Had Fox's physio appointment today. After a rocky start things shaped up really well. The appointment was supposed to be at 9.30 so I turned up at the paddock at 9 so I could give the mud monster a good groom. Got a message saying sorry can't be there till 10. Ok cool, thanks for letting me know. I gave Fox a super good groom which took till 9.40. Sweet just enough time to give him a quick handgraze.
10 rolls around, still no sign. 10.05, nothing, 10.15, still nothing. At 10.20 I text her and asked how far away she was. Didn't hear anything back but 5 minutes later she was there. So feeling more than a bit put out I just tried to be polite. I do my best writing first thing in the morning so wasting an hour really peeved me off. Fox didn't mind though cause it meant he could stuff his belly full.
She was lovely as usual so my annoyance didn't last for too long. Until she saw Fox's feet and said I needed to get shoes on there as soon as possible. Um no thanks. I just smiled and nodded thinking that would be it but she did rant on about it for quite some time. I really wanted to say to her, there are reasons my horse is barefoot and will continue that way so thanks for the advice but no thanks. She is right about one thing though, his near hind does need attention, the M/L balance has gone out again after being good for a while. Apparently if I trim that side frequently, I should be able to keep on top of it between proper trims. Will be starting tonight!
Anyhow, onto the good news. Fox has been completely cleared for riding, she said he is more than ready and good on you for being cautious but it really wasn't necessary. He isn't stiff, you're just overthinking things. So that's one big fat YAY. She said he is feeling and looking really good and there are only two spots that need attention. One on each side of his last ribs and down behind his shoulders. She said keep up the massage twice a week to keep him supple and you'll be good to go. No restrictions on circles or gait. I'm so stoked. I'll still keep it slow and steady but I might be able to speed up my rehab plan a wee bit which would be really great.
I might even try and sneak a ride in after work tomorrow providing the weather is good. It has been so crappy lately it's not funny. I'm so over rain and mud and wetness. Another good point, Fox has come through this winter with no mud fever, he does have a touch of thrush but I'm onto that.
An update on Smurf. He's doing good today, had a few minor attacks over the last few days but got through them himself. He's now completely off hay to control his COPD and is moving to some new grazing in case it is the change in pasture causing the colic. He is really in the best possible home right now. I'm still so mad at his old owners for putting him through that. I just keep thinking if they had let me buy him when I wanted to, all this would have been prevented. But then I wouldn't have Fox.
Another thing the physio said you've come on a real journey with this horse, had a real learning experience. Which jogged my memory about this from the Jumping Percheron blog
The Five Horses We Meet in Life
1. The Intro Horse
We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend’s first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.
2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between “Darn, they’re big!” and “Wow! Can I try that?” you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he probably didn’t benefit from the encounter as much as you did…
3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don’t really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise…
4. The Challenger
Into each horseperson’s life, a little challenge must fall. You’ll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you’ll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisleway on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life…
5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you’ll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you’ll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You’ll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you’ll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer’s class. Maybe you’ll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you’ll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse’s thoughts and desires…
My Intro horse, a wee chestnut something or other with a blaze called..... Blaze. Tiny, lazy, feisty. The best pony to learn on. On him I progressed from learning to walk, trot and canter to riding out in the orchard and going for my first runs which were the only time he ever enjoyed going fast.
My Experimental horse was a pretty dun QHxTB bred for barrel racing but wasn't fast enough. Her name was Clover and she was the sweetest horse ever. I definitely tried a lot of new things on her, gaining confidence and learning how to push out of your comfort zone. She helped me tremendously when I was going through my early teenaged angst years. At the time, she was the only thing that made me happy. Sadly I gave up riding when I was about 15 though I can't remember why now.
My Connected horse is definitely Smurf. We just had such a good bond. He would do things for that he wouldn't do for anyone else and we came such a long way with his training. If I could have bought him, I have no doubt he could have become my deepest heart.
Fox is my Challenger, for sure. I have learned so, so much and I am so very grateful for the experience I have had with him. As well as learning about horses and Fox in particular, I've also learned a huge amount about myself. I would like to think Fox could become my Deepest Heart but for Fox and I, I think it's early days yet.