Well, I’m pretty sure we figured out what’s wrong with Baron. He’s been gimpy for the past couple months and has been generally “off.” My barn manager thinks he has a bone chip floating around in his left front. Yes, it will require an x-ray to find it and an incision to remove it, but it could be much, much worse. He should be good as new after removal, and he’ll be sound again. I was worried that we were dealing with something major that would put him out of commission permanently, so thank God it’s fixable!
… I remember how much fun I have just hanging out with Baron. I’ve been visiting him and feeding him apples, just spending a few minutes together. This is the best part of having a horse, the friendship I have with this giant, beautiful animal. I love the challenge of learning to ride, but I also love the kinship I have with Baron.
A couple days after the show, Baron was gimpy on his left front again. I was quite frustrated with this. He will get better and be perfectly sound for a few days, and then be gimpy again. You may remember he got trimmed too short this spring and his feet have been tender ever since. He also had his horrible fence injury, which took a couple months to heal up. He’s had a lot going on with his health, more than he ever has since I’ve owned him. I think the problem is that we haven’t given him enough time to grow his feet back out and get completely well before using him for lessons.
I have a difference of opinion with one of the trainers (not my trainer) about how fast he should be progressing. She has him jumping 2′ and I don’t think he’s ready for that, mentally or physically. So I made the decision that Baron is going to take a month off to heal completely- no riding and especially no jumping. I offered to move him if they need space at the barn for horses who can be ridden, but I was assured that they want him there while he heals.
He has such a wonderful disposition and he’s happy and willing in his work as long as he’s allowed to go at his own pace. So far, I’ve taken him along really slow and allowed him to gain plenty of confidence before asking much of him. I simply won’t allow him to be rushed and be ruined, whether mentally or physically. I’ve been very happy at my new barn overall, but it is hard to give up control. I don’t mind other people riding him and teaching him, as long as we’re all on the same page about how fast he’s being moved along.
Baron is the only horse I’ve got and I have to take care of him. I can’t afford another one! I made a commitment to him that I would keep him as long as he lives, no matter what. So if he gets injured and is only a pasture ornament, I’m keeping him anyway. Because of this, I’m ultra-protective of him. He’s my best friend and I’ve got his back.