OK, I promise I'll get back to Miles and riding and blah blah soon (I am still getting out to work with him regularly, no matter how much it's killing me to drive between two barns). Right now, though, I'm so excited about my new old mare I could burst!
Yesterday she got her feet trimmed for the first time in 3 months. I am a scatterbrain and didn't get after pics, but I'll try. The farrier didn't touch her back feet because he said she didn't have much to work with. I thought that was kind of strange, but I'm not worried because my farrier will see her this month as well, and her real discomfort is obviously in her front feet. Also? He trimmed her free of charge, not only for the last 9 months but yesterday as well. He said he was so happy to see her with a light in her eyes again and someone attending to her that I shouldn't worry about it. You guys, I could not make this up; he said 8 or 9 months ago she looked like a horse that was giving up and wanted to die, which is why he started trimming her for free. On top of being confined to a stall with no movement she was in enormous pain. Thank god for people like him that work with horses. He's getting a Christmas card, at the very least. Thank you, Kurt, for helping my girl keep fighting.
Today Chamie had her first vaccines in 5 years. The vet took a fecal sample so we can worm her a little more strategically. She had a coggins pulled, and she has an appointment tomorrow to get her teeth floated (they are BAD, y'all. She needs sedation, power tools, the whole bit).
The most exciting things are that 1) I'll be signing papers tomorrow that make her officially mine. Apparently until YESTERDAY her worthless owner (who has a Ph.D., for chrissake) was still dragging his heels about agreeing to sign her over. I would have taken that MoFo to court, believe. Luckily, it's not coming to that.
The other exciting thing is that, literally, every day I go out to work with my girl I see an improvement in her. The very first day, last Thursday, she was a pill. She couldn't have cared less I was there and just wanted out of her stall/barn. Since then, she has made such progress. Her eyes are relaxed, deep brown and soft. She has been sighing and licking her lips constantly in the last few days. I don't have to cross tie her to groom her-she stands willingly on one tie. She picks up and holds each foot for me instead of fighting me. She is more in tune to me and looks to me to see what we're doing each day, rather than looking beyond me to see what's out there. She licks my hand, my coat. She is finally happy.
Every time I see the barn manager she tells me how different she looks-how alert and interested, yet content. She doesn't pin her ears any longer. She holds her head up. I love these updates, as much as they make me sad to know how miserable my girl has been. The Chamie I knew years ago never pinned her ears at people, even in her most mare-ish moments.
I lunged her today in the indoor arena because it has been raining literally ALL day, and it still is. After a fresh trim she is striding right out, and the very, VERY brief trot I asked her to give me she did so willingly and it looked so much better than the shuffle she had a week ago. In fact, I lunged her outside this weekend, and she was so happy she started cantering circles around me! It freaked the shit out of me and I begged her to slow down but she completed several laps before breaking to a trot and finally a walk. I was SOOO worried I had made her sore, but she was fine the next day. She is on a low dose bute regiment, along with glucosamine and MSM, and it seems to really help.
Sorry to ramble on...I know it's not exciting reading. For me, though? No matter how crappy the timing is financially, it's my dream come true to have her back with me. I've always regretted letting her go, even when I thought she was in the best of homes. This whole experience has convinced me that all of my animals will be with me forever, because no matter how careful you are you cannot make sure your babies are happy and healthy unless YOU are the one in charge of such things.
This mare took care of me for years and years, and carried me over countless fences and through miles of trails. I can never make up for the last few years of her life, but I'm damn sure going to try.