June turned to July. July turned into August.
At the time I was burying myself in work. My fulltime job but also my woodworking. On my days off I could be found swearing at the lumber I was cutting or screwing together (it’s my outlet to feel all the feelings).
Tiger was sound again for sure, Nahe was still fighting the bug bites but the Prednisone was doing a great job. He was even starting to grow back some hair. Things were starting to look up. My girlfriends and I started to go for a pizza and margaritas after our lessons and I was making progress stepping out of my summertime funk.
*For privacy I’m omitting overt details*
We were making plans to go camping at Otter Creek and only a day away when I received a text I hope I never have to receive again. A cherished friend of mine was in the hospital in bad shape after being found at the farm. As news trickled in we learned a new horse had spooked at something while receiving a bath; nobody was around to witness everything, but it resulted in a fractured skull.
We were devastated and fearful to say the least. Our friend is a very seasoned and highly skilled horse-person and wasn’t even riding.
Only less than a week later another friend had another accident…same farm…different horse…also non-riding. This accident was more severe than the first. What’s happening? The farm is a quiet peaceful farm with great horses and better people. It seemed unreal that two unrelated incidents could have happened and within only a week.
Both women are on the positive road to recovery now but the accidents really messed with me. Although I wasn’t present…or really involved….I found myself in a state of worry, anxiety, and dread. I realized I was taking on the emotional burdens of my friends as it were my own (I never considered myself an empath before).
Knowing my friends were in recovery I began to release the negative emotions and begin to refocus myself into better self-care. I’ve been on a much better trajectory since then but August was a tough one. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in a vicious cycle, isn’t it?
August wasn’t completely terrible. Before the accidents I finally got the courage to trailer the horses to a lesson and my friend rode Nahe! It was so fun to share my horse and see him ridden by a talented rider in the lesson where I got to see him begin to collect and carry himself better. Since I am usually always riding I don’t often get to see him from that perspective. We had a blast in that lesson.
After our first friend’s accident we didn’t go camping as planned but we did camp at the farm. This way we all had the chance to spend time together, do horse-y things, and were close-by if needed. We rode as a group in the arena (I had both boys with me). I shared Nahe with another friend who enjoyed him in the arena and on the trail the next day. The following morning we rode at a new location. A church owns this land and shares it with the public. There are playgounds, disc golf, and trails. The trails and views were lovely. We made the best out of a terrible circumstance.
I also had to say “goodbye” to a good friend of mine as she departed for a new home in the Carolinas. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her through camping and horseback riding….and especially talking about our passion of equine nutrition together!
As you can imagine real estate with horses is a whole new level of tricky; real estate alone can be crazy…then add several hundred miles in between! My friend has seven horses and a donkey…and needed to clear the property before the closing of her old estate but before the closing of the new home.
We have plenty of land…two horses on 13 acres (at least 5 are fenced in). To help, I offered her temporary layup of the equine posse. In two trailer loads our property had 10 horses on it! I’d say I was in heaven but only because I knew it was temporary…I can’t keep up with that much work regularly.
My friend dropped off several roundbales and even gave one to Nahe/Tiger. Everybody settled in well and were content. We had two smaller horses and the donkey in the smaller paddock parallel to Nahe and Tiger’s. The four big boys had the large field on top of the hill.
All of the horses were extremely well behaved and friendly guests. Nahe and Tiger stayed in their shaded fortress of a shed. The donkey refused to stay contained, though so I worked from home with her on a lunge line next to me for a day until she left early with her mom.
About a week after they arrived I met the shippers who were kind and gentle. We got the horses onto the semi-trailer with hay and water and they made their way to their new southern home.
August was a really tough time for me. Writing this in November, however, I am glad to say my friends are on the mend and I am most certainly back to my regular self…mostly.