Loss and Memorials


     It's very hard to throw myself a pity party right now, but I thought that all of the loyal followers of my horse, the amazing Nyls, deserved a bit of an explanation of the recent events. However, I want to start with a brief memorial and a bit of personal contemplation.

     For those not aware, and I'm sure you have all heard, Michael Pollard lost three really amazing event horses this past Memorial weekend in a pretty grisly trailer accident that was caused by a neglectful and irresponsible driver who cut off his trailer. One horse died on the scene, and two more were euthanized in following days due to irreversible damage caused by the accident. After an event like this, horse people all over cannot do anything except realize that every experience they have with their beloved animals is truly a gift. This week has turned what I would have usually considered a huge setback in my competitive goals with Nyls into a humbling experience, and I have learned to appreciate everything more. 


     Yes, Jersey Fresh was an awful time. Nobody likes to get caught out at the jogs, it's one of the most disappointing things that can happen to you. None of us willingly put our horses in a position to try and cheat the medical inspections, and I would never dream of riding Nyls under circumstances that would knowingly hurt or damage him. This horse is my superstar, my reason to get up in the morning, and he has given me so many unbelievable experiences and opportunities in my life. Riding him is truly a thrill, but I have to remember that he has given me all these things with such ease, at some point I have to face disappointment. But I also have to look at the bright side of everything, after all, what should have been a career ending injury over something incredibly dumb, has healed into a perfectly functioning, amazing looking knee.

    I had originally planned to re-route to the Bromont CCI**. With the help of my vet, after ultrasounding his leg and x-raying his foot, we decided that he could reasonably have a week off work with no shoe, lots of soaking, lots of wrapping and then go on two weeks later to Canada. This seemed to work. We did just that, and I had him back in full work for a week. His foot was sound, but his tendon sheath was still distended. This meant he simply couldn't wear some boots that pressed on the swelling. On Monday of this week though, he seemed a little uncomfortable after a jump school. Tuesday was the closing date, and I made the decision to scratch. I did not want to drive all the way to Canada and face the same thing that I did in New Jersey. I couldn't risk that there was something more serious going on with my horse, and I needed to know that whatever discomfort he was experiencing was not permanent. 

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    I had my vet, Dr. Brady, come out today and do another ultrasound. We found nothing, but the tendon sheath was still inflamed as all get out. His foot is not sore, he has no evidence of bruising, however the swelling was worrisome, and so we injected it with a little Cortisol to get the inflammation out.  This should result in another week of time off, and then back to work. 


    The good news is, this was something really minor, and although it caused a lot of hub-bub and hassle, its not going to affect Nyls in the long term. I am hoping to spend another season at Advanced culminating in the Fair Hill CCI**, so that we can hop right on up to a CIC*** in the spring, and hopefully rebound upon Jersey Fresh with a vengeance. 

    The other good news is that Ella has been getting my full attention and she LOOOOVVVEEES it! Goodness that mare is a ham! She has been schooling really well lately, and we are making great steps in our education. I recently discovered that she jumps unbelievably well in a hackamore, like a completely different horse! She will be contesting a small hunter show on Sunday, competing in the 2'6 to 3' Green Hunters. This will be good experience for her to see scary jumps. She thinks shows are awfully boring, she usually naps the whole time in the sun!

K & N

© Kate Samuels Eventing 2011