Friday, May 12, 2017

Without Runkle

I believe in making wishes. At first I think it was born of superstition, but as I got older I realized I strongly believed in putting my intent out into the world with my heart. Wishing is an acknowledgement of your dreams.

As long as I can remember I always wished for a horse. Every dried out wishbone carefully saved from Thanksgiving, fields that I combed for that elusive four leaf clover, and most of all stars. I wished on every shooting star I ever saw for a horse, from when I was about eight until... well, I never really stopped.

I remember the day I brought Runkle home after buying him. It's not too often you see any stars at all in New Jersey, but as I was leaving the barn with him tucked snug into his new stall I saw a shooting star and I stared at it because I had my wish. Runkle was my dream come true.

Last Wednesday morning was beautiful and sunny. I could live the rest of my life in that morning; in fact sometimes it's hard not to. In that moment I still had Runkle, and I had all our dreams for our future. I had my hopes for the weekend, and I was still riding the high of navigating my baby horse through his first beginner novice a few days before. I was warm, happy, safe. In love and loved. I had everything. Someone threw a rock through my beautiful stained glass day and on the other side of the broken shards was the real world.

Last week Runkle suffered a catastrophic injury to his stifle. I'll never know how he did it but despite all my best efforts (and those of his vets) there was no way he would ever recover comfortably. I made the right decision and let him go.

My whole life changed in the span of a few days. He was my world; everything I did revolved around him. Runkle is gone, irretrievably, and now I have to grapple with what 'moving on' means. It feels terrible. I feel terrible I want to move on to feeling better as quickly as possible but the only way out is through. Every day is sometimes a little better, sometimes a little worse, but I keep reminding myself that the way out is through.

I'm not sure what exactly is next. The future will most certainly involve blogging but for now this chapter of my life needs to be closed so I can move on. I'll see you soon. Remember everything (both good and bad) is only temporary, so hug your ponies close. Cherish them. They make the world and our lives more beautiful.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Horse Hangover

I didn't even go to Rolex this weekend and I still have a massive horse hangover today. I think my feet are swollen. Why are my feet swollen??

Sad feet aside, this weekend was full of horses and it was awesome.

Friday I caught up on the dressage tests I only had the privalege of listening to. Luckily the commentary is pretty good and I would surreptitiously flip to the stream every once in awhile, but I still wanted to watch some of the best (and worst) tests.

Chinese food and Rolex. #rk3de #eventing by @kieshorse

Saturday I slept in. I don't remember the last time I slept in. Why do horses have to do everything at ass o'clock? But I got up and watched the entire live stream and ate Chinese food. I followed up the stream with a trip to the barn to prep Runkle for his ~*first*~ beginner novice the next day. That included teaching him to wear shipping boots.

#letsgetreadytorunkle #bnorbust #ohboy #thoroughbred #ottb #eventing #eventer #exhurdler by @kieshorse

I've never been to St. Augustine before. It used to be home to the Millbrook horse trials, which my trainer and her friend were very nostalgic for. The event was very low key, with great footing. It was in the middle of some kind of breeding farm so there were foals absolutely everywhere. There was plenty of trailer parking and porta potties, you know, all the important things.

Also at packet pickup they gave out little baggies of mints (THE GOOD KIND) with notes that said "Have a good dressage test and clear courses! Good Luck - St. Augustine Pony Club" which I thought was adorable.
You know what I'm talking about.
Runkle was fantastic. There were 0 sideways moments. 0. I couldn't even believe it. NO impromptu sidepasses. He was actually so good I spent way too much time warming up for dressage and he got a little tired and stuck behind the bridle. We still netted a 33.3 for 2nd, because even on his bad days he's very cute.

Either that or it was my stock tie, which came in from Chubby Cov the day before the show and looks so good with my coat I want to wear it all the time.

Stadium went flawlessly. He was again, very very good in the warmup. I had way too much time to warm up because the course change took longer than expected so I just walked for ages. It was crowded and people were cantering very close to him but Runkle was shockingly okay with all of it. My little boy, growing up! *wipes tear*

Then came XC. I've only had him out of the startbox once, so my goals for this were to get him over all the jumps and give him a happy, positive ride. The course was really cute. The gallop through the woods to the water was really fun (and by gallop I mean trot, for us). There was a little down bank and the fences were all very well decorated. It was really a great course for green horses and riders, while at the same time not being insultingly and ridiculously soft.

Unfortunately we did have two stops that were both totally my fault. The first was early on, and I could've mitigated it by giving Runkle a little tap after our first (very sticky) jump. The second was because I totally missed a jump and instead of circling and getting straight to it I tried to just turn and jump it and he did not appreciate the surprise (sorry buddy!!).

But he didn't know or care. He had a lot of fun (maybe... way too much fun...). He positively strutted back to the trailers, little snot.

We still ended up 4th. To top off a really sweet little venue, St. Augustine has baller ribbons.

It was such a solid first BN experience for him. I'm so proud. He acted like a grown up little man, he listened to me and had fun. AND I got to wear my purple coat. What more could you want?!