So much has happened since then. But one thing I was determined to do was to keep moving forward - as difficult as it may be to do without my partner in crime, friend and comedian. Betsy has been incredibly kind and understanding. She just said, "I'm here to help you do whatever you are ready to do." I said I have to keep riding, keep focused on my riding. It gives me something constructive to think about because I just can't stop thinking about Jaguar Hope.
Lucky for me I've got my Peas and Carrots guy. Toby, otherwise known as Nannies Rio in his racing days, is such a sweet personality. He is fondly referred to as "the nose picker" and trust me it IS a term of endearment. He tries for me, is willing, and has a lot of personality. Today began with getting him out of his stall. You see, Toby likes to snooze in his stall with his big butt facing the stall door. So when you open up the door you are greeted with a pile of poop and big blanketed behind. It immediately put a smile on my face. Ahh! My nose picker.
I got him groomed and ready for the lesson. We went through our stretching exercises which are especially important for an older horse. Betsy and I chatted about him and what we can do to strengthen his back and hind end along with getting him good supplements to help his joints.
The lesson wasn't anything structured. I had asked Betsy to be the photographer for the day just to prove that I was "back in the saddle again". Toby started out with his big long neck way up in the air. It cracked me up because his neck and body are so much longer than Jag's but they were both the same height at the withers (16.2 hands). Toby wears a blanket 4" longer than Jag. He's just a big lanky guy with a neck that looks like a runway when you ride him:
And once he was warmed up he started to give me the flex I was looking for:
He put a smile on my face and Toby seemed so proud to be working. We took it easy on him and we will slowly get him back into shape. He may not have the flash and presence that Jaguar Hope had but he's a willing soul with good movement and a big heart.
Today was a tough day emotionally but I felt good that I tackled my emotions head on and kept moving forward.