Monday, November 5, 2012

The Nothing Song

Since our last outing as newly minted foxhunters, Pangea and I have been doing a whole lot of nothing. Well, that's not completely true.... *I* have been riding a million horses and working my butt off, but she has been hanging around stuffing her face and doing nothing at all. And depending on what I end up deciding, this might be all she's going to do for a while.

 Following her stifle injections, P has been feeling worse than usual. Some days she feels fine, and some she feels terrible. A little bute makes her feel better on days when she's not doing all that well. Following the hunt, she was just plain lame for a few days. She has had two weeks off, and I haven't watched her trot since. This week I'll reevaluate, but honestly, it is to the point where I'm not sure that I want to continue with trying to keep her sound enough to ride.

Let's face it - she's approaching 17 with an old injury that is 7 years old. Has her soundness improved since I got her? Absolutely, there is no question that she is a million times better now than she was. Is she really long-term riding sound? No. The goal in the first place was to a) give her a good home for the rest of her life and b) get a baby or two out of her. Any sort of riding I was able to get out of her was some nice collateral, but not exactly a requirement. Nevertheless, I was encouraged by her progress, and kept trying to get her sounder and sounder, despite the fact that she still had bad days, and I knew she wasn't ever going to heal in the sense that this would go away permanently. I threw all sorts of things at her - herbs, injectables, oral supplements, homeopathic remedies, you name it. Some things helped, some things didn't. Some days, she looked and felt great! Some days, she felt like terrible crap. Still, I kept trying.

We got through our hunt just fine, and without issue, but she was pretty off for a few days following. I had lots of fun on the hunt, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure it is worth it to try and keep her going for it all season long, even though I want to. What am I really trying to prove here? The plan is to breed her regardless in the spring, which is now right around the corner. Is it time to call it quits and let her relax into retirement? Should I keep her going? And to what end? WHY keep her going?

I don't know. Lots to think about. In the meantime, it has since warmed up but we have had a few mornings when temps dropped into the 30's, and Her Majesty needed her medium-heavy to keep warm for the night:

She did not approve of this. She HATES wearing clothes!

I am also considering moving facilities. The place where she is right now is ok, but I just went to see a private place last night that has 15 acres of costal with three other horses as buddies, a lighted outdoor, a covered roundpen, a gorgeous barn and indoor stalls with runs as well as outdoor stalls with runs. If I feed myself, it is only $100 a month - and having her out on pasture will seriously cut down on my hay usage. I am not sure that having her out on grass 24/7 is ideal, but with other horses out there, I can't expect the grass will really be plush and nice all year round, and I always have the option of muzzling or pulling her from the grass should there be a concern. The owner says that roundbales will be put out when the grass dies, and of course in this area the hay is all costal. P isn't on costal right now, but if she transitions to a costal pasture then a switch to costal hay won't be such a big deal. I used to hate the stuff but I have gotten used to the idea now that I am down here, so I guess I will live!