Oh Shit.

This is exceptionally hard to write, because I am both acknowledging that I had hopes and dreams, small though they were, for my old gelding while simultaneously acknowledging that they will never happen.

And I'm on my third glass of wine, so forgive me any inconsistencies or errors or lapses into James Joyce-esque stream of consciousness.   Thank god I'm not at work right now.

The vet came out today.  While I was grazing Archie, the boarder who had confirmed on the ground that Archie was NQR asked me what I had called the vet for.  So I went into this visit thinking that I was paranoid, and paranoid when it comes to veterinary medicine is a much better place than "right".

Fuck me, I was right.

I'd texted my vet that Archie was intermittently short of stride in the sand and that I thought it was the right front.  We put Archie on the lunge, for the first time in like a freaking year (I don't lunge), and he watched Archie in both directions and confirmed my right front.

Good news:  I was right!

Bad news:  I was right!

The next step was blocking Archie's right front hoof.  This showed no improvement, thus eliminating like... something.  Navicular?  I told my vet that I was particularly fearful of nav, considering Archie's pancake feet.  And Carlos.  :(

Then he blocked Archie's pastern and we saw a little bit of improvement.

I'd already told him that I wanted to get rads to double-check the progression of his ringbone, because that shit has been following me on every ride like a little gray balloon attached to my wrist and you just can't fucking get away.  Since the diagnosis in 2012.  No wonder I'm a little crazy.

And the radiographs proved that the ringbone has progressed significantly.  At least, in his right front.

We immediately injected the right front pastern. We also talked about injecting his hocks as well, but both acknowledged that the priority was getting him sound on the front end.  And now I'm broke anyways.

The next step is leather pads, a shorter toe on that right front. and Pentosan.  I requested Pent because we tried Adequan years ago and it was no bueno for the Archer.

And, oh, yeah.

We're retired from jumping.

It's like a little stab in my heart every time I think it and I start crying automatically.  And before you think, asshole-ishly, you jerk, that all we jumped were crossrails:  fuck you.  I've got a jumping horse tattooed on my goddamn leg.  We loved our crossrails. We loved our little two foot fences.  We didn't have much but we had something and now that's gone.

Here's how it went:
Me: So, flatwork?
Him:  Yeah.
Me:  Permanently?
Him:  Well, that's up to Archie.  If he feels okay for a jump now or then, I've got no problem with it.

I think I went into shock when the vet and I were having this conversation because little bits and pieces came back to me later, sitting catatonically at my desk following the appointment.  We can't do circles.  Circles put too much pressure on the part of the joint that is fucking up.  I don't know if this is permanent or until the Arch gets comfortable.  I'll clarify tomorrow when I ask my vet to resend the rads.  You know, so I can show you what ringbone fucking up a pastern looks like.

But if it's permanent, then that not-so-much-a-joke about transitioning into dressage is a no-go, too. It kills me to think that our peak may have come and gone and I didn't appreciate it at the time.  No more little schooling combined tests, because my horse can't jump a course.

And while I whole-heartedly agree that it's fucking phenomenal that my eighteen year old OTTB is still sound for undersaddle work, I want to take a moment to acknowledge what we've lost.  So, here, let's bury some courses.

















































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36 comments

  1. I'm right there with you girl! Love my little cross-rails and 2'ers.
    Here's to Archie and fingers crossed that you will hop those little cross-rails again one day. You've still got a horse, that's what counts right? <3 That boy loves you.

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  2. I've got a lump in my throat for you and Archie. Cheers to the wine and still being able to give and receive horse hugs with your main four legged man.

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  3. oh man Beka, i'm so sorry :( just watching these videos again made me realize how i've missed seeing them in my feed too... hopefully he responds really well to the injections and pentosan !

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  4. No shame in the crossrail. I'm really hoping that he reacts well to the injections and the pentosoan, and I was relieved when you texted me that it wasn't something else (because since Carlos my mind just goes there :[ , and I hope you didn't get mad when I was trying to find the brighter side with you)

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  5. I'm so sorry :( I hope the injections and pentosan do the trick.

