Those who have met my 4 year old mare know that she is well-mannered, fiercely loyal, whip-smart, and incredibly athletic. Her and I share a deep physical and emotional connection that all horse owners desire, despite being a part of each other’s lives for less than a year. In other words, she is without a doubt my heart horse.
In the last 6 weeks, she has gone through 2 mild episodes of Colic. Thus, we have taken a pause in her training to allow her to fully settle into her new home and properly treat her for Ulcers. There have been lots of changes for the better recently — a different barn, a different turnout schedule, a different trainer/vet/farrier team, a different feeding plan…
A few days ago, the vet came by to do an exam for both of our horses. Upon taking x-rays of my 4 year old’s back, she discovered Kissing Spine. This occurs when vertebrae in the spine are too close together, rather than being spaced apart as in a healthy spine. My mare has 2 overlapping vertebrae in the region of her back directly where the saddle sits.
She will not be saddled ever again.
We were given the option to do surgery. The surgery itself is not painful, but the post-op rehab is a very long process. There is no guarantee that it will “fix” her either. She has already been through so much in the last 10 months, both physically and mentally.
However, this is not the end of our journey together. It is only the beginning…
Horses have always been therapeutic for me; not just riding, but simply being in their presence. My business was built on the idea that the relationship between horse and human extends far beyond the saddle. The best way to reflect that? Providing a forever home to a non-ridden equine.
Dear Heart Horse: here’s to a lifetime of hand walks, endless grass grazing, holiday photo shoots, playtime with your older sister, and eventually, being a partner in my Equine-Facilitated Learning sessions.