Ok guys. In January, my vet gave me some heartbreaking news about Lynx. He had a large lesion on his deep digital flexor tendon. No real options available. Turn him out. No riding. No barrel racing. Nothing. Re-check in a year. I was DEVASTATED.
Know that Lynx is my heart horse. My champion. My main man. Telling me that I could possibly never ride him again broke something inside me. Well, today, he was not using that leg. He was a tripod. I went straight to the worse case scenario. My friend went with me to the vet to have him checked out.
First thing first.. hoof testers. Sure enough, he has an abscess in the foot. It’s a good one… but my gut said to have the vet re-check that deep digital flexor tendon. At first he forgot. I mean, he sees 30-100 head a day… so he forgot why I would ask such a question. But he did it… the lesion is GONE. Poof! Not there!!!!! He went and read his notes and looked again… the shock was felt by all! I was asked what I did… well, pulled his shoes and kicked him out in the pasture. Kept him on his once a month dose of summit but nothing else. I prayed a LOT. Loosing my main mount was soooo hard. So I prayed that God make it His will.
God has done some things in my life that I didn’t like, but they always worked out in the end. My first horse died in a freak situation and it forced me to step up on Gabe the Babe. Gabe got injured (broke his hip) when Lynx was 4???? And forced me to step up on Lynx and move him forward. Gabe came back for my son to ride a little. He is 21, can’t be saddled (gets really mad) but is healthy and ok for bareback riding. Well, Whiskey came into my life in December 2 weeks before Lynx was diagnosed. I asked God why He breaks my current horse to force me to ride the next in line. I prayed that this would not be the case for Whiskey and Lynx. I cried, I prayed, I decided to send Whiskey to get his ride on (broke to ride) and just settled in with riding Splash and Declan… not my personal favorite mounts but I needed to ride. Lynx would get depressed when he wasn’t caught to ride. I literally could feel his depression.
So today, when I saw Lynx so bad off… my brain went to the worst case scenario and came home with more than I expected! I GET TO RIDE LYNX AGAIN!!!! LYNX WILL BE GOOD TO GO!!!!! Of course he has to heal from his abscess and then get re-checked…. and legged up….BUT, I got my horse back!!!!!!!!! GOD IS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Please keep praying! We have to do some things before he is ready to go back to barrels but, it’s possible! All things are possible through Christ!!!
Something that is hard to communicate to my new riders is the fact that we all fall off. One way or another, the more time you spend in the saddle, the higher your chance of falling off. How you react, respond, move forward… will determine your future with horses.
When I was a child, I had a welsh/quarter horse cross that was the devil. My grandma insisted that I conquer this mare. She loved to drop her head between her knees and run off. I would bail. Every single time. Flying dismount. Jump off. Bounce off. However you want to describe it, I was not staying on that wicked pony. Princess was such a horrible ride. Grandma kept saying “the safest place you can be is ON THE HORSE!” Sadly, my 5-10 year old self didn’t agree! Then… I decided to stay on. After years of being tortured by this mare, I found my gumption and decided that I was going to ride her and stay on. I would regain the control of this runaway pony from he!! And I did. For a few moments, I was able to pull her thick head around to my knee and stop her antics. She stopped. I stayed on… until my stirrups broke 🤣 Yes, no stirrups resulted in me walking back to the house! But I did use my whole body to control the runaway freight train!!! We will chalk the last one up to equipment failure! The spicy little thing went off to the sale after that.
Princess is just the first horse that I repeatedly fell/jumped off of due to my fear of no control. Grandma had several to ride. All had their own little quirks. I could pick one of four to ride on the weekends. We had another mare that would stop, drop and roll in a tiny puddle of water. That was always fun. She was 16 hands and when she spotted any water… you were going to go swimming. Once I got her to stop doing that with me, she was… frankly, boring to ride. I started riding her daughter, Brandy. Brandy loved to take people under low branches to wipe them off her back!!! Normally, the rider would end up grabbing the branch and then walking home. About the time I decided to give this mare a lesson in manners, I was also taking English riding lessons. I discovered snaffles!!! Alas! Something that the mare would respond to without man handling her!!! Brandy and I were two peas in a pod! I could literally go anywhere on her! Yeah, I slid off her a time or two because I rode her bareback. But I managed to find some way to climb back on her so I didn’t have to walk the 4 miles back to the house!
