Thursday, July 2, 2015

Reining in the Panic (aka a loose plan)

If my last two posts seemed a bit, well... pessimistic, I guess it's because they were.  I have been enjoying my pity party over here and didn't really have an interest in leaving it anytime soon. 

Thankfully, I am surrounded by smart, non-hormonal humans who are exceptionally talented at grounding me, reminding me that all-is-not-lost and I should stop acting like I'm already digging a big hole in the ground for Prair. 

Fine.  Point taken.
Point taken well, in fact.  The last couple days have been filled with (good) conversations about what the future (realistically) holds for the mare.  The Boy has been good at reminding me its only been two months and also does a good job of reminding me that playing with him and the baby are fun alternatives to showing on the weekends. 

(That strategy works okay I guess, but a better one would be pony shopping for the kiddo... )

I also had some good clarifying conversations with both my trainer and my vet and am feeling much less fatalistic about it all.

For one thing, I feel a sense of liberation in committing to not jump Prair ever again.  It takes the pressure off this rehab process and let's me (more clearly) think about what I want to do and focus on going forward. 

Right now, that seems to be Hunter Land. 

It is expensive, and sometimes maddeningly subjective - but the culture of it is also really sustainable for having a kid in tow.  If I can't get to the barn for a week, I have high confidence that the care and rides are excellent...  At shows it's reasonable to not be there at 4am and not stay until 10pm.  It's a really realistic way to be competitive, and as involved as possible given everything else I also want to prioritize. 

When I reframed my expectations to the vet to "sound for flatwork" and not necessarily a return to the Hunter Ring, she was much less guarded about a solid recovery and though that it was "extremely likely" that Prair would be more than serviceably sound for a good dressage career. 

So all is Not Lost.

After a good consult with my trainer, I think I have a good operating plan going forward.  I'm highly aware that "plans" and "horses" rarely make a good partnership, but I do better when I at least have something to adjust if necessary.

Prair will stay where she is for the next chunk of stall rest for two months.  She's happy, I trust the care, and she's calm enough to still have modified turnout privileges.  If I moved her to a new facility now, (to save on board) I think she'd be too excited about being someplace new to (quietly) enjoy some paddock time... and that's something I don't want to sacrifice for her right now.

At her recheck at the end of August, one of two things with (most likely) happen. 

1) if she looks ready to get back to work (slowly) I'll move her into a Dressage program for rehab and realistically, eventual sale. 

2) if she's still not ready for work, I'll move her to a non-training location where she can chill and spend a few more months hanging out.  We'll reevaluate in the spring and see if she can loop back to option 1, or if I look for a good broodmare home for her.  Of course if the right home plopped in my lap for her - one where I didn't think they would have unrealistic expectations of her soundness, or would use her unfairly - I'd consider letting her go sooner. 

I know that Black Beauty placed a hefty amount of paranoia in us all as to what happens when we send our beloved horses down the road.  If I have any doubts about where she's going or what she'll have to do, I'll put her out in a big green field myself.  She deserves it.  But she's also only ten.  And that means if she's able - she also deserves to still have a career and have fun with someone...

So that is the plan, patience (for a while) with the knowledge that I can't ask Prair to do what I want to do, and open eyes as to what that means for options.



  1. so sorry you're having to deal with this kind of planning - good luck!

  2. I support this plan.

    And I like hunters.

  3. Sounds like a smart plan. I always feel better if I have a rough plan in mind :)

  4. Solid plan. Glad you're staying in the hunters, even though I know all of these decisions are difficult and stressful.

    1. I have to stay in the Hunters. I have a totally gorgeous hunt coat (that fits) and has never been worn. MUST WEAR COAT (somewhere other than my house)

  5. Sounds like a great plan, and also having some relaxing boy and baby time will be an enjoyable way to spend the summer too. They only stay little for a short period of time. Enjoy the heck out if it! I truly hope that your rehab plans work out, but if all else fails, a-hem, a big black dressage mare would look stunning in my pasture...wink-wink!

  6. Plans are good for the soul and flexible planning is good for horses. Ticking all the right boxes ☺

  7. Good plans!! I hope you feel at least a little more settled and a little less anxious. :)

  8. If I could afford board I'd totally toodle around with her as a dressage pony :P

  9. Great plan for all involved. Hope she continues to heal up! And also your baby needs a pony pronto, yes?


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