Friday, April 1, 2016


IMG 0818I wish this was a April Fool's joke. I really do. I've been sick to my stomach with worry for the past two days.

Quest was still not 100% after a couple days post-ride so I had the vet out to take a look and the news wasn’t good. Sore mid-body suspensory on her right front. Vet doesn't suspect a tear but he's put her on bute, anti-inflammatory meds, and a long acting tranq to keep her quiet when stalled. He'll be back out in a week to check. If there is no marked improvement, next is ultrasound to see what needs to be done.

I was at work when I found out. I barely managed to keep myself together....I felt like crying. I was hard on myself over the lameness at the ride and now this. I feel like I failed her.

We will know a lot more in a week's time but it's been so hard not to overthink this. My mind just dwells on the possibility our endurance career ended before it barely even started. I started deleting things off my ride calendar last night and each time I took an event off, I felt the guilty heartbreak all over again.

This was not exactly the way I would have liked to start our first season but things happen. Only thing we can do now is make the best of the situation. With time and rest, the prognosis is positive and full recovery is possible. Mareface will have at least a full month off to recover and depending on how she is then, I’ll slowly leg her back up. I have no idea how long it will take.

I’ve been trying to process my thoughts in an orderly fashion but it has been hard. I’ve been a mental mess since Quest came up lame. Hardest part about this entire thing was that she felt and was SO good the whole time. If not for the sand, we would have easily been one of the top 10 scores. The only points we got deducted were from the lameness. I’m FAR from abandoning my goal to do endurance riding but honestly, it hasn’t been easy not to blame myself and my confidence in managing my horse appropriately has been shaken. J and B are great mentors and I appreciate all their help and diligence but no matter how you view it, at the end of the day, I’m the one responsible for making decisions for my horse and sometimes what works for others might not work for you.

I've been offered horses to catch ride so I'll still be riding this season though it probably be awhile before I am astride behind my favorite pair of black-tipped bay ears. I'm so heartbroken right now.


  1. Oh, I'm sorry, I know the feeling. I think every endurance rider does. But all it takes is a bad step, or even playing in pasture. While the sand, or the ride length, or the conditioning MAY have been a factor…they also might not, and she would have done it on a training ride, or in pasture. But I know the questioning-everything feeling.

    My fist pull was devastating, I broke my horse. And he stayed broken for awhile. Then he healed, then we competed. I just went through a small injury, but am giving him lots of rest time, because long-term soundness is better than a ride this weekend.

    I hope she is a good patient, and rests, and heals, And that you do too. But i'll worry along with you, because that is what we do for horses!.

    (P.S. My only caution would be on the bute. In my experience it can give some sensitive horses ulcers, so my vet recommends when giving the bute to also give ulcergard. Just an FYI, maybe Quest is not as sensitive as my silly boy)

  2. Don't beat yourself up. There is no way to know exactly what caused it. Every ride is a lesson learned and definitely don't count her out for endurance just yet! I am the queen of making a mountain out of a mole hill, so I am right there with you. Take it one step at a time, don't rush anything and give her a chance.

  3. I am so sorry to read this. I know that feeling of heartbreak and guilt all too well. Donn't beat yourself up. You are not a clairvoyant. There was no way to know. You can't not ride for fear of something going wrong. It could have been the hills at the next ride or the rocks at the one after that or a bad water crossing six months from now. The good news is you knew she was injured right away and that you are being cautious and treating her immediately. This type of injury can be a slow recovery, but the results are often very good. I wouldn't bet on your endurance career with her being over. Fingers crossed that she improves in the next week and that you have your favorite ears in front of you soon. Sending good thoughts.

  4. i'm so sorry!! what a disappointment :( like the others say, tho, try not to be too hard on yourself. accidents and injuries happen. we can do the best we can to protect our horses and prevent what we can... but there's only so much we can do. keep looking forward - hopefully Quest will recover beautifully and you'll have a bright future!

  5. Grace, I am so very sorry to hear this! I read your previous post and was going to comment, but this one came up (I had been looking for you at Rabbit Run! But realized you were riding Saturday; we left Friday afternoon.) I agree with what Dom says: Don't beat yourself up. You had no way of knowing.

    Lily had an annular ligament strain 4 summers ago that required 4 months of stall rest...and she made a full recovery! In her case she was both lame *and* had swelling in her leg when initially diagnosed. I basically rehabbed her and put her straight into conditioning for distance riding, and as you know a year after her injury she completed the OD 50 as her first distance competition know, just the second-toughest & rockiest course in the country. She finished it sound. Don't lose hope! It can be done!

    Sending hugs and healing thoughts for a prompt, full recovery so you're back in the saddle on your girl before you know it!

  6. Oh no!!! :( I'm so sorry to hear this. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You did your very best to prepare yourself and your horse, but things happen. Hoping for a speedy recovery for Miss Q!

  7. I'm so sorry to hear this! I hope she makes a full and speedy recovery!

  8. Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear this. Positive thoughts and fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.

  9. It's always good and worth it IMO to get peace of mind. I am so sorry quest is injured, but fingers crossed for a full and speedy recovery.

  10. I'm sorry to hear about Quest's leg. I hope that it ends up healing quickly. I understand how you feel and I think any distance rider would feel the same way. I think doing any kind of performance training with horses is always this crazy balance between keeping them safe and pushing them to their limits. And it is impossible to see the line, sometimes even in hindsight. But I doubt Quest feels any animosity about it. For her, it just is something that happened and she's going to deal with it. I hope to see you at a ride sometime soon!:)