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Six years ago, Cally colicked.  It initially looked like a minor gas colic, but didn’t resolve with banamine and walking, and after a visit from my regular vet, we ended up going down to Leesburg, where I was basically given two options: do surgery, or put her down.  Since she was, at that time, insured, surgery it was.  I was such a nervous mess, and watched the whole thing, but also kind of cried the entire time.  She had an ileal diverticula that they were able to close off, and her biggest complication from surgery was banging up her left knee coming out of anathesia.  It looked like a grapefruit for weeks, until she was able to start walking more, and it’s still a bit bigger than the right one, if you look at her closely.  But she came through it with flying colors, really, and has only gotten more amazing for me as the years have gone by.  We’ve accomplished things I never dreamed we’d do, like showing in the Adult Amateurs at rated shows, or winning year-end awards in Dressage, or going in a side saddle.  So sometimes, especially on this anniversary, I feel like any accomplishments or plans at all are icing on the cake.

But that makes lessons like the one we had yesterday all the more special.  We started off pretty simply, a little lengthening and collecting at the trot, then moved on to a simple circle exercise at the canter.

Basically a half a “circle of death” which really got us in rhythm, and me looking at where we were going.  Really simple, with little fences, but so effective at getting her rideable and me riding well.

Then we played with some courses and I was reminded how very happy Cally is when she gets to jump things, and I ride her well to them.  Like, why can’t I do this at shows?

Mostly because I stop thinking as well when I go into the show ring.  But we’re working on it, and I’m improving.  I need to be less afraid of the forward in the show ring, and we’re getting there.

Which is making me rethink my very light fall of showing.  Some of that is to to the trainer’s impending baby, some of that is due to fall election insanity.  Like, I scratched Mid Atlantic Eq off the goals list because it’s the weekend after the Election, and just no, I’m getting on a plane to Florida, not dealing with the stress of a weekend of horse showing after that.  I’d planned to just do one day of WBTA and then probably the new fall PVDA show.

But.  Oh, but.  There’s a schooling show at McDonough in two weeks, where we could do the TBs and some Adult Eq ahead of the WBTA show, and also WBTA is now two days, because of the weather rescheduled summer show.  So I’m debating doing all of that, which would give me three hunter/eq shows this fall, which I’d be doing on my own, plus the PVDA show.  I’m thinking we might go for it, because we’ve been going so well.  After our jumper outings, the courses will feel easy, even without Trainer Assistance, and darn it, I just really enjoy horse showing.

And I’ve got a happy, healthy horse who loves her job.  Why shouldn’t I enjoy that?  I appreciate it every day, but especially today.