Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Everything is (Not) Awesome

We have officially reached the NQR step of "wait and see what happens'.
but this pic is awesome
It is not my favorite step.

I do not like it Sam I Am.

There is just so much in play--scary x-rays and shitty joints and muscle memory and oh yes my horse is a super reactive princess. Oh and my own post-rehab status means sometimes I get excited and DO ALL THE THINGS, which ends up being a bad decision from a human pain management perspective.

But hey--managing my own pain levels helps me be more in tune with his. So like. I get that even when you take away the source of the pain with injections and shoeing changes, there's still the muscle memory of the pain. And the pain from compensating for the pain. And the fear that the pain will come back.

And those things all super suck. But someone needs to alternately hold your hand and kick your ass until you get past it and find what works.
he needs a ninja goddess
The irony here is probably that my technically-non-verbal horse is probably more communicative with me than my stoic self was with my own therapist, but let's not overthink that.

Instead, let's think about the delicate balance this is. I have to give Courage the space to react and express himself and let him figure out what hurts and what doesn't.

BUT

That does not mean abdicating my role as trainer in this relationship.

Just because he can react doesn't mean he gets to tune me out.

So that's complicated.

And then there's things like how he looks freaking phenomenal on the lunge line to the left, but kinda fair-to-middlin' to the right. He's definitely starting to trust it more and look better as we move away from the appointment, but it's not great. I rode Saturday and he turned right like a champion TWICE. That's 200% more times than he's done that highly skilled maneuver since like... March?

But as long as we're overthinking things, our Monday ride was the reverse--tension, constant spookiness, ZERO coping skills or ability to turn right. Does that mean he feels better (hence the spooking) or he's trying to change to subject because he hurts (hence the spooking)? Or even. Does it mean he's starting to feel sore in new places because he's using his body differently and the spooking was just the big storm blowing in?

I have no fucking clue.
that makes both of us
Deep breath.

There are several pieces of good news.

The first is that I feel like shit, so he's not working super hard. We do a couple exercises and call it a day. That works out to letting him get comfortable in his own skin and figure out where he's at.

The second is that he's seeing the acupuncture vet this afternoon. She's great and should be able to give me more feedback about what direction we're headed.

The third is that there is no timeline. By all accounts, injections take a while to hit maximum effectiveness. It's not as if there's a magic pill that will reverse the damage that's done and management will take time to sort out no matter what. If this round doesn't do enough, there are plenty more options to explore.

And we have time.
impressionist art by iphone

38 comments:

  1. I hate the trying to tease out what's behaviour and what's soreness. I hope you get some answers soon.

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    1. Haha right? It's like playing darts while blindfolded. Am I even pointed in the right direction? Maybe.

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  2. Ugh so frustrating. Hang in there!

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  3. Getting over the memory of pain is a bitch. Every time Pig gets injections, I spend a month showing him he can do the thing pain free again. It's all about building confidence.

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    1. Good to know. It's definitely a world of difference from when I did Cuna's hocks and he's immediately like "oh yeah that's the stuff here we go!"

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  4. ugh i'm so frustrated for you. just like you've experience with your own physical recovery, that memory of pain is so real. i think about my ankle every time i step down from literally every single curb. or step. or anything. it makes me pause, hesitate, break stride, whatever, bc i have a deep, visceral, physical memory of what that pain felt like.

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    1. Oh yeah. 10/10 I relate to what's going on for him. Plus it's been going on for a while and it takes time to think things might be different now.

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  5. I have definitely been down the path of what is behavior and what is soreness with not 1 but now 2 horses, and I am here if you ever need to bounce anything off of, or just to lend an ear.

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    1. Thanks! It's a strange and twisting path for sure.

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    1. Sorry, I haven't had enough coffee to be super coherent yet. Hopefully between the injections and acupuncture, C is feeling better soon.

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    2. Me either and it's quitting time.

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  7. i hoping for good news or at least better news soon for both of you to have a pain free ride. You are doing the right thing taking your time. I hope you start feeling better soon. I rode last night with a vicious sinus headache and just could NOT get anything out of Remus so i know it must be hard when you both hurt!! Keep on doing what you are doing!!

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    1. Yup. Pain makes a big difference, and if you don't think so, you definitely haven't lived through enough. ;-)

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  8. Dealing with mystery lamness right now. I hate not knowing what to do, or what the right answer is. It sounds like you guys have a good game plan though which is awesome. Just read this, this morning and it is kinda applicable -- https://annablakeblog.com/2017/03/03/part-two-norman-is-that-you-the-reactive-horse/

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  9. NQR is the worst. Everyone's been there and no one likes it.

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    1. This is not the cool kids club, that's for sure.

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  10. The waiting is the worst. Glad you have a perspective of patience for yourself and him. Thinking happy, healthy, sound thoughts!

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    1. I'm just really glad we weren't aiming at spring shows, cuz that would really suck.

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    2. You should steal one of those fancy horses you did your recent catch rides on and show anyways ;) go have some damn fun woman!

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  11. Good luck. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, but he's lucky to have such a patient and in-tune owner.

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  12. Ugh, that's A LOT to deal with. If you need to rant / rave / yell with frustration, I'm here and get it. Best of luck!

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  13. So sorry you're dealing with this right now, sending lots of hugs.

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  14. I didn't realize you were dealing with your own pain issues - can I ask what happened? Hugs to you and Courage.

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  15. Replies
    1. There was a sale on cardboardeux, so I stocked up. #winning

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  16. You're a wonderful horse owner. And dang--that last photo is so pretty!

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  17. Sometimes it just takes time and it sorts itself out without us pinpointing the exact cause so we know what to do to 'fix it' next time. Which is frustrating too. Hooefu)y you guys find answers and relief soon. Constant pain is a PITA.

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