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  6. Oh man :( I was really hoping that wouldn't be the case. So sorry Beka :(

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  7. Oh Beka this is shitty. But you always, always, ALWAYS do right by your Archie. The two of you will still enjoy your partnership, no matter what that ends up looking like.

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  8. Man, that sucks. Hoping the injection helps enough to make him more comfortable and y'all can at least do some dressage.

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  9. Shitty. Just straight up shitty. I hope the injections and Pentosan will at least let you guys continue the fun on the flat.

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  10. I'd be mourning too. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I'm hoping he responds super to the treatment and you have an occasional jump or two left for yall :)

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  11. I'm so sorry. As a fellow tiny jump jumper, I feel your pain. I have no desire to jump "big" jumps, but I'd be heartbroken if I couldn't trot over small ones :(

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  12. Oh sweetie. Heart breaking for you.

    I would never knock cross rails. That's more than I've got right now so you go girl. Not bad for a senior man!

    I hope the injections work as well. I wish there were something for you too. ♡♡♡ hugs from the middle of nowhere

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  13. Oh sweetie. Heart breaking for you.

    I would never knock cross rails. That's more than I've got right now so you go girl. Not bad for a senior man!

    I hope the injections work as well. I wish there were something for you too. ♡♡♡ hugs from the middle of nowhere

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  14. Ah man, Beka. I wish I'd read this before I saw your FB picture. I'm so sorry to hear this. My offer still stands: if you get the urge to fly and don't think Archie would feel slighted, come out and jump one of mine. Sending hugs your way, and I'll drink one for you tonight.

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  15. I'm so sorry to hear this Beka. I've got my fingers crossed that the injections and Pentosan help!

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  16. So hard to watch them do this. :'( Treasure the moments you do have (not that I have to tell you that). It's not about a horse. It's about your horse. Hugs.

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  17. I wish you many hugs and many bottles of wine. </3

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  18. My old man OTTB fractured his scapular wing this summer. I too was in utter shock and heartbreak. Thank God for alcohol and the f word. I'll be drinking to Archie and a miraculously recovery.

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  19. I am sorry at the news and have had similar experiences. Take your time to mourn and figure out what's next.

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  20. I think there are many of us in blogland who can commiserate about ponies = broken dreams. Hoping the Pentosan works better than expected for Archie - it did for my guy. (((hugs)))

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  21. This is just super shitty. I'm so sorry. :(

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  22. I'm so sorry sweetie, you always put him first and I have no doubt that you will do everything in your power to make the transition the easiest for him.
    Fingers crossed for a positive response to the treatment plan *hugs*

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  23. I'm so sorry Beka. This stinks.

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  24. Ugh. I'm so sorry to hear this. Ringbone is a bitch.

    You said pastern so I'm assuming it's high ringbone between P1 and P2 (opposed to low ringbone in the coffin joint)? You definitely have more options for the former. I know it sucks, but don't give up hope just yet...

    Thinking of your guys...

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  25. I'm so sorry Beka :( really hoping the treatments help him!

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  26. I am so sorry for you and Arch :( Praying for you both and that the treatment works

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  27. I'm heartbroken for you. :( I hope with all my heart that the treatment helps make him comfortable enough for you two to at least be able to dressage. Many, many hugs. <3

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  28. I'm so sorry. I can imagine how crushing that would feel.

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  29. :( never the news you want to get...sucks when your gut is right about stuff like that...definitely been there, definitely not fun.

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  30. Ringbone fucking sucks. That's what grounded my first guy. Big hugs <3

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  31. (Sorry I'm totally stalking your blog and commenting on all your old posts)

    Hits home. I knew in my gut our jumping days were over for a year before I got the official diagnosis, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks that day. Actual quote from the vet who did the MRI: "Can I give you a hug? You need a hug." All we jumped were itty bitty jumps too, but they were OUR itty bitty jumps. I'm sorry you and Archie had to go through this too. I'm glad that based on your recent posts it seems like he's doing pretty well for flatwork (unrelated injuries notwithstanding). It still sucks balls.

    Also, we have a running joke at the clinic about how we recommend Osphos so much, but it seriously has worked wonders for my mare. Granted she got it more for her navicular, but it's been super helpful with her arthitis elsewhere and I imagine it would be helpful for ringbone too.

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