Sunday, 22 January 2012
So, we are up to date now, and so my writing on here will change slightly in that rather than looking back in way that is well reflected upon over weeks and months, it will be much more immediate and fresh.
Hillary's cataracts look the same; her pupils are a hazy, dazzling blue. The only thing I have noticed in terms of changes, is that she seems to be more snappy and less liking of a fuss. Whilst she has never been one for lots of fuss, and just kind of gets on with things, tough as old boots (I have never had to worry about her in the field), she has never, ever tried to bite me, and in the past few weeks, she has become more short-tempered in the stable. Some people have suggested that it may be due to her feeling more vulnerable because of her loss of sight. I don't really know what I think about that.
Because I can't do anything else, I adopted a 'look forward' approach to start with. It began with feeling glad obviously that she is still here, and that I can still ride at all. I felt grateful for her just being her, and felt that despite her ongoing problems, she still gave her all when we rode. However, this forward thinking, positive approach was short lived.
I have gotten so much more positive and grown so much more confident, that I want to do something with it. I don't want to spend the rest of Hillary's working life going in the menage, and round the same route on the hills, but at the moment there seems nothing else I can do. This has led to moments of real grief and sadness. I wanted to spend many more years with this fantastic bond growing as it has been, but if I'm brutally honest, it feels as though everything I wanted has stopped.
As it's now late January, I am aware that Hillary will have her first cataracts check up in about 6-8 weeks. I feel that if her condition hasn't deteriorated, I will still try to sit a dressage test with her. If it has deteriorated, then I won't, and it's as simple as that.
I feel as though I am running alongside a time limit; as though I need to keep riding as much as I can. This obviously means that when the weather isn't appropriate for riding, (windy conditions) I get extremely frustrated. I feel as though what I want to do has been taken away from me. I don't want to get another horse, because I wanted to move forward with Hillary. In all, at present, it is fair to say that I feel very mixed up.
Whilst I am grateful for everything I have, and in particular, every single time I ride, I am also harboured with a deep feeling of sadness. Hillary is everything to me, and I can't believe what has happened. I wanted so much; even to start jumping again, because I know she loves jumping. But I can't, and there is nothing I can do. I feel empty; whereas before, even just two months ago, I had visions in my mind of what we would do in our future. Now I feel there is nothing; what we do have is so limited, I feel she will get bored.
Today I rode in the wind. I didn't want the weather to stop me riding. I feel as though I have achieved something by doing this for me, but it does seem rather pointless. I am angry, not with anyone, but my bizarre dreams suggest that somewhere, deep down, I blame myself. Not for her condition, but for me being so weak as to allow myself to suffer this anxiety. This makes me feel angry and frustrated.
I will continue to ride when I can, but I know that the things I wanted to share with Hillary, I now can't. Generally I am a positive person, and I feel as though I will be more positive again in a few weeks. I think that for now though, I probably am feeling quite a lot of grief as I try to come to terms with it all. I know and accept that it might seem meaningless to other people, but to me it isn't. It means everything. I just hope that the coming weeks brings lighter nights, and more settled weekend weather. More riding time, so I can spend as much time with Hillary as possible.