My husband suggested I sell Theo since it's been over a year since I last rode. What's the point of paying for a horse that I don't ride and don't even visit? I burst into tears and said I don't visit because if I do, I will get on and ride. Well, he's coming home. Now what?
Part of me is excited. My pony is coming home! I can brush out his ridiculous tail and dress him up all matchy matchy. I had him 1.5 hours away to keep me from being tempted but that is going away. While I have a lot of things that will be disrupted and upset by this, including potentially my health, I would be lying if I said no part of me was happy that Theo is coming home. But that's the danger. It's so easy for me to just slip back into old patterns with no real concern for the risk. Humans are so good at rationalizing things they want.
I'm at increased risk. No, it's not as bad as the neurologist was telling me and simple chiropractic care has brought the tic and the pain completely under control. The pressure on my spine has been relieved and the curve of my neck has been changed. Chiro didn't seem bothered by me riding but didn't want to see me getting thrown around (like, say, a horse bolting on the lunge line like a certain gorgeous beast likes to do). But all of this improvement has happened without the trauma of horse back riding and the discs are still going to react badly to me being lawn darted. And there's the collection of blows to the head I've had. I'm not a twenty-something any more. I don't bounce. It's not the sport that's changed but me.
It's different now because I know I'm fragile and I know my horse has a mother of a spin. Pretty big buck, too. He's 17 now but showing no signs of slowing down.
From his Coggins, he has so many grey hairs on his head that they have officially added a star to his markings
My husband is not happy. Neither is mom. They don't want me to get on Theo right now. It's a fair request. I'm still struggling with getting in contact with any barns. The few that have replied have all been full. I'm visiting a place this afternoon (the place he was at last summer) so I'm hopeful. I've got two friends that are very experienced horse people there to help remind Theo of the rules of ground manners. One is looking for a ride while her horse is recovering from an injury (Dorkzilla and Legs's owner) and she's sat far, far worse than Theo can dish out. Premium WB mares have mad skills. We could potentially get him less feral and still send him off to Trainer Z when she has a spot.
I love this horse too much to just dump him as a cheap sale. Would I free lease him to an experienced dressage rider with a trainer I know? In a heartbeat. A little polish and he could go right back to being a Second Level horse that is knocking on the door to Third. But people aren't looking for horses like Theo that require very regular work and still only get 5.5 or 6 for a medium. And don't have a consistent change. Even as a free lease, there's no market for him. Hard pill to swallow but there it is. He has no value outside of what I see in him. People looking for mid-level dressage don't want to deal with a horse that occasionally does his impression of a land porpoise unless they're getting amazing scores. His scores are good, not amazing.
As my husband said, Theo has the attitude and behaviors of an upper level horse and needs an upper level rider. But he doesn't have the scores to support an upper level rider's ambitions. Go figure.
Will I go back to riding? I don't know yet. This sudden change is still settling into my brain. I want to ride him but I have to be smart about it. Either way I'm getting my truck and trailer ready to go pick him up. Truck needed $3k of work, go figure. New tires are on the way for the trailer. Theo's spring shots and Coggins are already done and the paperwork is in hand. Come May, I will be managing the most amazing tail in the region. What the rest of the horse is going to be doing? Who knows. But come the heat of July when he doesn't even want to move, you might find me sitting in the saddle again.