I decided that riding my horse this week is probably a good thing if I expect to have a half way decent time this weekend at my 50 miler….
So Farley and I hit the trail at dusk last night and got in a brisk 3 miles.
She got a week off for being lame (rock bruise) and a week off because I was lazy and unmotivated I wanted to be extra sure (yeah we will go with that) so this was our first outing. Good thing she tied up a couple years ago or it’s possible I would actually bring an unridden horse to a ride and attempt it. BAD MEL. Fortunately that one isolated tie up helps me make good decisions and Farley will get out a couple days this week.
Last night I had “ride” Farley instead of “OH MY GOD YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY BE ASKING ME TO ACTUALLY CONDITION” Farley. There’s nothing naughty about her when she’s in work mode, but managing the sheer power of her trot and committment to the trail is a FULL time job. The wind is blowing in my ears so hard I can’t hear anything except my own breathing – which is increased from the effort of remaining balanced and in rhythm with a big trot that only wants to get bigger. In those moments she doesn’t ride like a 14.3 hand horse – she rides like a 17 hand horse.
I’m always blown away how what a POWERHOUSE she is. She’s just so solid and strong, the older she gets. I keep expecting to have “over the hill” Farley at some point due to her “advancing” age….I’ve talked about all the rational reasons and gut feelings of why she’s not going to be one of those horses that is ageless. She hits the ground too hard. That stride gets it done and is incredibly powerful, but it’s not easy on either of us…but season after season she seems only interested in matching my bet and raising me another buck or two. With Minx I thought we would grow old together and she’d be my hacking horse when I was middle-aged. I’m not sure about Farley. Is she going to go out suddenly still at the top of her game? Is she going to allow me to finally retire her from endurance and enjoy a second career and then a much deserved retirement where she has a job doing as much or as little as she wants? I don’t know. Honestly, if she could talk, I think she would tell me that either way is perfectly fine with her, and to have no regrets.
Hell yes! Rock that fabulous mare. Can’t wait for this weekend 🙂
Happy trails on that powerhouse mare! Much better than dragging them down the trail. See you at the ride!
We can never know how the journey with our horse will turn out… My six year old broke her leg in the paddock (and was PTS), my twenty-three old is still (a little bit too) keen despite needing various things to manage the effects of aging…
What I’ve learned from that is to enjoy whatever you get 🙂 Listen to them, and keep doing things if you’re both enjoying them. There is a special joy to be found in taking your old pony out and just enjoying yourselves… Have fun!
Absolutely. I think when minx died so unexpectedly it sorta ruined me for expecting things will turn out how I think and I’ve been waiting with bated breath to see what happens with Farley. In the last couple of years I’ve realized we’ve had a good run and no matter how it ends I got way more time and did a lot more then a lot of people get with their special horse and it’s really ok no matter what happens. Now I’m just gosh darn curious!!!!! But that’s the fun I life I suppose.
🙂 It is really nice to be pleasantly surprised in that regard, hey? A nice thing to be able to be curious about!
My old horse is losing his eyesight… of all the things that I thought I would have to look out for, that was not it. In your vet experience, do you have anything to share about what signs tell you a horse is no longer coping with that – don’t know if you’d want to write a post about that?
So far he is still very bright and keen to do things, but he gets surprised by things and I am very mindful of how he is kept (he lives with just one good buddy and his paddock doesn’t change, etc). I am guessing that eventually he won’t cope even with that – he will be unsettled, unhappy or badly startled by things. But that’s just a guess…
No worries either way, but just thought I’d ask in case you had something to share 😉
I haven’t had VAST experience with blind horses, but the few I have been around cope REALLY well – even better when they are completely blind and aren’t startled by the shadows they can see before they are completely blind. Even in new environments, as long as they have their buddy it’s hard to tell they can’t see. The buddy horse will literally lead the blind one around, showing them the new environment. Of course YMMV yada yada but I wouldn’t be suprised if your old horse still has a wonderful quality of life after going completely blind, and I think having a companion is more important then no paddock changes (although keeping paddock changes at least to a minimum is a good idea).
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