I found Gen’s Problem…I think


See that? I think that is root of my very stressful week! That giant crack was not there a few days ago. I went to the barn Thursday morning and bam, it was just there all of a sudden, no sign of it the night before. 
Since everything was coming from heel pain, and now there is a giant crack in the heel, I think we have found the coulprit! A part of me wants to call it an abscess, but there was no moment where poof, he was better. Instead it has been a slow gradual thing. My Gen has been getting a little bit better every visit, and his tendon is back to its normal self!


Here it is last night, looking good right! That is 100% within his normal range, it looks like how his leg looks after he is hard on it and runs a bit. You can’t even see definition a little with the bone towards the bottom.

And an even clearer sign Gen is feeling better…he wants to paw!


He is starting to be a butt to deal with, wanting to paw, kick, toss his head and just be dramatic in general when he is on the cross ties! The first day he wanted to kick me I actually laughed in relief because my Gen has, and always will be a handful so when he actually asked like a 25-year-old somber horse, I get nervous!


This sweet thing is nearly sound and almost ready to be turned out again!!! Once he is all sound at the walk he gets to go out in the medical field again, I am so happy he is doing better!

I literally can’t handle life when Gen is hurting

Last Friday I walked in to the barn to find something that no horse owner ever wants, a lame horse. Gen was head bobbing lame, barely able to put any weight on his left front leg, his bad leg. I was near tears when I looked down and saw his tendon swollen up, convinced that he bowed his tendon again. I called my vet, who could hear the strain in my voice, and agreed to hang around the barn until he had finished up with his other appointments for the day. 

That was the look of concern he wore all day Friday


Gen has been retired for a decade and I am really grateful to have had so much extra time with him. I was upset about him having potentially injured himself again, but in the few hours it took for the vet to get there I had already decided that if it was a bowed tendon I at least owed Gen the chance for him to try and heal himself. I had vowed that no matter what the news was from the vet, I would give Gen a month to get better as long as he stayed at the same level of lameness and did not get worse. Adding extra stress to all this is the fact that it is nearly time for my trip to Alaska, so I would potentially be leaving Gen for a week during his time of need. My husband could clearly sense the stress in my texts and decided to come to the barn after work to check on “his son” in person. I am just never okay when Gen isn’t okay, something that everyone who knows me can tell you!

I know it looks terrible, that is why I was freaking out!


As soon as the vet got there and saw me walk Gen out, he went back to his car and brought back a ton of hoof equipment. I pointed to the leg, wanting to know where the ultra sound machine was, convinced it was the worst case scenario, when my vet quietly bent down, touched Gen’s foot and I watched Gen nearly sit down he was in so much pain. For the first time all day I felt like I could breath again! My hubby was laughing at my panicky self for overreacting, and I was laughing with him! It was a hoof issue! After some poking and prodding (where Gen actually reared up on his hind end enough that both my feet came off the ground) it was clear the pain was in the heel, but other then the fact that his heel was soft we didn’t have a ton to go on. My vet cut off Gen’s hoofwear (a cool almost cast like thing he gets to help save his toes when he incessantly stomps at bugs) and started treating his foot like it was an infection. Already Gen was walking a little better so the advice was to treat it like he had a foot infection and turn him out for a few hours in the hopes of getting the swelling down in his leg. 


​Gen enjoying a roll Saturday night, listen to those groans of joy!

I was happy over night, slept like a baby, but that all came crashing down when I got to the barn on Saturday morning, Gen was now lame on both fronts. The vet came out again, looked at his now tree trunk sized leg, and poked around again. He felt the same way about his leg as he had the day before, that it was not causing Gen pain, but that his feet were hurting. He told me to treat both front feet now for a possible infection. I got to work soaking, drying, medicating, etc and did that twice on Saturday, staying all morning and coming back before bed. Gen had gotten an injection of pain meds and seemed to be feeling better so I was feeling better about things and watched him at night peacefully grazing after I turned him out. Yes, he was hurting, but maybe moving around a little would make him stock up less and help him feel better.

