In January, Bobby carried on the yearly tradition of being a flaming rage monster idiot in the winter. We fought over flying changes and shoulder-in for no particular reason, both of which were resolved in a follow up ride. Bobby never failed to enjoy making more work for himself, getting upset about it, throwing massive tantrums, and then magically getting over it the next day.
|while a raging asshole, he was also totally trustworthy for all manners of shenanigans|
February brought the first hint of what was to come with Bobby's leg. The vet was out for a couple of other horses and I had her take a look at what I thought was some fungus on his knee and ankle that was causing minor swelling. We put him on SMZs, treated with Equiderma, and while it never went completely away, it didn't seem to be a cause for real concern at that point. I dealt off and on with his sore feet from his navicular, but we manged to get him comfortable enough to participate in jumper night.
Apparently March was just a lot more of managing the drama king of winter. Reading back through these posts made me realize how truly awful this horse sometimes was. Fuck, he was a difficult bastard when he wanted to be.
|#angryunicorn celebrates his twelfth birthday|
April was the month of ramming in all the lessons we missed due to inclement weather. I'd pretty much stopped jumping at that point due to Bobby's navicular issues creeping back up, and BM ripped our sorry dressage basics apart and rebuilt from the ground up.
Shit got real in May. We started off with Bobby feeling especially crippled in his feet, but Farrier did another shoeing change and we managed to get him comfortable again. Shortly after that, I had the vet out for the third time this year as Fungus Leg had taken an abrupt turn for the worse. Biopsy results gave us our diagnosis of Sarcoidosis. My horse was sore, depressed, and the vet was telling me to brace myself for euthanasia being an immediate option.
Instead, in June Bobby fucking rallied. We hit our only full show of the year, we did a high intensity hunter pace, and Bobby went back to work like nothing was wrong with him.
|bobby never really got behind hunter shows|
I posted two whole times in July, both of which were about the lead up to Bobby's return to eventing.
However, August was more rain and the event was a no-go for us. It was a complete waste of hard-earned savings that was so horrendously handled by the show management for yet another year that I sent in a scathing event review to USEA. We got up to all sorts of other things, though! We went to Cornell to do ALL THE TESTS only to be told they had no idea what the actual fuck was going on in his leg/coronary band/foot, but wow sarcoidosis is so cool, p.s. your horse is the only one in this country in recorded history to have this particular type. With even more shoeing changes, we got Bobby sorted enough to go cross country schooling with a couple barn mates. We also introduced him to the double bridle because he was owning the Third Level work, so it wasn't a complete wash of a month.
|loved his job|
September was officially the beginning of the end. We were able to get some great days in during the very beginning of the month, and my last ever ride on Bobby was jumping him over the skinny chevron Hubby made for us. Then he went very, very lame very suddenly. I panic-texted Farrier saying I thought he was foundering in his RF. She came out, didn't want to confirm or deny anything, and brought in a colleague to get yet another set of eyes on him. The second farrier was slightly more optimistic, but I think Farrier knew, after working on him so closely for so long, that we weren't in a good spot. They recommended putting the vet on standby in case he full on foundered, but I went ahead and called them out take take yet another set of images.
On the second of October, the vet came out, took a new set of rads that showed Bobby's coffin bone had disconnected and dropped and was about to come through the bottom of his foot, and I knew it was time. My whole barn family dove in to give Bobby the best last days of his life. One week later, either the night before or the morning of his appointment, his coffin bone came through his sole. He was on three legs hobbling out to where we chose to put him down and bury him. It was not an easy euthanasia. He did not go quietly. But I will instead always remember that with a foot that was completely useless, in the freezing, whipping wind and rain after being confined to a stall for weeks, he followed along behind me on a loose lead with no hesitation--always trusting, always looking for an adventure, always the kindest horse.
|always very, ahem, relaxed about pictures|
I drowned my sorrows by going to Fair Hill for the first time and having an epic blogger meet up with some of my faves. The next weekend I decided to go to the track just in case I saw something that struck my fancy and came away with a little grey 4yo.
|so small, so snootable. how could you resist?|
I spent November getting to know Opie and introducing him to his new life. He went trail riding for the first time, did his first free jumping, learned about bareback ambling, and just generally adjusted to his new set of rules while proving to be just about the easiest baby horse ever in existence.
And finally, the month of December brought Opie's first real trail ride, his first jump courses, first "horse show", and his first ribbons! He's wrapping up the year the same way I think most of the horses in the Northeast are--on vacation because of brutal cold.
|and taking his first selfies which he was very into|
I had big ambitions of year-end awards and moving up a level, but instead finished it out down one partner and getting to know a new one. It's not a year I'll look back fondly on, but it was--to try to put a positive spin on it--a learning experience, and I know I've come out the other side a changed horseman.
Here's to 2018 not being so spectacularly shitty!