This week marks 12 months since Blinky’s first episode of equine uveitis. It has felt like a very long 12 months battling this condition with good days and bad days. I know that I am not the only horse owner to be struggling with uveitis and definitely not the only horse owner to be dealing with horse health issues. Horses are such strong and athletic animals that it always seems to surprise and sadden us how fragile they can be. And as horse owners we gradually accept that no horse is perfect and injuries/illness is just part of caring for our horses. But however much we try to convince ourselves that health issues or injuries are just part of the deal, it doesn’t make it any easier.
I think every horse owner has arrived at the yard at one time or another to find a lame or poorly horse. And you hope that most of the time there is a simple and treatable issue so that you can continue with your horse’s training and competitive work. I know so many people that have invested money and a lot of time in rehabilitating horses from injuries because those horses are loved and respected enough that they deserve the best treatment and the best chance at a happy life. These times can be tough times for us humans to mentally and emotionally deal with. We put so much into our horses, irrespective of money, we put our hearts and souls into them and when something goes wrong it is our hearts and souls that bear the real strain of what’s happening to our beloved animal.
I have only ever owned one horse at a time and I am more of a hobby rider than a professional, so my experiences have been limited to just a few horses over the years. I have however been unlucky enough to have had to make the dreaded decision to put 2 of those horses to sleep (way before their time!) due to various injuries and health issues. One of which had more of an impact on me than the other, just because that particular horse I had formed more of a bond with. So, I can say that I can identify with the heart break that comes from losing a horse that you feel has become part of your soul and sympathise with all those out there that have gone through the same experience. But through those experiences and the current issues Blinky is dealing with, there is one thing that keeps me going and that I feel incredibly fortunate to have – my friends.
My family and non-horsey friends are always supportive and there for me when I need them, but the friends I have made at my yard are truly amazing when it comes to getting through those tough times. So, I would like to introduce to you – The Yardies! (this is a nickname we have adopted and refer to our little team as) Without this support network of amazing people I think I would have lost hope for Blinky a long time ago.