Not as swollen as his injury a decade ago, but not good!


When I got there bright and early on Sunday morning, Gen was dead lame again, leg still the size of a tree trunk, and he was barely moving in his field, pointing his bad foot as he refused to put weight on it. I did cry at that moment, convinced that it had been his leg all along and that I had done terrible damage by not treating the tendon injury from the get go, I know my horse better then the vet. I snapped a picture of how terrible his leg looked and texted it to the vet, along with letting him know that my horse was barely putting weight on his leg and was head bobbing badly when I walked him. My vet is a very patient guy and instead of grumping at me for bothering him, he told me to go ahead and treat the tendon as though it were injured, but not to stop treating the feet at this point either. We figured we would give him another day of clearing up his hoof infection in the hopes that would help before he came back out. 

Gen getting grumpy that I keep interrupting his sleep


I spent the morning soaking and treating each hoof in addition to carefully cold hosing, wrapping and taking care of his bad leg. Gen was officially put on stall rest, and I could tell right away he was feeling pretty crappy because normally he makes a fuss being put in pony jail, but Sunday he was almost enjoying to be stuck inside. When I got there Monday morning and he was just as bad as the day before, I knew I needed the vet out again. I had to work so I was at the barn by 5:45 am, and waited to call until 8:00 when I got to work. He said he would be there in a few hours and I spent the day worrying.

Such a hard life having a human stare at you for 5 hours a day!


When I got the call from the vet in the afternoon I was shaking, afraid of the news, especially when he said that he decided to ultrasound Gen after the nerve block left him with more questions then answers. When he told me Gen’s tendon looked like swiss cheese, I let out a huge breath I didn’t even realize I was holding. While a tendon filled with holes might not sound like a good thing, that is perfectly normal for my Gen! The vet laughed at my relief and admitted he had been a little nervous himself, but had been thrilled with what he saw, which is as healthy a leg as Gen can have.

Making a Boo Boo face to my hubby Monday because I don’t know what’s wrong with Gen


So while it is great news that he didn’t suffer another tendon injury, it still means that Gen is my special boy. If it was a hoof issue, the nerve block should have stopped his limping. If it was a tendon issue, there should be a noticeable area where it was pulled, or even a hole where Gen’s body made the tendon disappear in an ultrasound. As of today, Gen is letting me touch his heel and all over his hoof without protesting, but he is still very, very lame and reluctant to put weight on his left front. He is slightly better this morning, walking further for a good patch of grass today compared to yesterday where he barely made it out of the barn. 


Gen as of Monday evening and his level of lameness.

Since we aren’t sure what it is, I am going to keep treating for the hoof, keeping his heel dry and infection free, and keep treating the tendon, taking off the cool cast he got on yesterday and doing the standard cold hose, poultice and wrapping routine. He will be on stall rest with 2 times a day hand grazing for either 20 min, or for as long as he can be quiet for, whichever one is longer and he is getting bute now as well. This could be one of those things that we will just never really know what happened.

As long as he gets better I am happy. I love my Gen so much, he is me if I were a horse! I will keep you all posted on his progress, hopefully with less wordy posts then this one!

I know this is just me being crazy, so if you are still reading this post I have to tell you something that makes me sound like a but job. The day before Gen got hurt I told him that I was leaving soon for a cruise and that I needed him to be a good boy because I was going to be away for a whole week and he wasn’t going to have a “nanny” to come and give him extra love, he was going to have to be a big boy. I swear he speaks English and was like, “I am no peasant horse who just gets normal board care, I refuse this arrangement and will now do something to garner daily attention so I can be dotted on when you are away”. My Mexican General really is one of a kind! I am just hoping his spoiled self is all healed up soon so I can worry a little bit less about my pony!

Happy 25th Birthday Mexican Gennyral!

My sweet Gen is 25 years old today!! To celebrate, I am going to the barn after work and stuffing his face full of treats and giving him a day full of scratchies with no brush in sight. That is right, Gen only gets 2 days a year that I can guarantee not to brush him…both his birthdays!

