Sunday, October 24, 2010

Recovering from Reality

On October 16, 2010 a Dream took a direct hit.

I didn't realize it for a couple of days -- thought it was just another inconvenience in the normal course of events. But it turned out that in wrenching the shoe off his foot, Eddie fractured his coffin bone.

The coffin bone is the "hoof-shaped" bone inside the horse's hoof. Sometimes fractures are minor, and heal with little problem. Eddie's fracture cuts diagonally across the bone and has several secondary branches. It's not a pretty sight. I saw the x-rays, listened to what the vet had to say, and struggled to hold my emotions together.

As Eddie stood quietly cooperating with the endless positioning for x-rays, seeming to know he had to be very still, I watched the dream of building on the art we two had worked years to accomplish blink out. In one unfortunate moment the world shifted in a way I'd never prepared for. There was no going back, no do-overs. What I thought I held so surely in my hands was gone.

Over the days that followed, while I waited for a cast to be put on Eddie's hoof, words from people I barely knew, as well as people I knew well started penetrating that dreadful sense of loss. A small bit of hope began to grow. When Eddie's vet came out to put to put the cast on several days later reality met with a plan, and from that plan some strength and confidence grew. Somewhere around the first of March we will be better able to predict the success of his recovery and the very real possibility of his return to the work we both love.

In the meantime, while he convalesces, I will have other horses to ride and the opportunity to work on improving myself. Eddie's and my journey together may not be over. But should he not recover enough to dance again with me, then at least I will still have my friend and the bond we've developed. I will always cherish what he has so generously given me.
"I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be."
                                                                                              --Brendan Graham, Rolf Lovland


  1. Susan, sorry about Eddie's suffering. Hope he recovers and you can work together again for years to come!

  2. He looks mighty sturdy to me, so I think he'll recover. The way we treat others lets them know that they are more than beasts of burden to us. Your feelings for him will help his recovery more than you know. Friendships are a two way street.

  3. Aw, Susan, I'm so sorry to hear about Eddie's coffin bone. I almost bought a horse that had recovered from one. I loved the horse. She was incredible to ride. But I feared she may not hold up under the stress of the kind of trail riding I was doing at the time. In hindsight, I probably SHOULD have bought her because the horse I purchased instead was a disaster. Sound, but a disaster nonetheless.

    Good luck to you both! Keep us posted.

  4. Heidi, thank you. He's being an excellent patient. In fact, he seemed to have this whole convalescing thing figured out in no time flat.

    He is a sturdy boy, E.B., and has never really had much go wrong before. He understands how to take care of himself.

    Thank you Annette. Sometimes you have to wonder what is worse to deal with -- an unsound body or a squirrelly brain! It's a gift when both are in good shape!

  5. Animals, like people, respond to love. Whether he dances again with you or not, he knows he's loved. That will carry both of you through. And healing comes with love. Let us know how he does.

  6. Thanks, Polly. You are so right. I'll keep everyone updated. Count on it!