12. There's always a reason.

Blog 12 - “There’s always a reason”

By now I was beginning to learn myself and with the help of Alexandra Kurland www.theclickercenter.com (a little more) about having emotional self-control.  I started to be able to feel when things were and were not right and was starting to look to myself (rather than to the horse) for solutions.

I had blamed Gazelle’s issues on her start.  It was rough and therefore she was sharp.  

Surely if I rode her well enough all those issues would stop.  

But with more consistent work it became apparent that her behavioural issues were not only emotional and due to her past but also physical - and ongoing.

Cutting a very long story short, including having to change vet’s practices, Gazelle, who was never lame, just not “right” was diagnosed with advanced DJD at only 8 years old.  

Thanks to my numerous injuries she certainly had not been in hard enough work to warrant such apparent wear and tear and it turned out to be congenital.  This meant that she should not be bred from (although you would be amazed at how many well-meaning people suggested this, even after her diagnosis) and could only be lightly hacked.  She wasn’t really a horse for “light hacking” and could only be turned out alone as she was dangerously aggressive towards other horses as mentioned in past blogs.  

A solitary life for such a young horse led to me making the decision to have her PTS.

This was tough, other than oldies, which is tough enough, I’d never done this before.  But I had loved and lost other horses.

I had sold Henry my first horse because he wasn’t going to event, he was fabulous, I should never have sold him.

I had sold Emily my second horse, a super event horse but I wanted something more challenging, talented and younger, my ego won again, and so I got Gazelle.

And I learned:

You can change your horse and break your heart, or you can change your expectations.

Horses don’t “act up” without there being a good, physical reason.

Next time "On hold, but for how long?" 16th March.

For those searching online for more “instructional” resources than offered in these blogs please make use of my video downloads www.ashenec.co.uk

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