We hauled her over 10 hours, over 900km, and arrived at dusk. She hauled quietly, comfortably and at the half-way point, I brought her out to hand-walk her, as being an older horse we weren't certain how stocked up she'd get. She didn't get one ounce of fluid in her legs and was a perfect lady the entire way. During the unloading, she snorted and looked around with massive eyes, but did not put a foot wrong. At all. She settled in with ease, and didn't even bother to look at her two new pasture-mates.
The next few days were filled with getting to know one another and truth be told, our "first ride" together left little to be desired.
|Our first ride together in over 2 years; both of us were out of |
shape and a bit uncomfortable!
We worked on getting to know each-other and accepting one another. I learned a lot in the first few months with Suzie. She needed some senior treatment - some TLC and groceries - and soon her spark started to show. Funny enough, after only about a week of owning her, I hopped up sans tack and rode her around. She couldn't have been more polite.
|Riding sans tack only a week after owning Suzie.|
It seemed like with Suzie, we were two steps forwards and then five steps back. She had some ongoing lameness issues throughout July and onwards, and through that time I had massage therapists and chiropractors assisting in her recovery. The general consensus was the same: she is an older mare who was used as a gymkhana/drill-teamer for the majority of her years and her age was catching up with her. She had arthritis and coming out of Winter (no work) she was weak in her muscles and body. We did a lot of rehab work and I put a lot of effort into making her well again. I started her on arthritis medication during this time too. I basically did everything short of having a vet assess her (vets are over 3 hours away and practically impossible to track down) and she blossomed.
We battled a few months of re-occurring lameness, temperamental issues (and in one instance she actually reared on me!) and in it, we seemed to figure each other out. At the end of June, I had the bottom comparison photos to be quite pleased with!
|Right: Suzie in March Left: Suzie in late June/early July|
|Romping in the secondary pasture with her friends in September.|
And after eight months (so far!) together, we are as connected as anyone could be. We have work to do, and we still have so much to learn from eachother. But, I am so thankful to have this mare in my life and I am so happy to have met her. She may be a source of some worry, some fear and some anxiety, but she completes me and makes me happier than I've been. She is steady with just enough sass that makes her still interesting and new each and every ride I put on her.
|Late October. So peaceful and happy together <3|