Friday, March 9, 2018


Brought the ball out to play on Wednesday

Yes, my "plans" are completely derailed for the year... but I have come to terms with this... mostly.  Other than my internal frustration to the realization that I've had plans derailed for quite a while now and wondering when things will go my way.

I'm hoping to ride for a friend - help him condition horses, maybe get to compete a time or two, and volunteer at close rides.  My next endurance partner will present him/herself when the time is right, and this puts no pressure on me while getting the horse time I love.

I have found 2 different spots I would feel completely comfortable sending Prophecy to for retirement boarding if a Companion lease home does not come along (and that I can afford while eventually having to pay board for a second horse).  I'm giving it some time to shake out; I wouldn't want to haul him very far in the bouncing 'winter' weather we have been dealing with...wind, rain, sleet, and snow (everywhere but here!) anyway.

Things will happen as they should in due time.

This has also forced me to think about what I really want in my next horse... I have my ISO ad all written up with the basics but will not be posting for a bit.
I'm admittedly gun-shy. I've had my heart torn apart 3 times now over my boys and in a kind of short time span...
Thankfully Prophecy will be around to continue to love for years to come in some way, but it is still heartbreaking to know that he never got to reach his full potential because of crappy situations in his past and things that perpetuated forward.  Tesla was skin and bones when he was first rescued, but came out of that a trail eating fun ride with no ill affects... Prophecy was lean, but not horribly underweight at his original rescue...why couldn't he bounce back?  I'll never really know the answer, I can only surmise and put my human emotions and justifications to it all... sometimes it just makes me angry, and sad.  And then there is the guilt of wondering "What could I have done differently" the last 2 years to change the outcome, when the odds are the answer is = Not a thing would have changed this outcome.

He is still fun to watch move and play on a windy evening the in round pen...

The horse community never ceases to amaze me.  After advertising him on the endurance page I had several contacts for retirement options and much support for doing what I felt is right for him.  A few questions on if I had looked into X,Y,Z issue to which of course the answer was yes.  There is always the pendulum swing though, and another other sites I've been accused of "giving up on him" when that is far from the truth of the matter. I'm giving in to what he has been trying to say for long; he hurts despite how much he wants to do the task for me. 
For now I just enjoy his company and hope for some dry enough days to take him on a little hike on the trails at the barn we never got to ride, knowing he is well taken care of and well loved.

Of course he is being really naughty right now and has LOST two different muzzles this week ... sigh.  I walked most of the pasture tonight and didn't see either of them. I'll have to walk the wooded parts this weekend when I have more daylight.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


I have been searching for answers with Prophecy for over a year now.  Saddle fit, anxiety, bucking problems to name a few of the items we had to troubleshoot. Along with general hoof health and weight issues (air fern).

We got ourselves a saddle (again!) and set down a path of training to deal with the anxiety (on both our parts) and bucking because we thought he "had my number" and was refusing work.  He was doing remarkably well, and learning so much each session to the next. I also had a lesson portion of the sessions at least 2x week on him recently. I was thrilled to ride my horse again, off a line, even if only at a walk, and have a more relaxed mount; To be learning the tools to help him re-focus when needed, as well as how to carry his body better.

And suddenly it changed again...

On 2/13 was the first time he gave Erin issues at the mounting block, going immediately into a bounce and attempt to buck (like he had done to me).  She worked with him to calm and refocus before walking off and he seemed over it within ~5min, but just not quite his previous self in forward movement.  We moved into the round pen after a few minutes in the arena to get him more mentally ready for me to ride. It took him longer to settle with Erin, but he did an then I rode and had a great lesson, though he was back to not liking leg pressure - Our plan at the end was to move forward in our lessons to working the same shoulder exercises and turn cues at the trot.
Erin returned on 2/14 without me and found him very tense and reactive to the saddle.  She stripped the saddle and said he did wonderfully bareback ---- great, saddle fit again!
On Sun 2/18 we met for our scheduled session/lesson she brought Wednesday's happenings to my attention. We agreed to try one of her small jumping saddles and see if it was that mine is too long, and while he was less tense, he was still not happy. So, she stripped that saddle and moved to bareback.  Still tense, tail swishing, behind the bit fussy when asked to trot.   NOT saddle related...

Well now what?!

Erin & I both lost sleep over trying to figure out why he suddenly reverted...  Boredom? Cold-backed? Lyme? PSSM and Kissing spine was also mentioned to me, and then there was someone with a PPID and IR horse that had been through a similar experience... I posed our issues to the ECIR forum and they surmised his current situation as Subclinical Laminitis, further demonstrated by reviewing videos taken before 'the change' and of that Sunday ride. 

Peeking at me through
the stall door before the vet

So here we are on Thursday (2/22), drawing blood for IR levels and taking x-rays of the front hooves to determine what damage is there and what his, our, future holds.

Prophecy stood on the blocks like a champ, just hanging out without trying to step off (I think using sure-foot pads have helped there!). The x-rays showed he has no rotations (yay!), thin soles (7mm, not horrible), and significant side-bone calcifications (not so great). Vet was happy with his trim, just some slight tweaks to make but felt he was well balanced overall.

I had a very rough night on Thursday questioning myself and trying to figure out where to go next.  Fortunately I had a few friends online at those odd hours that I couldn't sleep helping to talk me off the ledge per say.

Things have become clearer over the past week for me mentally as I come down off the emotional roller coaster.   I sought guidance from Dee and my (and Erin's) thoughts that Prophecy has been in pain are validated.  Unfortunately, it has been a pattern for so long (beginning before me) that his pain threshold has gotten lower, and the whole MEP balance is off for him. The odds of him recuperating into a well balanced riding horse (Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically) are slim; so I have decided it is not fair to continue to push him that way. He is retired.
Our endurance path together has ended.

I do not need or want suggestions on what to try, or how you think I should make things right.  This decision is in his best interest and that is all that matters.  Horses cannot talk per say, but they certainly can make some things clear in their actions and reactions with us, and Dee is a wonder at reading that language.

Does this suck? So 'efn much! 😭
But, I have grown in my horse sense because of him.  I've learned a ton about what makes well balanced (MEP) horse, and also other things on the health side of things that I didn't necessarily want to know!... but we came to each other for a reason. 
I knew there was something underlying going on and I'm glad I kept digging to find it.  He could have ended up in hands that broke his spirit getting him to work through pain and made him become dull and dangerous. Instead, he gets his keep a hold of that incredibly goofy personality and be a buddy horse.

So he here is, enjoying pampering tonight...during which I cried into his a mane a few times...

No more pressure to work, just gets enjoy himself for who he is.

Groomed and chilling while I fixed his muzzle straps

Still willing to take selfies :P
I hope my story helps someone to pursue more knowledge and follow those gut feelings until you have an answer... above all, we are the only ones who can speak for these guy, do what is right for them, regardless of what the world thinks of you/your decisions.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dental day!

Not much more to report on the training front... we have a little snag and are doing some trouble shooting.  He did however, have his first couple of bareback rides ever that we are aware of!

Erin riding bareback

This year I decided to use an equine dentist - not the vet power floating - and no sedation. To my surprise Prophecy handled it really well!  He was a bit over a year since his last float as we were working on timing and such with moving barns, so he had some sharp points and imbalance to fix, but is all straightened out now 😏

He didn't try and run away from Ken, even with a speculum in his mouth ; He actually thought about inspecting his bucket of tools at one point. 🐎

Pretty cool to see him work and be done in less than 30 min! Then getting to turn Prophecy back out right away, not having to wait on drugs to wear off was really nice :)