Here I am, still desperately trying to catch up on posts which includes the colorization of my many pencil sketches. I don't know why I decided to do this pencil sketch of Mac as a Viking in my sketch book months ago, but here he is - in all his glory.
The other area I am behind on is what has been going on this year. It has been such a year of transition and changes. Most of them good, some of them sad.
We came close to losing Mac earlier this year. Mac has been doing poorly for the last couple years. Indulge me while I beat myself up for things I didn't do and should have done for a couple paragraphs. I try not to do this - hind sight is always 20-20 and I always yell at my friends NOT to do this. So dear friends forgot I told you never to do this and pretend that I'm not doing it now ;). But bottom line, I had my head up my...er...in the sand and should have paid better attention!
When we bought Oki, I seriously considered selling Mac and Anni as a driving pair. It would have been the right thing to do. Driving is what they excelled at and loved. When my previous trainer/employee left in 1998, Mac & Anni was never showed as a pair again because I didn't have the talent to drive the pair and the new trainer's love was dressage. Mac and Anni were just coming into their own and performed in combined driving events (CDE) as a pair for only a little over a year. There is an age limit to compete in CDE which is 4 years old and we had to wait for Anni to turn 4 (she is one year younger than Mac). I knew in my gut once Oki entered the picture that Mac and Anni would move to the background and they should do something they loved. I was selfish. I kept them because I couldn't bare to let them go. My gut was right - once Oki came they weren't shown at all and fell into the background - especially Mac.
Over a year ago I was looking at Mac and remarked how bad he looked - he did - he looked like an old worn out horse while Anni did not. I was told that he was merely an old horse and his conformation was not good and that made him look older. My gut told me something was wrong - 16 was not old for a Haflinger - but I conceded to the expert.
So, I was selfish/ignorant/both and Mac really paid for it. The good news is that I followed up on expert information with care for Mac's back. Turns out that Mac needed steady work, that he wasn't getting, in addition to the back injection that he got.
Mac was is terrible shape when he went to a new trainer at the beginning of this year. I knew he hadn't been worked in months but it turned out to be more serious than I thought. His breathing was shallow (he'd get winded at a walk) in addition to having no muscle tone. Mac ended up in the hospital and we would have lost him if not for quick action on the trainer's part and the excellent care he received at the vet hospital. I was away when this happened because my Mom went into the emergency room and ended up having surgery so I flew out to help her. When it rains it pours.
I got home in time to pick Mac up from the hospital. I ended up arguing with the vet over the phone to have Mac tested for Lyme. Another horse had gotten it on our property and as well as our dog and a friend's dog. Both of our dogs also had anaplasmois (another tick borne disease) as well as a boarder's horse, so I was very sensitive to tick borne diseases. The vet hospital said Mac was not symtomatic but I said I didn't care - I wanted him tested. I was waiting for the results and finally realized that my local vet had thought that the vet hospital had tested Mac who hadn't. When Mac was finally tested he was VERY positive for Lyme.
To make this long story a tad shorter - 1 month of apple-flavored powdered doxycyline in Mac's feed (he actually liked the stuff) and now Mac is a new horse. His trainer (who I will have a separate post on) has done an excellent job with his recovery and Mac looks like he did when we bought Oki. Actually, better. Mac is VERY happy in his work.
The hard part now is to find him a good home, but I have great hopes on that front. The right person will come along. Mac is too young and likes to work too much to just be my pasture horse for another 10 years!!! Keep fingers, paws and hooves crossed that we find him a great family.
And - oh - NEVER beat yourself up for things that you regret you did/didn.t do in the past. Just make certain you that you learn from the experience and don't do them again. And also make certain you do what I say and NOT what I do ;).