Even at 25, my Gen is still a character! I tried to take the annual birthday portrait and he below are the results…

“Mom, I am too tired to look cute”

“I need to take a nap”

“How about I look cute and I sleep”


“Why are you yelling at me Mom, I was just kidding”


“How about I just look cute enough and we call it a day?”

Sigh, even when he is being cheeky he is still a handsome guy!

10 Horse Questions for May

I have been not great about blogging even though I have plenty to write about, so I am going to try and get in the habit again. I am setting myself a very realistic goal of doing something every single week. I used to write every day, how hard can it be to write or take a picture of something once a week? So in honor of my renewed enthusiasm, I am doing a meme and I am inviting anyone to join in and do it as well if they like! 
This one comes Clover Ledge Farm (formerly Standardbred Excellence), who I just about panicked when I thought she deleted her blog last week. Turns out it was just moved to http://cloverledgefarm.blogspot.com/ and she is still blogging!

Here are my 10 Questions for May

1. What are your summer goals?

I have two and both are very selfish things that I have no control over. So basically, these are not good goals, but they are my goals so here goes.

One is that I want Gen to be alive and healthy at the end of the summer. He hates summer, HATES IT! He is just not a hot weather horse, so I always worry about him extra during the summer months. Pretty much my goal every month is to keep Gen healthy and alive and has been for 10 years. He is still with us though so I am happy to keep that as a goal for as long as I can.

My second goal is equally out of my control, and that is that I want to be riding D at the end of the summer. I have no control over what D’s mother does, but I am hoping I can wish and pray my way to a full summer of riding! It isn’t even just riding in general I want, I really am enjoying him, he is a cool horse to ride. I know it may not work out, but fingers crossed I can ride D long past Labor Day!

2. Do you have any tips or tricks for fly control?

Yes, and no. Compared to most barns, the bugs where Gen lives are not bad at all. We get comments about that all the time from Farriers, Vets, Equine Podiatrist, etc. So my tip is to find a barn that has good pest management (frequent manure removal, fly predators, good air flow, minimal standing water, etc). That being said, my Gen is a very sensitive boy and thinks that the bugs are terrible. He does have a fly mask and I swear by Endure brand fly spray. It is very, very chemical, but Gen is now 25 with a bum leg and he already has melanomas so if it keeps the bugs away I can deal with the other consequences. Overall I think bugs are just something that all horses and horse people have to deal with!

3. How often do you bathe your horse?

In the summer, Gen gets hosed off just about every day, or at least every day it is over 80 degrees. I hate doing it because it dries out his coat, but he just gets so hot that a rinse and some hand grazing in the shade with a breeze is critical to his happiness. I also run a soft brush over him after he is dry every day to get those oils going. Now that he is retired, he probably only gets 10 full blown baths a year, most of which are for his calendar pictures. When he was showing I would give him a bath about once a week to try and get him glowing white before each event.

Doesn’t he look thrilled about getting a bath??

4. Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Equine or otherwise?

No fun equine travel plans, but I do have some amazing trips coming up! I am going to Niagara Falls this summer, a place I went to once ten years ago for like an hour and kept saying I would go back. My hubby and I are spending a few days there thanks to some well-planned gift card usage and a free hotel room that is going to expire soon. I am looking forward to just getting away for a few days and just exploring something new.

My hubby and I are also going to be taking a cruise to Alaska this summer, which is literally a dream come true! I have been dreaming of going for so long and thanks to amazing people and generous gifts I am finally going to see a glacier!! I cannot even tell you how excited I am to be going! The only “scary” thing is that I will be out of contact and away from my Gen for 8 days, one of the reasons I have never gotten in to cruising! I remind myself that I board my horse for a reason, so I can go on Alaskan cruises and not have to worry! You cannot look a gift horse in the mouth though so Alaska here I come!

