Since I left 50+Horses in April, I've traveled many roads.
I moved my blog to http://www.lifeplushorses.blogspot.com/ because I wanted to open it up to more then 50+ people. In that blog you will read about Champ and my experiences at ground work and how I earned his respect.
But I feel I missed the mark on my decision to move my blog and surely have missed my 50+ readers. So I've returned and will not stray again.
Things between Champ and I had been rocky since winter. I found ground work was the key to earning his respect and earn it I did. As a result things were going well for us. We had bonded to the point that he tried whenever I asked, even if I asked wrong. He also started to anticipate what I asked, to the degree that I only had to think and he knew what I wanted. After a year of ups and downs, we were on our way to being a team.
I'd replaced Cisco, the horse I lost in January to Colic with an older, sweet and mild Appaloosa named Poco, whom I purchased last month. My intentions were to keep him here at home so I could ride when I wanted and have a horse for my friends to join me when I rode Champ.
So it was heartbreaking when two weeks after my purchase of Poco that Champ got sick with an impaction and bladder infection. Which came first? They both seemed to appear at the same time.
Thanks to barn pals and my family, we walked Champ for almost two days straight as well as pumping IV's into him numerous times. The impaction started to move but the bladder infection didn't respond to any medications, and we tried many.
No matter what we did, things didn't get better. Seven days later, with Champ in misery and the Vet's prognosis of a tumor in the bladder, we made the heart wrenching decision on June 29th to put Champ down. I still can see them leading him from his stall and hear myself sobbing so hard I thought I'd throw up.
As grateful as we are for Poco, today my family is still in mourning. Champ was a huge part of our lives. He is missed.
Poco now resides in Champ's stall. An older, mellow horse, I will learn what I can from him and down the road I hope to find another horse, perhaps one of Champ's siblings. That would be a horse with bling, younger, that's versitile enough so that I can try different disciplines with him. And crazy as it sounds, maybe a horse that challenges me a little bit.
As my husband said, "You've become the rider you've always wanted to be." I owe that to Champ but know that to remain that rider I will need to push my envelope to retain the ability.