Wednesday, 29 February 2012
It's been three weeks after Hillary's accident, and for me, it's been incredibly stressful. I suppose many horse people are like me; when not riding they are just simply not happy. For me, riding Hillary is the most important thing in the world. It feels like complete freedom and happiness. If I could describe what it means to be truly happy, I would say 'being on the back of Hillary.' And so, not being able to ride is like a constant wave of being unhappy; just not happy.
Today, (29.02.12) Hills had her scan to see the damage to her leg. This involved the clipping of both her back legs (which is why they look so odd in the above photo). I tried to have Hillary clipped once, but this ended in disaster; Hills cannot be clipped without sedation. When she cannot move back to get away from the clippers, she begins to rear. I have been told that before I bought her, she had been clipped, however, her fear is so severe, I have no intention of putting her through it. Our riding and work schedule before the accident was such that, after each ride, she would be cooled down properly before I went home. This omitted the need for clipping, and although I often look at other horses, neat and tidy in this season, and wish Hills was clipped, I know that in reality, it's such a stressful thing to do to her, that for me, it's just not worth it. We work round ensuring that she does not get too hot in her work, and that she always is cooled down properly. Clipping, therefore, something that has simply become an irrelevant point for me.
So when the vet got the clippers from his car, I knew she would have to be sedated.
I have seen one sedated horse, but the thought of Hillary being sedated was, I admit, quite scary. The sedation worked almost immediately; her head drooped and she began to breathe really heavily. Everything that she did: trembling, dribbling, wobbling- I mentioned to the vet. This is all normal, and all the time, I whispered to her, standing by her head, making sure she was OK.
The scanning equipment is a hugely expensive piece of portable equipment, and the vet was very informative when using it. It was fascinating to think that in some way, I have seen Hillary's tendons; I have seen the lines of her bones, and her ligaments; I have seen something I would never normally get chance to see.
Hillary does have some damage to her tendons, and needs another scan in four weeks time. However, the severity of her accident makes her survival and progress, nothing short of remarkable; she is indeed, something of a miracle. It is only after the second scan that I will find out if she can go in the field (something I feel very strongly about as Hillary really values her time being 'natural'), but I am able to ride now, at walk, for the next four weeks. The thought of riding her without lunging, and without her having been out for such a long time does make me feel worried, as I am still in many ways dealing with my problems, but I am determined to make this work. Despite the fear and worry, I am desperate to ride her again, and so I need to try and give it a go. But more than that, more than riding, or turn out, or injuries or problems, above all that we have been through in the last few weeks, I feel nothing short of brilliant. I still have my best friend, and I cannot believe that I am so lucky to be able to have her as my own.