5. What is your favorite way to beat the heat?

I have a neighborhood community pool. I literally go just about every day in the summer. Now that I am riding, I will get home some days after it closes, but I am sure I will still go on the days I am not able to ride. Nothing beats the heat like a nice pool! When it comes to horses, I get about as wet as Gen does when I hose him off which also helps to beat the heat.

6. Do you do anything to prevent your horse from sunbleaching?

Nope, nor did I do anything to present his Melanomas, which is something I still feel guilty about. Gen hates fly sheets though and is very picky about smells so I am not sure if I could have done anything, but saying I did nothing still feels crappy.

7. How hot is too hot for you to ride?

I live in an area with very bad air pollution (literally in between two large cities), so when a heat advisory is up, I do not usually ride. If it is going to be several days of a heat advisory, I will make it a point to ride, but to do so early when the sun is rising or late just as it is about to set. I am not a hot weather person, I would much rather ride when it is 25 degrees versus when it is 95 degrees.

8. How important is sun protection for you riding or just in general?

I am not the best about sun protection. I do use my sunscreen, but I love to ride in tank tops. I have heard about sun shirts and think they would be cool to try, but I am admittedly not too great at covering up in the sun because I get so hot. Just for perspective, my air conditioning bill in the summer far exceeds my heating bill in the winter.

9. Have you ever gone swimming with your horse?

No, I never have gone swimming with Gen. I have had the pleasure of doing it with other horses though and it is super fun! Yet another thing Gen and I will never get to do. I used to lease a horse Skya who would go swimming in a pond in her field every single day in the summer. She would come in soaking wet, but very happy.

10. And because shopping is always on my mind, what’s on your summer wish list?

Well, I am pretty practical by nature so on my wish list right now is a gallon of Endure fly spray and a pair of full seat summer riding tights. I will likely just get the fly spray, but it can’t hurt to look at new riding tights right? It feels a little like I may jinx it if I buy any riding gear for myself. I am also always on the hunt for fly masks. Gen has a hard time with finding comfortable fly masks so I always buy him a new one (or four) a year to see if there is anything out there that works that he likes. I am always open for suggestions if anyone knows any!

Happy “I Love You” Day


Okay, so I know you are looking at a picture of my horse dressed up as cupid making a face for Valentine’s Day and assuming that I am about to gush. And I am! But not in the way you think! The truth is, I am actually not that crazy about Valentine’s Day, or “I Love You” Day as I like to call it. As a single person, I used to detest February 14th (the only holiday in America that people spend more on is Christmas) and now, as a newlywed, I think my friends and family can attest to the fact that I gush about how amazing my husband is on a very regular basis (I came home last week to a fridge full of chocolate covered strawberries that he made me just because he loves me, no occasion needed. That sort of stuff happens often and reminds me how lucky I am) so I don’t feel the need to go on and on about it today.

I decided that instead of gushing about romantic love, I want to take a moment to talk about the love between a girl and her horse. Everyone reading this knows that is a special kind of love.

I talk a lot about how much I love Gen, but I don’t often talk about the ways in which my horse loves me. In fact, I often joke that Gen doesn’t love me at all, but I know that isn’t true. My pony shows many ways in which he loves me, and knowing he does makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Gen may not be always to be around easy or particular affectionate, but I am his person. I am sure some people may think I am crazy, or maybe just that I am anthropomorphizing, but I really feel like it is love.

I know Gen loves me when:

1. I hug him and he lets out a big sigh, licks and chews, closes his eyes and leans up against me. He reaches this level of contentment that lets me know that he trusts me completely and that he feels protected and loved in my arms.

2. He comes running over to me when I get to the barn. I thought he did it to everyone, but I found out that, he does come over to just about anyone who comes to see him, but the only person he gallops to the gate for is me. It doesn’t happen every day, and I know having a Thoroughbred gallop towards you at full speed may not be what everyone wants, but I love it and it makes me feel like feel like Gen has been thinking of me all day and can’t wait to see me.