Moving forward…. y’all, I cannot tell you how many times I have hit the ground due to horses. I have been injured pretty bad on a few occasions. It happens. I learned from each and every fall. This must be why my ground moments got more painful later in life! I learned to stay on!!!! So if one got me off their back, it was bad! I have had buzzards fly up under my 2 year old horse landing me on a fallen tree in a gully. I had been taught that we always get back on. So I did. I rode that colt back to the site of my dismount then rode back. I was in horrible shape!!! But I did it. Knock on wood, other than my tail bone and some ribs, all bones intact!
So when you are wondering why or how you fell off, think about it, learn from it, make notes and carry on! One horse I have never fallen off of is my horse Lynx. I’m not sure how or why. He is 15 and I raised him. He is an incredible athlete and could have easily tossed me around. But he never dropped me. Maybe it’s because we have a special bond? Not sure. I have fallen off others since running Lynx but not him. Learn to move with your horse. Dance with them. Be alert but be soft. Be brave but be smart. Falling off is part of the package. The more horses you ride, the higher your chances of finding the ground. Ride on!
Most of you know about my horse Zbar Lynx to Cash aka Lynx. He has been my champion for over 10 years. I raised him. I’m the only one that has ever run him on barrels. On the flip side, he has been giving lessons to my kiddos.
This horse taught me what trust means. How to truly trust in training and how to let it go to enjoy the ride. Never have I ever felt what I felt when running Lynx. I always knew he was going to turn that first barrel no matter how hard he came running! The feeling of flying through the air and just knowing I would enjoy the ride was everything. He was my partner. He always stayed under me in every single situation. It was the best feeling in the world to run him (horse wise) and I am really going to miss it.
Today we went to the vet. He has been “off” on his front right for some time now. Last week he also injured his right hind. We went in around thanksgiving and didn’t find anything new with front right. But the right hind had me worried. Right off the bat, my vet started blocking his front end. One foot at a time. He said whatever went on with the hind leg is fine. But his front had him pulling out the ultrasound. Come to find out, he has a lesion on his right front deep digital flexor tendon. Not a small one either. At age 15, he is now retired. Not much can be done. It’s a large lesion. He also has fluid on the front left in the same area. I have been praying for an answer. A solution. What to do to help him. This was not the answer I expected. He is retired to the point that he can’t give lessons. He can give pony rides. He might be ok for a nice quiet trail ride. But not right now. I think my heart broke in half with this news.
Being told that your heart horse will no longer get to run, lope, workout (he is that crazy workout guy) or really do anything at all is simply devastating. I don’t know how to tell him that he can’t go on the trailer anymore. That I pulled his shoes so he can enjoy the pasture life. I don’t think he is going to take it well at all. My rockstar is now retired. I can get a second opinion. I can put thousands of dollars into a 2% chance of helping this but the outcome is slim to none. I will let him live his happy life knowing that his past was AMAZING.
Honestly, I don’t know what to do with myself now. Do I really want to barrel race on another horse? Not really, no. I can’t imagine running anyone but Lynx. 10 plus years is a long time. Whiskey will be broke to ride soon. Do I want to run him on barrels? Honestly, I don’t know. I think I might try sorting. This situation is simply soul crushing for me. So I’m sorry if I come off a little coarse for a bit. I don’t mean it. My heart is standing in a stall asking me why we can’t go for a gallop across the field right now. I’m going to cry. I’m going to be sad. I’m going to go through all the stages of grief. God has his plans. I just wish I knew the outcome.