I had an interesting conversation yesterday with John....
He basically sat me down and told me I needed to give my head a shake. That's John for you. Straight, to the point, no bullshit, going to tell it to you how it is. And I love him for it. Realistically - my goals with Chester are not going to be accomplished. This sucks. In more ways then you could imagine. Mostly because I knew he was the horse that could be able to fulfill all my dreams/goals as a rider.
Then I was lectured about the importance of patience - as if that is anything new - and we took a look at my horse situation and how we can move forward in order for me try and get out of my funk. There are options. We are working on them.
In the meantime, I am riding Ellie. Ellie is a filly that our BO owns. She is super sweet - but is the complete polar opposite of Chester. She take a LOT to get going and even more to KEEP her going. Big Spurs and whip are a necessity. We have made significant progress in her canter though - which is awesome. John rode her yesterday and said that I need to basically get her out in the open as much as possible and make her canter as much as possible. So, we will try that tonight and hopefully I don't fall off!! It is always great to watch him or The Boss ride the horses I am riding...just by watching and listening to them talk to me about what they are doing is hugely helpful! We're going to John's place on July 20th for some xc schooling. Can't wait for that!
Chester's first and only other mother - Lesley - has been kept in the loop the entire time Chester has been hurt. I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that I am going to have to move on from him in order to move on with myself. As much as it rips my heart out to do that. We had a conversation about it and she is more then able and willing to 'adopt him' back. Her parents - who are lovely individuals - own a farm where she teaches lessons out of. So, he will be able to go back there and retire. Sigh - retired at 10. Breaks my heart into a million pieces. When I knew we could have made a run for the Pan Ams in 2015...or at least be at that same level.
I am holding onto a little bit of hope that he will be able to get ridden lightly on the flat - he would make someone a really nice dressage horse - I just couldn't bear the thought of making him run and jump - which is what he was meant to do - and then heaven forbid - him getting hurt again or possibly something even worse.
One thing I know for sure: I will never find another Chester. And whomever it is that I end up with next, will have some very big shoes to fill.
That is what makes this so hard.