Losing the last bit of hope I’d held onto affected me. A lot. I wouldn’t say it would be a clinical diagnosis, but I’ve been depressed. I’ve been going through the motions for a lot of stuff. I was fully present when working with Scarlet though. But things like other hobbies and work were difficult for me. I did take a couple of days off work because I’ve got the PTO and it did help.

Even with the change to my future plans for Scarlet, I still want him to get as much functionality back as possible. So we went ahead with our plans of walking over poles. Its a bit difficult to do on every day as I am at the barn when they are grooming the arenas. Every other day was manageable. Scarlet was a little perturbed the first time we walked over the pole but he never showed any soreness or increased difficulty managing his hind end after we did it.

We had been up to about 12-13 minutes of walking and over a pole once during that walk. Last Monday I’d just about decided that we should try going over a pole twice during a walk. We were heading back to his stall and Scarlet tripped in front (at least, that’s what it looked like. I happened fast so I couldn’t really tell you the moment by moment play here) and went down to his knees. Then he fell further. He rolled and ended up on his back for a second or two. I was trying to keep the lead rope out of his feet and say out of his way. He was able to roll over to his side. He took a moment to figure out where his hind legs were but got back to his feet without too much more trouble that he normally does when rolling.

I was freaking shaking when this was over. He seemed more or less fine. I ran my hands over him. He didn’t have anything more than some hair loss on his knees. He walked fine back to his stall. What I think happened is he was hurrying to get back to his stall and over walked what his feet could keep up with. He tripped and there was a incline on his right hand side. We were close enough to it that when his neck went down and he lost control of his hind legs, he fell with the angle of the ground.

I called my vet afterward to let her know. She said that he will probably be fine if he is able to move without issue. I had bute on hand so she said to give that for a couple of days. If he had any sensitive areas or showed a reluctance to walk, then I’d need to give her a call back.

Scarlet was displeased with the bute paste (he hates the taste) but he never showed any issues. I’m the only one affected. Completely traumatized. it made the depression worse for sure as I had to start thinking about how this would change my decision on when I’d have to say goodbye. If he falls frequently, that would be a reason to say he doesn’t have a good quality of life anymore. L also suggested that I begin thinking about ways to save memories; picture session, keepsakes, special things to do with him while I can. All of it was hard but necessary to think about.

However, between this and the rest of the fed up world, my mental state isn’t what I’d like it to be. I’m trying to claw my way back to relative normalcy but its a process. There are plenty of good things that I’m trying to throw myself into (other hobbies, household projects, getting to ride a friend’s horse several times) but I haven’t managed to shake the shadow yet. Its less opaque but its there.

I’m not even sure what the point of this post is. To purge? To update? A bit of everything likely. So I’ve purged, I’ve updated and now I’m going to go do something fun. Mental health is important y’all. I hope you are doing well or have way to help yourself/get help if you aren’t.

A Change in Perspective

This was the least negative title I could figure out how to come up with. All of the other ones were very final and probably would have given anyone reading this the wrong impression.

Monday the vet was out to give Scarlet a treatment after he had his farrier visit. She was very happy to hear about his progress. And she saw how he was able to stand more square and shifting his weight well. I showed her the video I posted on Monday of Scarlet wandering around in the arena looking for a place to lay down.


After seeing that and talking more about how he’s moving, she said that she believes that his nerve issues are coming from a narrowing of his spinal column. She referenced how his balance and coordination got worse when his head was lowered and then he’d recover when lifting it up.

We talked about the fact that that is difficult to even see on an xray. They’d likely need to put dye in in order to see correctly. And that has a fairly high rate of infection and might lead to needing euthanasia.

I asked what she though he could do in the future. She said she wouldn’t want to see him even canter on his own in turnout. If he can get back to going over poles while on the ground and trotting, that would be really good progress. I mentioned that a saddle would pinch the neck area as well and she agreed with me.


Scarlet is happy and healthy enough like this. I wouldn’t want to pay for an xray when at best it would confirm what we already think. Or it could give me nothing or make him worse.

I’d mostly came to that conclusion on my own given how its taken so long to get to this point. But I’d held out hope. I’d hoped that we’d get back to riding. I’d hoped to do things with my boy again. I’d hoped I’d hoped I’d hoped. But that’s not something that is in our future.


This hurts so much. This wasn’t how I wanted to retire him. This wasn’t how I wanted these years to go. I lost him for 6 years and I only got 4 of those back before he got hurt. Its not fair. I had so many things planned. I’d just moved three minutes away from the barn.

I’ve been depressed all week. I’m mourning those hopes and Scarlet’s early retirement. I’d love to get a second horse but I have a mortgage payment and other expenses. One horse is all that fits in our budget. I wont even consider putting Scarlet down. He’s healthy other than this.

I’d love to figure out how to fit a second horse in my budget. Its not going to happen with our current income. Its not fair of me to funnel more money into my hobby. We need to have savings for emergencies and our future. So I need to figure out how to get a second income stream coming in. Its not an easy thing with everyone being stuck at home to do. I’m looking into freelance online options. But if anyone knows how to get rich quick, let me know. For now, Scarlet and I rehab and I work on the future.


Arena Walking and A Date with the Farrier

Tuesday I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get into the back arena for Scarlet to roll. They were grooming the arenas and I wasn’t sure if they were going to be finished by the time we reached there. So I figured it was a good day to attempt to walk in the arena. We did a big circle near the beginning of our walk. It took about 45 seconds. Scarlet didn’t do too bad. No real losses of hind end.

My plan is for us to continue walking a little bit in the arena and for our increases to just be more arena walking. He needs to have something more difficult to walk in so that we can improve. The sand is harder on him since it shifts. But he’s able to recover when he stumbles better than before.

I need to figure out a way to convince my husband to come out with me one morning to video us walking. I can only video when Scarlet is walking on his own. He’s generally meandering or has his head down preparing to roll and it doesn’t show how good he can move at this moment.

It hurts to watch him stumble like this but I have to give myself a kick. He’s walking so much better than he did a few months ago. Yes he stumbles but look he’s recovering well enough. He can still get up and get down. It takes time to recover. We don’t even know if he will recover. I need to make sure to look at this in the most positive light possible.

The farrier visits are nice. My farrier sees him every two months so he can really see changes that are a bit harder to quantify for me. He mentioned that he was concerned about his left hind flaring last time but it didn’t do that this time. That would be a result of walking more balanced. He also commented on how much easier Scarlet has been balancing for the visits. It was definitely hard on him the first couple of visits but this one and the last one have been great.

I’ve got the vet coming out on Monday to give him another treatment so I’m hoping that after that we can see even more improvement. I also have a bunch of thoughts I want to discuss with her about what more can be done for Scarlet and what type of rehab we should be focusing on now that walking is easier. Feeling fairly positive about the future.