Minnie is feeling really well. She moves without lameness, she walks with a long and even stride and when she sees me coming with her bucket, she comes galloping. She looks great too, her eyes are bright and her coat is gleaming. It’s a pleasure to watch her.
It is only a few weeks ago that she was hobbling around on three legs. First, because she tore a suspensory ligament and then shortly afterwards because she got an abscess in her hoof. On both occasions, the way Minnie dealt with it was the same. For the first few days she hardly moved, only making the effort to painfully bunny hop when she had eaten all the grass around her feet. As the pain gradually diminished, she would start moving again, even when she was still very lame. The moment she was pain-free, she would start cantering again. Minnie needs to move.
Sometimes she would overdo it. She would have a good old gallop around the field, challenging Cassie to keep up with her and then the following day she would be lame again, with her leg swollen and hot. I wanted Minnie to mind herself, to take it easy so the ligament could heal and I worried about what all the galloping was doing to her leg. But Minnie isn’t worried about her leg at all. She doesn’t think about how much she can do with it and if her leg is ready to withstand fast work. To her, no pain means the leg is fine and she’ll do whatever she wants to do and go as fast as she pleases. If there is pain, she’ll mind herself and she won’t push herself beyond what she can do. Past and future are not relevant, Minnie lives in the moment.
I have been at home recuperating for a while now and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what happened. I also spend a lot of time worrying about the future. It took me a while to realise that all this worrying was not constructive. If you constantly look back over your shoulder you’ll miss the view ahead. If you stare too far in the distance you won’t see what is right in front of you. So yes, I pushed myself much harder than I should have and ignored the warning signs. But that was then and this is now. Minnie showed me that.