Harley and I had our seven year anniversary in December. This year, I have ridden him the least since we have been a pair, but he has never been far from my thoughts.
Unfortunately, 2013 also seems to be the year that Harley's coughing has gained momentum beginning in mid-September. I spent many visits checking his comfort, measuring medication, administering it, and wishing for a magic cure. My husband and family helped me juggle the baby after work and on the weekends so that I could tend to my horse. I was very grateful, but not without that guilty feeling that I was asking too much or letting someone down. As baby became a little easier to manage (i.e. three hours between nursing sessions, thank goodness), I wished for fun times with my horse instead of emotionally stressful visits when I wondered how he would be feeling. Riding him, even at the walk, stopped being an option.
On a positive note, I am so very lucky to have the people in my life helping me out: my husband, his family, my Mom and Dad, my barn owners who take such good care of Harley, and friends who look out for him and do things like remove his blanket on a warm day. I had to learn to rely more on others in 2013. When I am able, I hope that I can return the favors.
What will 2014 have in store for us?
I know that Sweet Pea will continue to be an amazing adventure. My life is not easy right now, but it is also filled with some of the most charming, fascinating, and delightful moments that I never could have imagined before our baby was born. My baby is sleeping in my lap as I write this post (with one finger swiping on my tablet) and she is just so gorgeous. She sits up now and says "bababa" with the cutest little voice. One tooth is just peaking through and her eyes are blue with blond hair coming in. She smiles gigantic grins and hugs me, even pinching me in excitement when we are reunited or playing a game of hide and seek with Daddy.
Work is and will probably continue to be a challenge. This has not been an easy school year. My husband coined it well when he said that everyday feels like Groundhog Day (the movie, of course).
And then there is Harley. I wish for his problem to go into remission, but that, my friends, is a big wish. I want to ride him again and have fun together. As it is right now, I can barely groom him, for fear that he will start coughing and require another round of meds. Sometimes I dream of cantering along or riding through the woods and other times, I try not to think about it. If I visit him and he is okay, then that is a good day. Maybe the spring will be better for us. He was very rideable last summer, so I guess that I just need to be patient and optimistic. He is still friendly and sweet and with a healthy appetite, so all is not lost. Oh yeah, and his weight looks great. Imagine that.
I hope to snap a few pictures of me and Sweet Pea on Harley together. Those are moments that I can wait for in 2014.
|First time on a horse at seven months old. It had to be Harley!|
|Here's to the year of the horse. Harley needs some good luck!|
Awww! She is so cute :)ReplyDelete
Hope Harley's cough goes away, it is so hard to see our animals going through tough times like that. Glad you are doing well, though, I had been wondering about you!
Thanks for thinking of me. I wanted to write many times but couldn't get to my computer and writing on my tablet is very awkward.Delete
I am also trying to be hopeful.
Oh Val - those are the sweetest pictures. Sincerely hoping that Harley gets more comfortable as the year moves along!ReplyDelete
She's precious!! Hope Harley's cough gets better! He looks fantastic!ReplyDelete
Thank you. That's thanks to the haystretcher pellets. He is eating much less grain than he used to and maintaining for once. :)Delete
I wish Harley good health in 2014. Breathing problems are so hard to deal with. The cold weather seems especially hard on them. I'm sure he will do much better when the warner weather kicks in.ReplyDelete
Sweet Pea is just beautiful! Her smile lights up her gorgeous face. Things will get better as she gets older too. Enjoy every minute now, time goes by very quickly.
If it were not for Sweet Pea, I think that I would be much less able to deal with Harley's issues emotionally. She demands my focus and attention just like a horse does. And the cuteness helps, too.Delete
Best wishes to you. I know it must be really tough.ReplyDelete
Thanks. It is. I wish I could just make his cough disappear.Delete
Is Harley's coughing related to allergies? Did you ever figure out what caused it? I have a friend who's horse is allergic to everything (it seems like) and it feels like all she does is manage her meds. It must be so frustrating.ReplyDelete
Yes. I had him tested a couple years ago and I have been managing his condition ever since. The severe temperature fluctuations seem to be making him very sensitive, so everything seems to set him off right now. I can minimize his exposure to dust, but I can't control the weather! It stinks.Delete
Poor Harley. He's lucky he has an owner as dedicated as you are.ReplyDelete
I often feel like I am not doing enough though. My options are limited with baby in tow. I used to be free to drop everything and spend hours with my horse. That isn't possible now and I feel badly when he is not 100% and I can't spend more time with him.Delete
Gorgeous photo of you Sweet Pea on Harley! Too cute. (And you're right- his weight look great!!)ReplyDelete
Re: his weightDelete
It's taken years to get it right.
Glad Harley has you - you're doing the best job you can to manage his illness and you should take some comfort from that.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I read about Lily on Melissa' s blog. Seems like she is doing well. I wish that I could buy a farm to suit Harley's needs like the set up at the retirement farm.Delete
So sorry that Harley isn't doing well this winter- maybe because it's been so cold and dry? Just grasping at straws. Hopefully he'll be feeling much better when spring arrives.ReplyDelete
Your little girl is the cutest! And that helmet, it's almost as big as she is! LOL
Hilarious, isn't it? My barn owner bought it for her granddaughter and now Sweet Pea gets to wear it. :)ReplyDelete
The temperature fluctuations are causing him troubles. He has more problems with the warm days right now. In the fall, it seemed like the cold was a problem. It is very upsetting.
Adorable and yes…. she had to sit on Harley first! In regard to the swelling legs, My Oberon had an issue with that a few months ago when the weather was changing. He is stalled at night - I don't know if he stayed immobile too long or it was the changing weather. It went away in a couple of days. It happened to two other horses as well. (just wanted to let you know)ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing that about the swelling legs. What you described is exactly what happened to Harley, except for the stall part. Nice to hear from you again.ReplyDelete