I have sent out a few text messages, emails, and a Facebook private message. I talked to Barb last night about Ransom, and here's how it went..
First, in the email, I told her how the judge had reacted at the Sunday show, first calling him up lame, then awarding us that 65.2%. I told her I have registered for a show this coming Saturday, I'm qualified for HDS Schooling Show Championships, and then I will regretfully be looking for a new horse. Ransom's ready to retire, I think.
She called, and first we discussed Ransom's condition. Her suggestion was to retire him now, maybe take a few light trail rides, but quit competing immediately. "He's too sore to push him. You're only doing it for yourself, and it's not gaining you anything. Scratch this weekend, don't go to the show."
Then, after more discussion, she suggested I call my vet, and find a way to work us through this weekend coming, and the championships. I have the call into the vet (made it before we even talked), and will persist with them today until they call me back.
I'll be honest, fellow readers and riders - this sucks. I am a sappy emotional useless mess just thinking about typing it out here. I've gone from absolutely terrified to ride a canter at home, to nearly ticked off I didn't get my ribbon sash when I earned it at a show for high-score (more on that later). I know it's selfish to want to keep riding him, but I also know how ticked he gets when Romeo goes to work and he misses out. I know when he doesn't feel real good, and I go easy. When he's giving me his best, I ask for more. He's been stiff on his left hind since he came to me - I've got him on supplements, I've done hock injections, I've taken him for chiropractic adjustments. I've done everything I know to do. And I know, yes I know, he's old. I can't expect 8's at every show - this I know. Not once have I let it bug me when the judges comment his trot isn't quite right.
So is it time to "pack him up and send him home"? Do I throw in the towel today, and schedule his delivery back to BRM for retirement? Do I force myself to tack him up and trail ride alone? Or do I talk to the vet, and search for a temporary solution to manage us through the end of the year? I had already decided Ransom and I would part company at year's end, and I'd start praying for another miracle horse like him to land in my pasture. That was a given. What I didn't plan on was quitting now, with two shows left, the last being the biggest I've ever been in.
Feel free to comment, leave feedback. There isn't anything off limits, I'll entertain all comments, thoughts, and ideas.