Monday, September 10, 2012

Falling Back in Love

It's been three months since I last posted on Vince and our daily struggles. Spark Plug's death, coming so soon after Sneaky, took the wind out of our sails. Going to the barn, missing those faces, knowing we did everything we could to save him only to be defeated by the long term effects of starvation brought all of us to a hard place. The other horses felt the change just as we did. These are highly intelligent, feeling, caring, creatures and they have been in their own form of mourning for the loss of members of their herd.

Summer down here was hard - hot, humid, steamy. The horses stayed in their stalls during the day, heads low as they slowly munched hay to expend as little energy as possible in the stifling Georgia heat. At night they walked through their pastures, dark shadows voyaging from round bale to water trough to round bale in the still night air. With little rainfall and high temperatures for weeks on end, it was hard to keep spirits up and weight on all our harder keepers.

There were some bright spots. Thanks for a generous private donation to BSRA, we now have a tractor with bush hog to help with manure management and pasture maintenance. Dozer, another of the Paulding Super 6 rescues, continues to improve and is now under lease to one of our students, working on their first level dressage test. They make a great pair. Maple's foot, after the procedure at Auburn Vet School, has healed well and she is back on turnout with several of our older bachelor geldings. Maple is quite the flirt and the old men are eating it up. And my grumpy gelding himself has finally found a herd group to fit into.

But for every good moment there have been the bad, the sad, and the frustrating. Katie, the OTTB who had her teeth fixed earlier in the year, fell in the trailer coming home from a show and skinned her hip. Mr. Big went home to his owner for a visit, leaving another space in our hearts. And Paulding Super 6 horse, Daisy, was discovered one morning with an arrow wound in her hip, the apparent victim of poachers looking for the deer herd on our property. To top off the summer, super pony Grits, after a high fever with no results on his blood work went to Auburn where it was discovered he has the flu and a torn stifle ligament.

So, summer is ending and fall is just around the corner. I'm ready for a change. The horses are ready too. Looking forward to cooler days, longer rides, and a little slower pace for everything. Of course, with horses I am sure it's just a matter of time until somebody does something and the whole show will start all over again.