I was able to be a part of something special over the course of the last weekend in April and I am very thankful for it. Knowing that my new hero (I will let you guess which one), went through a very similar experience (with a very high ranking Rolex horse this past weekend) a year ago, gave me a lot of hope for Chester...not necessarily to be my Rolex mount (although, I can guarantee you that if that works out to be the case, then Sinead ain't got nothin' on me in the waterworks department), but, to make a full recovery.
Yesterday was pretty tough. Someone I respect a lot told me that they didn't think Chester would be able to event again and that I would more then likely have to end up selling him and taking the hit. For the first time since this has been going on - when that person told me that - it hit home more then it ever had previously. While that person wishes that isn't going to be the outcome, they don't necessarily feel as optimistic about it as some of the other people in my little support group. While selling Chester is not something I ever want to have to do, it is something that I think about from time to time. Especially when he is walking normally and then all of a sudden takes a couple really ouchie steps. He had his shoes pulled on Monday. I am glad I wasn't around for it. I more then likely would have started to cry.
He knows something is going on too...we haven't ridden (and No I do not include the couple weeks in March when I thought we were making a recovery) since December 30. It is now May 5. Five months. He is confined to a tiny paddock for 8 hours a day and is in his stall the rest of the time. My heart breaks for him. I think when I was away at Rolex, he thought I had abandoned him...when I made it to the barn on Tuesday, he spotted me instantly, raised his head and walked over to the door of his cell to meet me. He looked at me as if to say 'thank God you came back for me'. I still have a hard time looking at him. I can only imagine what it is going to be like when the barn is doing their show prep for the first time...and then the second and the third and...sigh. I keep telling myself that we are doing all the right things for him...we have pinpointed the area of concern and we are doing everything possible to help him make a full recovery. The rest is up to him. I hate not having control.
I met a lot of people over the weekend...from all walks of life, from riders to spectators to riders who wished they were riding Rolex and everyone else in between. All of them basically said the same thing to me - horses, will always break your heart, you always have to be strong for them and they will love you unconditionally. The horses' needs come first. I think specifically about Manny and Exploring...
Where am I going with all this? While it would absolutely break my heart to watch Chester get on a trailer and leave me
Chester comes first. He always will. (At least that is an easy one eh?)