3. He doesn’t feel good or is hurt and I go rushing to the barn and he hears me before he sees me and he lets out a huge nicker. I may not be able to make him feel any better, but knowing he is talking to me as soon as I get there makes me feel like I am all he wants when he doesn’t feel good.

4. When I bring someone to the barn and need to step away for moment, the second I walk out of his line of sight he gets super fussy and looks around for me. He will even whinny and cry for me (which is not something he does if he is in alone and I am there). It makes me feel like it isn’t just that he needs attention, but rather that he needs MY attention to make him happy.

5. When he lets me kiss him on the nose. Gen HATES getting kisses on the nose, but he has this sweet copper colored marking right on the softest spot. He will let most people kiss him on the forehead, but I am the only person that he will let kiss him on the nose. Letting me do something because he knows I love it even though he hates it? Now that is love.

So how do you know that your horse(s) love you? Is it something you horse does or something about the way they make you feel? What is it about a horses love that just makes everything better?  

Last Bath of the Year?

He’s so handsome!


Today was unseasonably warm, like record-breaking warm where I live. I know my car temperature gage is not always accurate, but it had it is 88° today! That is craziness for being less than two weeks away from Halloween. 

Starting to dry…


I decided that I was going to leave work on time and rush to the barn to give my handsome pony a bath. I normally can get one bath in during the fall, but this year it is even better than normal because it is still going to be relatively warm overnight! 

I love how fluffy he looks when he is dry…and how flea bitten he gets!


Typically, the last bath of the year involves a cooler and lots of hand walking to make sure that Gen doesn’t catch a chill, but with it still being so nice overnight I was able to let my pony just graze and relax while he dried.

Like my artistic capturing of the sunset 😛


When I go and see my horse every day, it is usually not for longer than an hour. Today I decided to just kick back and relax and hang out while Gen dried. It took about two hours for him to dry through with his winter coat, but it was two hours well spent. We played with the barn cats, we get scared by some deer, and we just got to enjoy each other’s company. Well, I enjoyed Gen’s company, he mostly just ate 😉

Gen listening to the gun shots of hunters off in the distance

He finally dried all the way through just as the sun was setting. As I put everything away at the now darken barn I couldn’t help but smile and think about how lucky I am to have a horse 🙂 and a clean one at that! I know it is supposed to rain tomorrow so this won’t last, but at least he was clean for today!

I don’t even know how my horse hurts himself…

*This post includes pictures. They are not super gross, but there is a little blood*

So I get to the barn yesterday after work, and all of the horses are on high alert. It was windy and the coldest it has been since May. I knew when I saw all of the horses running towards their gates in the field as I drove up, Gen would be a crazy man.

The great thing about Gen is that he really is lazy at heart, so while he was carrying on when I first walked in to the barn, I could hear him just standing there being annoyed when I was in the tack room. The moment I came back in to view I was treated with a Mexican Jumping Bean instead of my Mexican General. He was leaping, bucking, and jumping around in a circle right by the gate. I thought about going back to the car to get my phone to video his antics, but I decided against it, afraid he would hurt himself putting on the show. I grabbed his lead and he stopped by the gate long enough for me to get him and then proceeded to snort and crab walk all the way to the barn.

Turns out my fears were justified because as I went to pick his feet, I saw this…

Sigh. Clearly he must have clipped himself on something. I have no idea if it was a rock, his hoof or a tree branch, but whatever it was at least it wasn’t worse. The good news is that the cut wasn’t deep and wasn’t bleeding much so it didn’t need stitches. The bad news is that is wasn’t bleeding much making it much more susceptible to infection, especially given the location.


So naturally I cursed myself for not having a coat, thankful at least the barn has hot water and set about cleaning the cut. Gen was annoyed and not repentant at all for hurting himself pretending to be a yearling. I’m sure it stung as I was scrubbing so he kept trying to grab his foot back, which would make me yell at him, which made him more annoyed.

