Sidelined and trying to see the glass as half full

An injury in horse or rider puts the team on the sidelines.
An injury to horse or rider puts the team on the sidelines.

Many of have been there. We train our horses and work toward a goal only to be sidelined by an injury at the last minute. Months of work and anticipation can thwarted by a lost shoe, a tweaked tendon, an episode of colic, or a rider injury.

All of that anticipation and we’re left cursing. Looking at the grand scheme of life it doesn’t really make all that much difference to most of us if we miss out on the spring hunt season, have to scratch from the horse show or event, or nurse ourselves or our equine partners through recovery. But in the moment, it certainly seems important.

Yesterday was a hunt that I was looking forward to riding in. My son’s sports schedule has preempted many Saturday hunts but this weekend was free, the weather was going to be perfect and it’s a great territory. My anticipation of the hunt ended when I arrived at the barn on Thursday to find my TB had lost both front shoes. I know why it happened: His pasture mate had been taken out for a hack and my horse had apparently had a full-blown anxiety attack, running himself into a lather in in a muddy paddock. I know it’s just one hunt and I had no right to feel so sorry for myself. But I did. Truth be told, my ankle probably will have a chance of healing if I sit out a few hunts.

My disappointment is nothing compared to what happened to Tamara who writes the Barb Wire blog. First her seasoned endurance horse, Aaruba, needed to be retired from competition because of illness. Then, more recently, when she was out riding her younger horse they were chased by a neighbor’s dog. Unseated when her horse kicked out at the dog, she injured her hamstring. There goes her competition season, ruined by an ill-behaved dog!

Even if I couldn’t hunt, at least I could ride. We had a quiet weekend of hacking out (him wearing hoof boots and me riding without stirrups) and if all goes according to plan we might catch one or two more hunts before the season ends.

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