Hi everyone!  I havent blogged much since my lockdown here in France has lifted for two reasons, the first being that the blog was being worked on and moved domains to Black Nova Designs, and secondly sadly we received some bad news about my horse Mya. 

After nearly going mad in my apartment for 60 days of really strict lockdown in Toulouse city centre, I was so excited to go back to the stables, as we were not allowed visit at all during lockdown. But unfortunately the dream of seeing Mya quickly became a nightmare. We noticed quickly when we brought Mya in from the field that her hind leg wasn’t quite right, she wasn’t visibly lame in walk but she definitely had a puffy leg. Her owner and I went to see her everyday and each day the leg seemed a bit more puffy. Kate and I were both quietly worrying as Mya has injured her hind leg very badly when she was younger. Her ligament was damaged when she jumped a 5 bar gate at the yard she was broken in at. Kate had insisted she was operated on and had slowly rehabilitated her for years after until she was fully recovered when I started to ride her. We were always aware of her previous injury so never asked too much of her. As time went on we worried less as she seemed to be sound all the time. That was until lockdown. We were both immediately worried that she could have done something in the field to aggravate the old injury. I tried to not worry too much, as it is easy to run away with negative thoughts but the reality was she had a puffy leg with no puncture wound on her bad leg. 

We walked her in hand for a couple of days and she was absolutely fine in walk. So on the Wednesday Kate asked me to pop on her and hack her down the road, so she could take a look at her moving. I felt a bit bad getting on her when she had a bad leg but deep down I knew that this would be the last time I rode her. So we walked to the end of the road and back. She felt fine and was very keen like normal. We then trotted a few paces up the road and she was very lame. I just knew that this was it. The next day the vet came and scanned Mya’s leg and told Kate what we had dreaded. It was the ligament that was damaged and that we should stop riding her completely. He said even if the ligament could recover she has developed traumatic arthritis, as the ligament was damaged, it was leaking fluid into the hock and that was what was causing the swelling.  Of course Kate and I were both devastated. The vet actually said that the old injury was inevitably going to come back at some point and that we were lucky to have had 2 good years of riding from her.  It was very hard to hear after we had been so careful with her and so sad that she is only 10 years old and can no longer be ridden. 

Our last ride together

It’s an awful thing to happen but such awful timing too as we had been dreaming of seeing Mya again after lockdown. I had found lockdown incredibly tough in an apartment with no outside space. Our lockdown was very strict so I could only go outside 1x a day for a maximum of 1 hour for shopping or exercise and only with a form to show the police/army if they stopped me. For me, I couldn’t work or do anything I did normally including going to the stables and I found that very tough mentally. But actually when our lockdown was lifted it was just as tough, Mya was injured, I lost 2 of my 3 work contracts leaving me with very little work, my husband was partially furloughed which was worrying as we really depend on his income, our tenant in our UK house gave us notice and it was a lot to take all at once. Lockdown had been lifted but my life seemed to be crumbling around me. 

In regards to the horses, everything was quite up in the air as Kate was then left with two horses that she could not ride as she already has Jazz her 30 year mare. Kate wanted to speak to vet again to see if he suggested Mya should be put down, then if she had to be put down Jazz possibly would be too as there was worry that she wouldn’t cope without Mya. The whole situation was very sad. As we all know horses are very expensive to keep particularly if you now have 2 you can’t ride. The future looked bleak and uncertain. I love Mya like she is my own but at the end of the day she is not mine so the decisions about her are not mine to make. I trusted and respected Kate to do the best thing but it was very uncertain what that was. We worried if Mya wasn’t put down then, would it  just be a matter of time before she was injured again? It was a lot to think about. 

Kate had always wanted to put Mya into foal, so now perhaps would be the time. But that is another burden financially and again another worry of whether her leg could cope with the extra weight, then Kate would have 3 horses she can’t ride for 4 years! There really didn’t seem to be an easy simple solution.

The vet confirmed a few days later that Mya doesn’t need to be put down, that she could lead a comfortable life in the field with no major worry of her leg getting worse. He also confirmed that she would be able to carry a foal safely on her leg which was at least a bit of positive news. So sorry this update has not been as cheery as normal. But I wanted to go into more detail about what happened and keep everyone up to date. I also just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to every single person that messaged me during lockdown when I was feeling sad and when I shared the news about Mya. It made me feel better having a community of people supporting me and very much less alone during a time of separation. I will keep you posted with news about Mya and I will also keep you updated on my search for a new horse.

Until then take care and stay safe xxx. 

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