Lesson and life lessons

Finn has had since last Friday off due to his SI injections. Before having the vet out last Friday I had scheduled a lesson with my old trainer for today. I was supposed to ride him and test the waters on Monday but that plan didn't work out. I was pretty nervous hopping on him today, after injections, four days off, and two days in due to bad weather. But....he was great! I don't know if it was the time off, or the injections kicking in, but I felt like he had sneakers on. He was floating.
    Trainer showed up and I guess I didn't remember how difficult she was! We learned so much in just half an hour, and I really, really need to work on my half seat because my lack of strength was painfully obvious. I tend to come way to far forward, over the front of the saddle, rather than staying centered over the motion. Actually using my body correctly felt so OFF. Trainer also mentioned that she thinks the best way to motivate me is to set a goal (our first show) and in the coming months do everything we can to prepare for said show. I think I've decided on June 9th at Green Acres http://www.greenacresstables.com/classic_green_004.htm for our first debut. They have a summer event series, and the Elementary 3 phase will be right up our alley. This was the first time trainer had met Finn and she absolutely loved him, and thought he was perfect for me. She asked what we've been doing this past year together and it was very difficult to say...well, nothing. I told her that he's had some issues, and my own paranoia on his health stalled us a whole lot this past year.
     Then I started thinking about why I'm so paranoid on his, well...imminent death. Seriously, I think about him dying all the time. My 8 year old, healthy horse, dying. I think about him colicing and dying, crashing into a fence and breaking his legs, a paddock injury that kills him.... Is that weird?
    My husband and I have house rabbits. Those cute, cuddly, little furry faces that you normally see in backyard hutches. Although ours live in our living room, enjoy free range of our house, are litter box trained, and are the smartest animals I've ever had the pleasure of calling mine. We currently have five of them. Three years ago, while we were living in New York we had a little lop eared rabbit named Bailey that we got when he was 12 weeks old from a breeder in Buffalo. He was the cutest, silliest little guy, and we loved him to pieces. Then, he got sick. It started with some sneezing and drooling while he was eating. We took him to our local vet, and after getting his teeth done (much in the same way a horse gets his done), and onto some antibiotics, he didn't get better. We took him to so many local vets, and then finally to Cornell to be seen by an exotics specialist. After having a CT scan done the vet found an inch long tumorish something in his nasal cavity, surrounded by veins, that if severed, would kill him. Surgery was impossible. We opted for daily penicillin injections to try and shrink it. For about seven months I kept him alive. My husband was training for a job where the training was based out of state, I was living in New York with no family, I was pregnant, and in the process of moving back to Boston. I packed up the entire house in two weeks, and moved all of our things and our rabbits back home with the help of Matt's brother. Bailey was extremely ill, had lost a ton of weight, but I persevered in keeping him alive. Every night he would lay next to me, rest his head on my arm, while I looked into his sad little eyes. At around 35 weeks pregnant, while I was at a doctors appointment, Bailey passed away. He passed away in pain and I will never forgive myself for not doing the right thing for him.
     I am still not over his death. He wasn't even two years old. Now, I am obsessed with something being wrong with my animals. Every time my horse takes a misstep, or looks a little off, I think there's something wrong. Only recently, in the past few months or so, I've realized that the point is not dwelling on our animals short lives, but enjoying them, loving them, and giving them the best lives while they're here with us. I have to remind myself of this all the time, to just enjoy the now, but it's finally getting a little bit easier.

Bailey bunny


  1. Oh man, I would love to have bunnies. My dogs would make life too upsetting for them though.

    I share a lot of your same feelings about animals and dwelling - especially with my rescued BT. We don't know how old she is (and she's older) but I have a hard time not dwelling on the fact that she may only have a few years left and I obsess over any little problem I find with her.

  2. Rabbits are amazing, and surprisingly very good with the right sort of dog...like a herding dog ;)
    It's so tough with animals, I can't imagine how I'm going to be as Finn gets older!

  3. :( I understand getting stressed out about little things though. Adorable bunny and I am sorry that he was taken too early.