Eventually the cut was clean and I let it dry after putting some antiseptic on it. After staring at Gen for a while debating on if I should bring him in for the night early, I decided to put some sterile gauze on the cut, cover it with vet wrap and turn him out. I want the cut to close up, and I didn’t want Gen to be inside alone if it was going to stress him out. 

I think he looks smashing with his red foot. He seems to think he looks good too. We will see what it looks like tomorrow. 

I went for a walk around his field and found a few things that could have caused the cut, but nothing that made it clear what the real culprit was. Oh Gen, never a dull moment!

A Gen Update

No joke, I didn’t think Gen would be alive at 24 (nearly 25!). I never considered what it would be like to own an older horse, because…well…I just didn’t think Gen would ever be an older horse. I feel very lucky he has defied the odds and is in mostly good health.
I do know that Gen is a very, very happy pony. He is spoiled rotten, not only by myself and my husband, but the Barn Owners’, the other Boarders, and pretty much anyone else who sets foot in the barn. He learned long ago that if he stands there staring at you, posing with his ear forward, humans cannot help but tell him how handsome he is and sometimes even give him a treat. He is super neat in his stall, only has one supplement and isn’t normally blanketed, making him the easiest horse in the barn to care for. With his least favorite time of the year (summer) coming to an end, he really doesn’t have anything to complain about anymore.
Gen spends his days in his field where he often has the company of a local herd of deer and his favorite barn cat Gretel. At night he comes in to his nice big stall where he can stick his head out the giant window and look around outside. He gets three meals a day and as much hay as he will eat along with plenty of water. He gets groomed and scratched when I come see him and he seems to be the most mellow I have ever known him. I do want to work more with him to get his manners back to where they should be and keep his mind engaged, but overall, Gen is doing amazing at 24.
Because it is me…I can’t just be content to tell you how amazing Gen is doing. I have to tell you about what is wrong with him as well. I feel like I am just being honest and realistic about how my pony is doing, but if you don’t want to hear bad things feel free to ignore the list below. Gen really is very healthy considering, he just isn’t in perfect health like I want him to be.
Gen’s list of current ailments:
1) Left Front Leg– This is first because this is the scariest to me. I know Gen got hurt back in 2007 and I should just get over it, but it still bothers him. He is medically cleared to be walked under tack, but I have not done that to him for fear he will be crazy and hurt himself more. When he runs or stomps or is just not nice to that leg it still swells up. I know that he is getting micro-tears in the bad tendon when he is rough on it, and I will always be afraid that those will somehow turn in to a big tear. Rationally, Gen’s leg is actually doing really well. In years past, the swelling after a bad day might take a few days to go down, it is now usually down within 48 hours.
2) Melanomas – So Gen has had 3 Melanoma tumors in his tail forever. They have gotten bigger over the years, and now there are a few more back there so he has 5 growths coming off the dock of his tail to date. I would hate to see him loose his tail, especially because he hates bugs so much, but thus far the hairs around the tumors are still growing. What is new as of this year is that he now has a visible Melanoma tumor under his throat. I know that is pretty common in older grays but Gen has such a pretty face that it broke my heart when I saw it coming in. Thus far it doesn’t seem to be bothering him so I will live with the cosmetics of it as long as medically he is okay!
3) Hypercementosis – This was a new thing I found out about this year. I think I will do a whole post about what it is at some point for those of you who do not know, but it is typically found in older horses. Gen has a great Dentist who was happy to show me what a bad case of this looks like, and how Gen really doesn’t have it that bad. My big fear is that he may end up losing his teeth. Considering he is the pickiest horse I know, my crazy self has panic moments where I see him wasting away and not eating with no teeth.
4) Random Hole In His Gums – So this was a fun one which will get its own post. It wasn’t an abscess. His gum turned a scary color and then bam…giant hole at the tooth root for two of his teeth. This was something that the vet actually didn’t think would get better, but it has! Still not 100% healed though.
5) Scar tissue around his epiglottis – This is an issue from his race track days when my little Gen literally ran his heart out to win. It doesn’t bother him all the time, but when he rushes to eat or doesn’t chew well his food can go down the wrong pipe. Unlike with choke or something more serious, Gen can cough and it all comes out. I am knocking on wood as I write this, but this problem seems to be the most manageable and is the one he has had for the longest.
6) His Weight – I know that is not exactly a real ailment, but it is a bit of a health concern. I get that it is harder to keep weight on an older horse, especially one with issues in his mouth, but he is just a touch too thin for my taste. I know he doesn’t look too bad in the pictures above and below which were taken yesterday (he was sweating in his fall coat with the summer like temps), but I just like to see him a little heavier this time of year.

