I've been reflecting on Monday's ride. I still feel guilt for getting so mad at Cricket. For months I've been raving about how wonderful she is and how liberating it feels to accept her for who she is, where she is. And then one little thing goes wrong and my attitude is revealed for what it is - little more than a house of cards.
I cannot help but feeling, however, that I want something more than Cricket can offer. I do understand her headshaking is something we manage rather than cure. I do understand she has no control over her behaviour when she is stressed to the point of headshaking. I also understand I could go bat-ass crazy trying to uncover everything that triggers an episode. Because it's perceived stress.
But I want to ride. I want to trail ride. I want to learn to jump. I want to work on myself while I ride. But Cricket's headshaking trumps all. It will never go away and I will always have to stop what I'm doing to help her.
So what do I do? It sounds selfish but I'm just a little tired of catering all my energy to managing her. And I'm sure she's just a little tired of me not being able to offer her what she needs or expecting more than she can give.
I may have the opportunity to acquire a second horse. This is Bleu. She's a 14 yr old 16.2 hh TB mare. She's not particularly well schooled. But she's a rock-solid trail horse. She passed the Flying Jacket test with little more than a flicked ear. Whilst the horse in front of her did the slam-on-the-brakes-omigosh-we-are-all-going-to-die halt at the Black Hole of Death that opened up on the trail. She seems to take everything in stride. She's not terribly confident but neither is she unconfident. She's incredibly people-oriented and very much wants to please. She has little-to-no exposure to PNH. She's a little unconfident about trailer-loading. Apparently she moves like a million bucks and jumps as well.
I'm going to spend some time getting to know her. She's a bit of a special case. Her owner of many, many years passed away from cancer. She is currently with a good friend of mine - someone who is getting to know the horse and knows me very well. So I've got lots of time to meet her, play with her and ride her before any decisions are made.
I wasn't even thinking of another horse. Every time I have, my focus has been brought back to Cricket. Maybe this makes Bleu the right second horse. Each time I've looked for another horse it was to do what Cricket couldn't. Not exactly fair to Cricket or to a second horse - just filling in until I can get back to my mare. So maybe that makes Bleu right. I need her for what she has to offer me. I dunno. We shall see what happens.