, and the prospect of putting him down is tugging on ALL our heartstrings....

3 comments:

Theresa said...

Oh Michelle, I am so sorry. What a double edged sword for Rick, he has the knowledge and skill to offer that final comfort, and he has the knowledge...... Is their professional courtesy for something like that between vets?
Big hugs to all.

Mary said...

I am sorry Michelle, that all of you are experiencing this. Please know that I am thinking of you and Rick, and Sam.

Elizabeth Pollock said...

Oh Michelle, how sad! Sometimes I think it is harder with horses than some of our other pets because horses live so much longer lives... but the memories will always be there.
Hugs,
Beth