“So what are you riding these days?”

So I barely write here anymore. I keep saying I am going to get better about it, sometimes I post a little, but overall I have been TERRIBLE about keeping the blog current. I have a lot to say about Gen. Well, maybe not a lot, but I do have plenty to say about Gen! I have been thinking about my reluctance to post and I realized that while I have been blaming it on the fact I am not riding, that might not be the whole truth. The thing is, I have barely posted in 2 years…and for a part of that time I was riding. The more I thought about it the more I realized that the reason I don’t post much anymore is not because I am not riding at the moment, but rather, it is the fact that I am okay with not riding at the moment.
That was a hard thing to admit.

I always thought of myself as a hard-core equestrian. When many of my friends took time off from the barn after college, I got a horse. I rode through graduate school, I rode after buying a home…I just sort of assumed that I would ride forever. Even when Gen got hurt I didn’t let it stop me, instead half-leasing or catch riding for years and years.

And now…nothing. Not only do I not lease, I don’t take lessons and I haven’t even put a foot in a stirrup in over a year.

I still see Gen regularly. I love that horse so much and he brings me such joy. Even though he is retired he is still a huge part of my life (and my budget) and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. The days I don’t go to the barn are usually because I have to work late or because I am meeting a friend for dinner so I would say I go to the barn at least 6 days a week to see him.

Visiting a retired horse is very, very different than riding regularly though. I am in and out of the barn in under an hour most days. Hard-core equestrians live at the barn, they don’t just visit.

I fought so hard for so many years to stay in the saddle, and yet here I am fine with taking a little time off. It isn’t that I can’t ride. I could afford lessons, and maybe even a cheap half lease, but…I don’t know. I haven’t found a trainer I am crazy about. I don’t want to rehab a horse right now. Nor do I want to train one, only to have someone else get to enjoy all my hard work a few months down the line.

That last line makes me sound bitter. I am not bitter at all. I feel very lucky to have the opportunities I had in the past. I have gotten to ride some great horses and work with some amazing people.

It isn’t that I don’t want to ride. I am not saying I hate it or that I want nothing to do with it. I mean, I do miss it…I just don’t miss it that much. I mean, if an opportunity landed in my lap I am sure I would take it. The chances of an opportunity coming when I am not looking for it are next to zero though, and that is something I am okay with…which makes me feel guilty.

I feel a little like admitting to not ridding is admitting defeat. Maybe that is why I have been so reluctant to post. That somehow I am saying Gen’s injury won. That I am not a real horse person now and never was. That I never cared enough, tired hard enough or wanted it bad enough. Like I was a phony or a fraud. I almost feel like I started this blog to show that nothing can keep a horse person down…and now I am saying that it was all lies and it’s just too hard to ride when your own horse is retired.

And maybe that is what I am saying.

If that is truth, why do I feel so crappy about saying it?

I don’t feel bad about not riding right now, but I do feel bad telling people I’m not riding right now. Like I am letting them down. Does that mean I am not as okay with it as I think? Or does it just mean that I never cared about riding as much as I claimed? Does being okay with not riding now mean that I was a fraud saying I couldn’t live without it before? I am not sure. I am going to try to write more though, because honestly, riding isn’t everything when it comes to horses, at least it isn’t to me. I still have a very happy, mostly healthy 24 year old OTTB who needs all the attention he can get and who deserves more than 2 posts a year.