Let’s just forget about Robert Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled”. I think we decided to take the path with all the Road Closed signs and Bridge washed out signs... A few months ago I had a goal of ribboning at the YEH 5 Year Old Championships. Now the goal is to just complete. Though a ribbon would be very nice as well!
3 months ago I moved to Aiken, South Carolina for an amazing opportunity. I had the chance to train many nice young horses and bring both Bruce and Buzz along on the trip. But I can’t go anywhere without having some sort of issue. 24 hours prior to leaving my vet came out to do the health certificate for the boys. Both boys were in perfect health and ready to make the move. I was somewhat packed and the next day we were getting ready to head out. Until I heard that questioning sound that you can just hear and be concerned about in moms voice. Bruce had managed, in 24 hours, to develop a MASSIVE eye ulcer. We were encouraged when the vet checked on him and it didn’t hold any dye, so we were cautiously optimistic that it would clear pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to be improving. So while my boss had the vet out, I went ahead and got his eye checked again. Unfortunately we got some pretty bad news.. His eye took up a lot of dye, she had debried the eye, and his cornea was starting to melt. Banamine twice a day, 4 different types of drugs in his eye about 8 times during the day and another 4 or so times during the night if at all possible. At that point we were at risk of losing the eye and I was just convinced that all our goals were shot. I remember just sitting in his stall and bawling my eyes out.
By the next check up, our vet was cautiously optimistic about it picking up a little less dye and looking slightly better. Still the same amount of eye meds, cut back the banamine, and he could start hacking. So towards the end of August we started hacking.
His eye continued to get better, we cut back drastically on the meds, and he was finally approved to come off the atropine and go back outside. That also meant he could go back into full work. We had been lightly flatting by this point, but we got cleared to do jumping, gallops, and everything else needed to be ready for Fair Hill. It was looking super promising that we would still be heading to Fair Hill and even with the extra time off we were going to go for the ribbons.
I turned Bruce out in the field and I took a quick trip back to Florida to visit my family and friends. About a day into the trip I get a call that Bruce sliced his leg open. I started freaking out because I’m 4 hours away and I have no clue what’s really going on. The Barn Owner is doing her best to keep me updated but I’m still paranoid. We brought him in and wrapped it so it didn’t get infected and I got home on Thursday night. On Friday the vet came out to check his eye again and thankfully by this time the swelling in his leg had gone down enough so that we could actually stitch his leg up. He was back on complete stall rest for 10 days until the stitches came out.
The stitches were the only chance at even having a chance of him being ready for Fair Hill. But after the stitches came off he still had to be off until after the TB Makeover, which was the first weekend of October. 2 weeks to prep for the 5 year old championships is not a lot of time... I got back late Sunday, rode him early Monday morning and he felt super. Flatted again on Tuesday and popped him over some small fences Wednesday. He still felt super so we flatted again on Thursday and Friday and I gave him a bigger jump school on Saturday. After 6 days of work he got Sunday off and we flatted on Monday. Yesterday we took him for a cross country school off property to make sure he was set and would jump bigger things when asked and he didn’t put a foot wrong. (Aside from the water jump, but that’s always been an issue..)
So here I am, blogging on my way to Fair Hill, just feeling lucky to be on my way up here, because two weeks ago we weren’t sure this would even be happening... Fingers crossed for a good experience if nothing else.