Monday 22 June 2020

Cautiously Optimistic

I've been feeling a bit lot burned out with horses lately. I love them, I very much enjoy having them around and riding. Recently, though, it's felt much more defeating and complicated than fun. A good part of my feelings aren't necessarily the horses themselves - it's trying to keep horses where I live.

Being a few hours drive and a ferry ride (or two, or sometimes even three, depending on the route) from the city means everything - including hay and services like vet and farrier - comes from elsewhere.

Add in COVID travel restrictions, a pony with heaves, a mystery lameness or two, and training a (too small?) green baby pony on my own, and yes, there are definitely days where I question my sanity in living here and owning horses.


For now, after a vet visit last week ( I had been wait listed 6 months!) and a first couple of pony training sessions with friends I'm feeling cautiously optimistic things are moving forward again.

Bridget's evaluation went well. She was having a good day (maybe all the OTC stuff was working?) and the vet couldn't hear anything going on in her lungs. Yay! After listening to my description of what's been happening (short of breath/dry cough, some days just walking with a rider is hard) and how she looked on the day he saw her ( 'fantastic!' ) he thought seasonal allergies could be a consideration and antihistamines might be worth a try rather than the Ventipulmin she was on a couple of years ago with the other vet.

Fingers crossed, that was last Tuesday and she's been feeling great since then! I'm so, so hopeful it's the antihistamines helping because they are very reasonably priced compared to other things we've tried, easy to refill,  and I can give them on an 'as needed' basis.

She was feeling great!

I have a great ride on Saturday where she was running away with me and generally being super cheeky and refusing to walk. I know that's not normally a ride anyone would be pleased with, but I was just so pleased she was feeling so over the top good. I cried happy tears, and a lot of them. I've missed Sassy Bridget and the contrast to the week before where I wondered if I would even be able to ride her anymore was just so crazy.

Whoa, Bridget, Whoa, lol

And what about Sophie?

Sophie. OMG

So. A couple of friends and I used to informally meet for rides at the arena all the time. I think I mentioned one of those friends has time and is willing to hop on Sophie now and then for me until I get my own self sorted out and/or make some decisions. I have good friends.

 I made a concentrated effort to make it to the area three times this week to meet up with the girls, and I brought Sophie twice so if friend wanted to do something with her, she could. It's been about 3 months since I last hopped on in the round pen, so imagine my surprise when after a quick recap from the ground, R just popped on in the giant outdoor and went for a ride with me!

I'm so very proud of little Sophie - she was like "Oh yeah, this, I know this" and off she went just like she'd never had a break and we ride in the big spooky outdoor all the time. After following Bridget for a bit, they went off on their own, even incorporating some poles and things to walk over. Sophie was gaining confidence the whole time and I could be wrong, but she seemed pretty pleased to be included in our activities rather than my normal go to of sticking her in the round pen to wait until I'm finished riding Bridget.
Creeping us from the round pen on a normal day

I'm forever going to be appreciative of all of it, because not only was Sophie such a good girl, it was so neat seeing someone else on her and being able to see how she looks under saddle from the ground (relaxed, willing, happy, fancy!)

Sorry, no pictures because I didn't take any and I need to check with R if she's cool with sharing here.  I think we're going to keep this arrangement for the summer at least, though, and I'm certainly going to hop on now and then for short bits too,  so there will be lots of opportunity for pictures of Sophie doing things in the future!



  1. Glad to hear that Bridget is a-ok!

  2. What are you using for antihistamines? Are they vet prescribed or a regular pharmacy type? I've wondered if part of Phantom's respiratory issues are allergy related, though she's been good on the Ventipulmin she gets when she gets ridden.
    Sassy Bridget reminds me of sassy Phantom! I like it when my old mare revs up through the ride!

    1. Vet prescribed, powder, comes in a small tub "for horses" and looks/smells a lot like bute, for Bridget probably will work out to half the price of ventipulmin/month. Fingers crossed hard, it seems to be really helping. I did get a new prescription for the ventiplumin too, because for us that stuff is almost an instant miracle on a bad day and I don't want to feel helpless and without reliable meds ever again. To be honest I was skeptical the antihistimine angle would work, but so far so good?

  3. I am glad that Bridget is feeling sassy. She looks good. Sophie also looks taller than Bridget in that side by side picture. And it sounds like that arrangement with R is a good one.

    1. Sophie IS a couple of inches taller than B. B is very short (honestly I passed on her as being too small for about a year before I finally rode her, felt fine on her, and bought her). Sophie is quite narrow and dainty though so I'm crossing fingers hard she grows or fills out noticeably more. I'm super excited about R helping out - it seems to be working very well.

  4. What wonderful news all the way around!

  5. So glad things are getting better for you <3 I hope the trend continues

  6. So glad things are going better and the vet was finally out!