You know that expression; It`s all fun and games until someone gets hurt? For equestrians, it’s almost the same. Our’s goes; It’s all fun and games until someone pulls a shoe.

Star, my beloved TB terror, managed to break her 8-month streak of soundness by yanking off a shoe. I was not impressed. I’d been thinking a lot about pulling her shoes for the winter anyways, because they were so quick to come off last year. She’s been moving well and her musculature is much more balanced than it was at this time last year. Surely two small pieces of metal won’t make that much of a difference.

Lies.

I had a pretty frank discussion with our farrier about what our game plan would be going forward. We agreed to keep Star off shoes until she showed that she needed them. Which lasted almost four whole days. After that she moved like an arthritic plow horse who needs immediate hock injections. Depressing.

Thankfully, because my farrier is awesome, he fit me in around the Royal festivities and hammered shoes back on her feet. She wasn’t perfect that night, but she wasn’t looking old, or arthritic or anything else. She was short-stepping a bit, but other than that was moving out fine. So crisis averted…for now, at least.

I’ve mentioned before, 2016 and I have not really gotten along all that well. At best, we’ve been two co-workers with zero in common forced to finish a project together. At worst? I donno, I think one of us tried to murder the other. Some bad blood has been spent, is all I can say for sure.

But I see a light at the end of this tunnel.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is on (we’ve got some great coverage coming up so buckle in for that). My barn has four youngsters showing in-hand in various sportpony classes. Between that and the last-day sales, I figure I’m in for a really fun time.

Today is my anniversary. Five years ago today my guy and I decided to say “I do” in front of all our friends and family. Since then we’ve added a daughter, dog, horse, and countless board games and BluRays to our lives. There have been challenges, of course. I don’t know what life would be without challenges. All-in-all, though, we have it pretty easy. We actually like each other, which in my very limited experience seems to be 90% of keeping a marriage together. He doesn’t get all of my interests (cough, horses, cough), and I don’t get all of his, but we certainly try our best to listen when the other one talks about about those interests. My husband makes sure he mentions fencing and paddocks when we talk about newly avalible houses, for instance. He doesn’t actually care about fencing and paddocks; he just cares enough to know he needs to ask about them. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. 😉

Before I know it we’ll be into the holiday season and 2016 will be officially behind us.

I gotta say, I’m looking forward to it all. And maybe that’s the way I have to think about the recent past. I’ve pulled a shoe. It’s a temporary thing, it will get better. Shoes get tacked back on and I’m off and running again. Because let’s face it, folks, maybe here and there we get hurt or pull a shoe, but the rest is all fun and games. That’s not a bad deal, when you think about it.

For now I’m off to celebrate. I hope when I write next I’ll have more good news to share. Until then, try to keep your shoes on and ride like you have nothing to lose!

Christine Sharpe is a Canadian who grew up riding Hunter/Jumper in the Southern USA. Now living in Toronto, she is a thirty-something who is recently back to riding after four years off and having her first child. Christine is aiming her Thoroughbred mare, Star, toward the Jumper Circuit and Warmblood Breed Inspections. She struggles daily to juggle family, work, and her equine lifestyle, with occasional success.

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