It’s been difficult to keep a healthy mentality through Amber’s surgery and recovery. As positive as I am in a lot of my posts, it’s been very tough not to get down by the whole thing, especially since the vet and I agreed that she wasn’t where we were hoping. I worry a lot about her and how well she’ll recover.
I’ve been super lucky with the people around me, supporting me in hoping for the best possible outcome, but also being realistic with me that it may come down to where she can’t do much anymore. At this point though, I don’t know what else to do to help her. I guess slogging through for a month doing stretches and continuing to walk until her next check up is what we have to do, but…..it’s been difficult to be positive. And I know I don’t have to be on here, and that we all understand that negativity that seeps into your gut like acid and you start second guessing everything.
But I dislike being negative in my posts. I feel this blog is one of my only avenues where I don’t feel I have to focus on negative things because I don’t really want to. As much as I am usually a positive person, it’s also because I can be very cynical and negative. I have a huge tendency to be way too hard on myself and focus on what went wrong instead of what went right and giving myself a break for being human. I don’t want to be that person who always says it’s sunshine and rainbows when it’s not, because it’s never always sunshine and rainbows. Most of the time, it’s not Amber or Whisper that made the ride bad but me. Not necessarily what I could/couldn’t do or did/didn’t do through the ride but my mentality. My own speed bumps that I have to get over. Sometimes, it’s absolutely not me and I can recognize that. So if it’s my fault, I won’t say much about it because my brain is already trying to spiral it down. But I also feel such joy whenever I’m around horses that I also can’t not be happy for just riding. I know if Amber and I can kick this thing and be able to do a bit of eventing, we’re going to have speed bumps. Those certainly won’t be sugarcoated, but I’m still going to try my hardest to recognize and focus on the positives because we’re all human – we make mistakes and we learn and progress through those mistakes. I want to try to acknowledge those and be determined to fix them, but at the same time I want to move on from them and focus on what was good.
These past 7 weeks after surgery have been trying on me mentally, wondering and not knowing and taking it day by day. I am sad and disappointed and most days at a loss, but I’m also grateful to be able to ride her, grateful that nothing that could’ve gone wrong happened to her. It’s a weird place to be in mentally but day by day, hour by hour right? The blogger community has been great in its support for me and Amber, and I love you guys for that. It’s been wonderful to be able to live vicariously through everyone, even if I do feel a pang of envy every now and then because I want to be out there with you guys sharing the experiences. I am truly happy for everyone, and your posts help keep me going and connected, and so many of you have come so far in even just the short time I’ve been following everyone that I love it. I love so much that the eventer community is focused on building people up and being supportive. It’s one of the biggest reasons I was drawn to eventing besides the promise of galloping (okay Amber and I would be cantering VERY FAST lol) cross country.
I don’t know how college me did this with Amber’s initial knee surgery. I knew I was a mess and I did what I could every day, but as far as the emotional struggle of watching Amber recover I just don’t remember that as much. But I have a feeling it’s worse this time not only because it’s a stifle, but also because at that point, she’d only been officially mine for 3 months and I’d only worked with her just short of a year. She’s now been mine for 6 years, and we’ve been through training struggles, tears and frustration, saddle issues and bit issues and sooooo much stubbornness from the both of us learning together and me dragging the poor thing wherever I went and lots of personal growth that she forced me through. I certainly love this lazy pocket rocket a lot more now than I did then. She is my heart and soul.
So I try to be positive on the blog. And I suppose it’s not a “sunshine and rainbows” positive, but really much more of a tenaciously positive drive. Amber did it once, and completely blew away the vets. So we can do it again. And it was so helpful to get encouragement not only from all of you bloggers (also big thanks to you Olivia for your comment about Eugene and his stifle!) but also from a good friend of mine who works in my tack shop. She’s so knowledgeable about horses, and was so caring and understanding even though I chatted with her past the time the store was supposed to be closing. Her horse somehow got a leg over the divider in a trailer and damaged his stifle very badly so she had such a long haul rehabbing him, but they were able to get back to their jumper competitions. It was really just the long back and forth chat I really needed to get myself to buck up and get my tenacity back. Care that Amber is hurting – yes. Even when she wrinkles her nose at me and gives me a spectacular glare and teeth grind. Because what hurts me the most is she never tells me no. She just lets me know it hurts, but this mare pretty much does anything I ask her. It’d be easier if she lashed out. But she doesn’t. So I stuff her face with treats. She gets stretched 4 times a day, and that will soon increase as each stretch will earn a treat instead of each part of the stretch. She REALLY looks forward to that now thank goodness. I can feel the leg getting better too, so that helps my hopeful tenacity to keep going, even if Amber gimps and gimps and I throw my hands up in frustration. Sometimes tho, I honestly think she exaggerates or does it on purpose to get my sympathy. It’s her face that gives her away. I read it pretty well now. HORSE YOU CANNOT LIE TO ME. Okay so she totally still outsmarts me – like she started offering a bit of trot and I thought “wow! she’s feeling better!” and goodness no she just wanted to get back to the freaking barn. womp womp lol
I know once I get over this hump it’ll be fine and I’ll probably look back and think “what was I worried about?” but it is certainly not any easier. It’s just going to be a long process. There are a few things I have in mind that I’ll try for the next week and see how it goes. I know I’ve said this a lot recently, but I just want to reiterate it and say thanks. Thanks everyone for listening. Thank you everyone for understanding. Thank you for supporting me from afar. I really love our blogger community.