I've always been honest here, so I might as well say it. I can't do this anymore. I can't keep up with this situation, mentally, emotionally, or financially.
We still have no idea what caused the whole thing. I can point to some
potentially aggravating factors, but no first cause, no reason for the situation, despite myself, my vet, my trainer, my farrier, and other experienced hose people pouring over it from all different angles.
Watching Cuna go through this process has been gut wrenching on a level I'm not sure I knew existed. The days before I hauled him to the vet, I tried not to think about whether or not he would even come home with me. I didn't really believe that he would.
His recovery has been slow. The vet said to expect it. He had a long ways to come back. I watched Cuna lose his topline, watched him turn back into a normal horse, watched him start to walk again. The process is the same every time I try it. He's better until he's not. He moves well until he's tired. Then he gimps. Then he hurts.
I lunged him for a few minutes last week. He looked good, mostly. That
nagging doubt keeps flitting in the back of my mind though. I saw how
bad he was before. I can't emotionally put both of us through this whole
thing again right now. I don't feel sure that he's better and I don't
feel right putting him back to work without knowing that.
I can't keep putting my heart and soul into this situation and wonder if I'm hurting Cuna. My horse. The horse who's done absolutely everything I could ever dream of and more.
Next week, we're trying something new. He's going to go live in a pasture with some nice, mostly retired buddies. I'm going to take a step back and just let him relax. No lunging. No jogging. No riding. No pressure. Just being. Resting. Healing.
I'm not giving up. I'll still see him almost every day. He's still my Cuna Matata and I love him. I'll still work at the barn to stay engaged and I'm sure I'll be bumming rides off all my friends once I feel like getting back in the saddle again.
Maybe a break is the best thing for us. I can get my head on straight and he can come back to full strength, whatever that is going to mean for us going forward.