I was up at 7 am, made a Kerig coffee in my room, and headed back to Miller. D and B greeted me with a nicker as I fed them and filled water buckets. I then took a walk to submit my coggins and paperwork in the show office, watched a few horses get early morning workouts in the warmup, and headed back to unpack and set up my space for the week. Now at least I have sunlight, and could see what I was doing as I unpacked, re-orchestrated things inside my tack room, and set up a functional home-base with cross ties, mounting block and chairs and cooler for relaxing. Katie is my best helper ever ! She filled water buckets and cleaned out the horse’s stalls when I removed each to take them to for their shoeing. Every year Terry Moran does my horses shoes to perfect show requirements - and this year was no different. By noon we had shiny new hooves, set to perfection. Yeah - this afternoon we can get a practice ride in!
|Ashley, Katie and Peggy take a|
moment to pose at Miller.
Next up - Diva. Saddle, bridle and draw reins on - and we were back and riding in the arena. Diva felt a bit stiff, and she too was covering ground quickly. I did a few circles, and then back on the rail. Emily was watching, and I wanted to see what Diva looked like, and asked her to give her a spin too. Again, it was great to see her go - and again Emily did a great job riding. But, I could see Diva was a bit stiff, and nervously speedy. That’s okay, we have a few days before showtime. It was a long ride in the trailer, so I’m sure she’s still recuperating from the trip - I know I am! I rode her one more time around before getting off and heading back to the trailer. I gave her a pat, good girl!
|Dr Wright on call vet|
Dr Wright, the on call vet, pulled up and tended to Diva right there. We set up a mini operating room, and she got 5 neatly tied stitches - like a badge of honor - placed down the middle of her tongue. Me, I was the nurse assistant, who held her tongue during the operation. And, we had a whole Wisconsin crew of onlookers. It didn’t take long, and Diva was a very good patient. I was provided with care instructions, antibiotics, and some antiseptic mouth wash to use after her feedings to keep things clean, but only time will tell if I’ll be able to show her this week. All the work, all the time, and a split second freak occurrence and it may be all just a wishful dream this year.
|OUCH! 5 stitches needed.|
I continued to check on her into the evening. I tossed her a bit of hay much later that night and she ate. Slowly. But she ate. She drank as well. But mostly she stood pouting in her stall. I didn’t blame her - and I joined her and pouted a bit too with her as I rubbed her ear, her neck and let a few tears fall. I’m so sorry Diva. I’m so sorry. And she looked at me, and I could tell she liked the pampering - so I gave her more pampering - all that she wanted.
Carlan grabbed me and hauled me off for a quick something to eat. I’m glad she did - as I otherwise wouldn’t have eaten anything. I returned to Miller and I hung out well into the dark of night. Katie Livingood stopped by to check on us, and we sat and talked for a while. And Katie held her head to help me apply the antiseptic wash. It was past midnight when I arrived back at my hotel. I think tonight, more exhausted than from the long ride. This is emotional exhaustion now. As I tossed and turned all night - reliving the split seconds over and over - I still can’t figure out exactly what happened. Maybe she stopped or turned to look at something - I really don’t know - but whatever it was pulled those reins from my fingers and just out of reach for me to grab them back before she took her next disastrous step. Cher - if I could turn back time - if I could find a way.
|Nurse assistant Renee.|