That was what my vet said this morning when she handed me some additional meds to keep on hand for Wally. I had just whined that what I needed was a second horse for back-up, for days when Wally was-- for whatever reason-- out of commission. My vet's point was that the average horse is forever finding ways to maim or lame itself, so adding another one wasn't necessarily going to help me out. When I grumbled she added, "Welcome to the world of horses."
As you might recall, I spent a minor fortune on Legend shots for Wally, in hopes that it would stave off the arthritis in his hocks that made him a little creaky on some days. Perhaps that was accomplished. I can't tell yet. What I do know is that last week, once I had him tacked up for a nice trail ride, he was lame in his right hind leg. Not, "Oh my God, he has a broken leg!" lame, but definitely off at the jog. So we turned around and headed home.
I was in the depths of despair because not only did I really need a ride that morning to alleviate some pre-holiday blues, but I began to worry about Wally. What if he was never sound again? What if I had to stow him at my parents' place in perpetual retirement? What if I had to start shopping for yet another horse? What if... ?
I can make myself crazy doing that.
Fortunately, the whole incident seemed to be nothing more than a strain, the result, no doubt, of him running around during a turnout in the arena the day before. He'd acted like an utter fool, gallumping and bucking in huge ovals like he was trying out for lead bronc at the National Finals Rodeo. After 5 days of rest and a light longe on Saturday, he seems perfectly fine. I'm going to tack him up and ride him this morning.
Luckily, I always have plenty of horses in town to ride if Wally is temporarily out of service. There's a barn full of hunters at Sue's and my sister's horse, Topper, is happy to indulge me. But I want to ride Wally. I know every single thing about him: the way his hooves feel when they hit the ground at the jog, the way I can sit his lope like I'm in an over-stuffed recliner, the manner in which he struts down the trail like he's lead stallion in some phantom herd of fine mares. In other words, I enjoy riding any horse, but I want to ride my horse.
I'll bet most of you feel the same way.
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