Injury: A New Beginning, An Ending, Or Just A Delay?

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Warning!  This is not going to be a very coherent, to-the-point post.

Jumbled mind = jumbled post.

My dream to become an accomplished equestrian has been thrown a major curve ball.  Nikki, my alleged competition horse, has come up injured.  His injury may be potentially career-ending.

Here’s what happened:

imagining what the xray could be like - why it might sayMy new trainers, Heather and John, came out to ride and evaluate Nikki on Tuesday.

I had told them all of his history and all of the trouble I’ve been having with him.

After looking at him and watching him on the lunge line (and experiencing) Nikki trying to kill John when asked to lunge to the left, just as he does with me), they suggested that he perhaps hurt his back in the past.

An injury would explain a lot.

It would explain the sudden onset of Nikki’s severe, dangerous refusal to lunge to the left.  It would explain his pinned ears and irritated bucking when I ride him and ask for anything more than a walk.  It would explain why, last time I rode him, I commented to my husband that Nikki “just didn’t feel right”, particularly in his back.

Dr. Harlan, my vet, came out on Thursday.

He agreed that something is definitely wrong with Nikki.  He also didn’t really have a diagnosis.  We went over Nikki’s history.  He hasn’t had a big crash.  He hasn’t gotten cast (basically, stuck) in his stall that I know of.  He’s never showed any sign of lameness.  No swelling, no heat, no nothing anywhere.

Just the terrible, terrible behavior.

On Dr. Harlan’s exam there was no tenderness to palpation, nothing obviously wrong, save a little swelling over his left rump area.  Hmmmm . . . a puzzle, indeed.

A puzzle that has left me in disbelief.  Are you kidding me?

My beautiful, fancy show horse may have a career-ending injury???

Dr. Harlan referred us to Pioneer Equine Hospital in Oakdale.  Hopefully, an extensive workup there will result in some definitive diagnosis and we can make decisions from there.

I called my husband in tears, still in disbelief.

I don’t know what I want to do.

For now, I’m trying to be patient.

First step is to get Nikki evaluated and find out if rehab is a possibility.  I don’t think I can stomach searching for a new horse right now.  I have scheduled another lesson with Heather on one of their horses.  Unfortunately, I just had to postpone that a week due to my work schedule.

Besides the Nikki problem, I’ve been so, so busy.

There’s still the giant pile of stuff from float sitting in the middle of my living room.  I’ve managed to get the laundry done, horses turned out and brushed, and that’s it.  I’ve been in court every single day.  I’ve got two trials coming up.  And my mind is completely filled with other things.  That’s probably good because its kept me from completely freaking out about Nikki.

‘Til next week . . .


(Danelle left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 and is still working  on her dream is to become an accomplished equestrian)

  • Kim, the traveler

    That’s not good news to hear! Hope you are both doing better.

  • Danelle, the equestrian

    Thanks for the strong thoughts and encouragement. I’m doing o.k. Spending a lot of time in the barn, trying to find comfort in the same 4-legged creatures that cause me so much trouble!!

  • Danelle, sending love and healing thoughts… Anxious to hear the updates on Nikki!

    And wishing YOU strength of heart as you decide on your next steps… We’re all here for you… Keep going with the lessons and the dream… I have to believe that everything happens for a reason, and trust that this will all work out as it should!

    And remember to take good care of YOU in the midst of all this busy-ness…


  • Catherine

    Oh Danelle, I am so sorry to hear about your horse. But it is so true that kids and animals react with negativity when they are injured – either in feelings or physical.

    Before the Drs figured out that my thyroid had died, I noticed how negative my thoughts and reactions were. This was my first clue that something was amiss with me. I am a person who usually looks at everything from the angle of “How do I solve this – not OMG this is broken”. When the Dr gave me my diagnosis I instantly knew this is what was wrong and as the thyroid medication began to work, my negativity went away. The brain is a muscle and can be sick or injured too.

    Your poor beautiful baby. On the bright side at least now you know what the problem is and can work towards a solution that is in the best interest of Nikki and your family.

    This dreaming stuff is not for the faint of heart, huh?