As most of you can probably understand, 2017 has been a hell of a year for me. It has consisted of unsteady water and rocky roads as far as eye can see. At least the last six months have been a struggle, to say the least. So I’d like to like to take a look-back at the year.
The year started off with riding moderately. I was very focused on the show jumping and entering shows. So we had regular lessons for a trainer and we entered one competition(it didn’t go very well though). We even experienced some falls along the way. One due to bolting, one due to rider’s error in jumping and one was an accident where Baldur spooked and gently tipped me off. It’s weird how all these falls came in a two-month-period, after not falling off for 2 years. I guess the time was due?
Moving on to spring break, I took Baldur back to Ålesund for the break. That’s when my likings for the gaited bloomed once again. I came back into a gaited environment, and both I and loved it. We got the chance to ride for a world champion and we had great feedback, which really sparked my motivation to get back into gaited competitions.
The fall came and we went back to Hamar for studies. At that point, my interest and motivation was at it’s peak. Me and Maja would ride literally every day. No dressage, no jumping, just hacks. She would ride as usual, and I would push Baldur in the tölt-training. Turns out training tölt on hacks is great for building muscle! And it really showed. Baldur was in great shape and ready for fight. We entered our first gaited competition in Hamar and it was amazing. I was thrilled.
Little did I know that it was drastically going to change when I noticed that Baldur’s sheath was swelling. I tried to wash it out to see if anything changed, but a couple days later, the swelling was still bad. But the veterinarian was on the way to float the horses, and I asked her to check him in the same day. Baldur was drugged and his sheat and penis was cleaned. There were some spots and skin that raised suspicion, and a biopsy was made two weeks later(the day after the gaited competition).
And we all know that the results were positive for cancer. After getting that message, everything went south. My mood dropped and I became so vulnerable, anxiety really took me by the ear and didn’t let go. I was totally unstable and anything could make me cry. But I had to keep going, there was no other option for me but to keep my head high and move forward.
Baldur was treated with chemo therapy every two weeks and when almost all the cancer was gone and I was starting to feel the relief, something had to happen. Baldur was suddenly lame and couldn’t walk. He would fall with every step and it was horrible. The veterinarian came(this was in the middle of treatments) and checked for bone breakage first. No breaks. It turned out it was a hoof crushing, and it had to be drained of blood. Baldur recovered in a couple of days, and we shoed him with pads to prevent him from taking more damage to the already thin sole.
I handed in my exams and before leaving home for the holidays, I finally able to breathe. We had another veterinary visit, and this time there was no need for another treatment as everything was gone. It was exactly what I needed and more. I could cry of joy. I know it’s not over yet, there are follow-ups to do, but man, I was relieved. It was the perfect end of a hectic year. All I can really say now it that i really look forward to the new year.