Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Busy Weekend Lowdown

It's been another crazy group of days! Friday was spent getting everything ready for an open schooling show with the show team, getting Dwight's karate gear ready for his tournament, and having the vet out for an emergency (or what I thought was one) with Pilgrim.

Dwight attended the Mid South Regional Championships in Corbin, Ky on Saturday. He was really excited and did great. Chuck took him (which meant no hubby help at the horse show) and the boys had a great day together. He took 4th in Sparring and 4th in Grappling. Chuck said he would have placed higher but in his age division there were 2 abnormally large kids who were a foot taller than Dwight and had 20 lbs. on him. Dwight was happy with how he did (the most important part!) and had a great time.

Faith and I in the mean time were heading to Stonegate Farms for an open schooling show with the show team. Faith had like 11 classes and was exhausted by the time the day was over. She took Reserve Champion of Crossrail division on Chip and did her first Jumper class with Billy. Faith and Chip also took High Point English Horse and got a cool Messenger bag with a big horse head and horse shoe on it. Lora Grace also swept up bringing in 9 blue ribbons, High Point Western Horse and High Point Youth Rider. Emma got Champion of Ground Poles Division, Caitlyn K. and Billy rocked their classes. Rebecca and Peyton brought home several blues, along with Caitlyn H. and Bullet (who got to do their first speed events). Several team members who were unable to compete (Kenzie dislocated her shoulder in a fall and Victoria's horse Leah is recovering from a suspensory injury and will be out for awhile) stopped by to support the team. It was awesome, yet exhausting day. I really missed having Chuck there, not even for the extra set of hands, but for for his support and company throughout the day. I have to say, all the parents were really helpful and supportive which was a huge help. With no Chuck and me busy coaching I didn't get any pics, so as soon as I get copies from Keith of what he took I'll post some!
Hangin' out waiting for classes
So now on to Pilgrim.....Friday Pilgrim was really gassy and uncomfortable. I figured he had just gorged himself on the round bale we put out the day before. Later he started coughing really bad and actually had blood trickle down his nose. I was so worried about him and immediately became a bit of a wreck. I was worried he might be choking and was trying to look in his mouth and throat and saw something wrong with his tongue. He wouldn't really let me look at it and got really irritated when I tried to keep looking. I couldn't tell if he had something wrapped around his tongue (although it was still a healthy color pink so I knew it wasn't cutting of circulation) or an allergic reaction....all I knew is something looked wrong with it. I had called the vet but they weren't sure when they could get out and said to see if he would eat and drink. After putting him in the round pen so I could keep an eye on him, he ate his bucket like a champ and drank plenty of water. He quit coughing and seemed to be feeling back to himself, but I was still really concerned about his tongue. He still wouldn't let me look at it which was making me more and more paranoid. I called the vet back and begged them to come when they got a chance to ease my mind. They came and while Pilgrim thought about killing them when they tried to get an eyeball on his tongue, we decided to sedate him. Once significantly drugged he was very cooperative. We finally were able to really get a look at it and I was able to get a lot of questions answered all at once. He had no new injury or ailment, thank goodness. However, I was crushed to find out that it was an old injury....a bad one! Someone had used a severely harsh bit, probably twisted wire, and pretty much cut half his tongue off. What I was seeing was where it scarred and healed. The vet said it was amazing he still had use of his tongue and was shocked that he would even let me ride him, let alone put a bit in his mouth. I now know the cause of his anxiety about contact with the bit and why we have had so much problems. I always assumed he had had bad experiences with bits and riding causing his current mental state, but nothing this bad. I have a totally new perspective on my boy now.....he is not naughty, not bad in any way. In fact, quite the opposite. He is amazing and forgiving.....to allow me to ride him, be willing to try contact on the bit even though it scares him and reminds him of his previous awful experiences....just an incredible critter. I have a whole new respect and love for my boy now and no matter what happens he will always have a place with our family. I was surprised that after numerous vet visits, teeth floats, etc...no one ever saw this, but then again, I just did as well and it was hard to see without grabbing his tongue and really pulling it out, and he does not want anyone really looking at it. The vet and I both assume this happened when he was started at 3 since they decided after 30 days (due to an injury that we were never able to find out what it was...hmmm) that he would not be a reiner or cutter so they decided to stud him out. Multiple people have asked what we are going to do now that I know.....well truth is, nothing. I'm going to continue working with him and working with the trainer. I will of course tell my trainer about it so she can understand his resistance, but we both knew he had obviously had harsh bits and negative experiences. I think this will just allow me to be more patient and forgiving as we go forward. I think we can overcome this though, he is obviously willing to try and as much as someone tried to ruin him, break him, and make him useless, neither he nor I will let it happen. If anyone ever wonders if horses can overcome adversity and cruelty, I can officially say that some definitely can! Now if we go on to do well in the Dressage world, his story will be all the more amazing. Maybe someone will write a book about him one day =)

This week we will be busy preparing for the Fall Festival at the Farm this Saturday. Next weekend we are taking Faith up to the Horse Park to watch the Maclay Championships. FUN!


  1. I can't believe what you have found out about Pilgrim - it made my skin crawl to think of how totally cruel it was. Good for you to stick with him and overcome the problem together.
    My horse has also had some kind of awful experinece in the past before he belonged to me - I couldn't go near him with a dressage whip, he totally panicked. But slowly, slowly he seems to accept it more and more (at least sometimes!).

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