So first, Day 17: Your equestrian idol
I’m not usually a “oh this person is my idol or inspiration” type of person – most professionals I’ve found in every field I see something I like and equally dislike about them. I think sometimes people get into trouble by idolizing professionals too much to where they can’t look at something objectively and decide if that person is in the right or not ( be it horse care, a questionable decision in a bad situation, and a recent example being the whole shebang with Boyd and Crackerjack and Denny Emerson. Oh, shit, did I just mention that? lol).
But one of the professional riders who has not let me down so far to where I can say that I respect and admire the hell out of them is Michael Jung.
I got to see him in Kentucky this past April. And the atmosphere I got from him was an all around kind person. It’s a little weird to say, but sometimes you can just feel it from a person, you know? And while walking around the tents I kept looking over at the giant line to get his signature, and you know what? For every person he had a smile. He was soft spoken, took pictures with them, and it never looked like he was getting annoyed how I felt like a few others were. He always seemed ready and willing, a smile and kind words always present for those in line.
That to me is important, in all honesty, the way he treats people. And while I bet a lot of these are fans, and pros want to be good to their fans, he just felt like he genuinely enjoyed being there with those eager faces. The pros that I’ve met have generally been the opposite (which for sure could be different in eventing – I haven’t met many eventing pros).
But the most important to me is how he rides, how he handles challenges and disappointments, and a big one came when Sam had his first ever xc penalty. Michael’s response? He didn’t point the horse at the jump correctly, and Sam had nothing to prove. So he opted to retire. Then another big show and he pulled Sam because he felt off. Some people were using that to say the course was too hard so that’s why Michael pulled Sam. But for me, looking at the record Sam has and the way he goes xc, that horse would’ve eaten the course for breakfast. So whether or not that’s true that he pulled him for the course, I like that he pulled the horse, and is making sure he’s okay.
And don’t get me wrong – there are other pros I like, too – ones that make great decisions and do things very much like Michael. It’s not that I dislike a lot about them, it’s just that the one that automatically comes to mind first is Michael Jung lol.
The vet visit
It’s been cloudy recently more than sunny – which is slightly depressing because it means that here pretty soon the winter weather will hit. Which is really not THAT cold but I am a cold weather weenie. When I was in Texas I would no joke have on a ski mask, a beanie, my polyfill suede jacket with warm long sleeved shirt and vest on underneath, with under armour leggings under ski pants and then my normal leather western boots. I love being warm lol.
Well, the vet consult turned out to be a vet visit because the vet was going to be on that side of town anyway. So, why not? Come view the pony, sir. I got off of work early and met him at home for a windy assessment (WHY does it always have to be windy when something important is going on?).
And it was a good thing he did come to view the pony. Though she was definitely moving better Thursday than Sunday night or Monday, she was still off, and definitely not wanting to bring that leg forward. I agreed to have a couple radiographs done since we definitely wanted to make sure we weren’t missing something. Also, it has been about time she gets a new set of pictures. I have only had her checked a few times, and I really need an updated baseline of her joints. So he took a radiograph of both stifles.
Unfortunately, it looks like she has a bit of reconstruction and degeneration in her right stifle. He did say it’s been developing for a while, so she might have actually injured her stifle when she twisted her hip back in February, or she could have fallen on that stifle when she injured her knee, and when she twisted her hip in February further aggravated it. But, either way, it seems that kick really brought it to light.
In a way, I think that’s good. I’m glad I’m FINALLY able to get to the bottom of what this problem really is. And we’re keeping her healthy and sound, and it’s soon enough that we’re not past the point of no return. I asked him about Pentosan, and he thinks that’s a great additive to what we’re doing so I’ll be doing that. She got an injection to stop the inflammation to help slow the progression of the degeneration as quickly as possible. But, the big question:
What does this mean about Amber and I doing eventing?
Thankfully, he thinks it’ll be fine. He actually thinks the jumping will be less stressful on it than reining and certain aspects of ranch riding, and I agree. No big jumps, though. Which is totally fine with me because I don’t want to do anything big lol. But it’s a big sigh of relief that we can still do eventing. It’s just going to be a bit of a slower progression, which is okay. The biggest plus I think about all this though, is that the vet’s assistant is the lady that I want to take lessons from. So she’s seen the radiographs, she knows about Amber’s sore SI, she knows about Amber’s knee, and all the other things that might crop up, so I feel very comfortable that when we get to jumping and doing this that if Amber feels weird, she’ll believe me and understand our history.
It’s also great because she has this Connemara lesson pony that she said is very patient and forgiving, which I can lesson on and I think that’s a perfect idea. I definitely want to work on myself, get myself back in there and redevelop my jumping so that when Amber and I start she can have a better, more informed human on her back. So, while it’s definitely not the verdict I really wanted to hear, I think knowing is half the battle, and a lot of good has come out of this well.
Another good thing is that I’m not in a hurry with this. I was already planning on taking it a little easy after the show – lots of hacks and easy days to get her out since Amber doesn’t like days off. Not that she gets crazy. She wants to be out and doing something with her human lol. Her brain benefits but she’s always staring like “okay, can we go work now?” lol. But now we’ll really take it a bit slower, make sure she’s good and probably get some lessons mid to late December. We’ll see how it progresses.