Time for the New Year post I believe. In order for me to sum up 2012 I think it best if I go back to my New Year Post from last year, the “Happy New Year- it can only be better,” post:
2011 drowned in rain and lost me two of my beloved horses, and left two of the others severely injured. My hopes for the new year was that Apocalipse would recover from his hoof injury without lasting damage, that Poseidon would live, that I could get Apollon back in training and maybe compete a little again.
So, let’s start from the top. Apocalipse did make a full recovery. Saleem got over his hoof abscess as well. We moved the horses in January, to a much better pasture, in order to avoid any of those kinds of injuries again. We have been happy at our new home, most of the time and yes 2012 has been better. Slightly.
Poseidon, my heart, my soul, my star, my endless night, was euthanized in April, because he developed a ringbone on his right front leg as a direct result of the pelvic injury we had been battling all of his life, and with two legs “out of order” I saw no way for him to recover or live a decent happy life. He was- almost- 17, having lived with me for 15 years.
Losing him, so soon after Amalia and Legacy, was quite a blow. And yet, I saw it coming, like a train, closing in on me from a distance, and I knew it would hit me at some point. There was no escaping it, no avoiding it, some day I would find myself run over with no where left to jump in order to give him a good and pain free life. Like I wrote in my post last year, 2011 was hard on him. We came to our journeys end this year.
And what a journey is was.
2012 introduced Marble Dane XX, my precious little thoroughbred mare, to my gang.
We bought her mostly because both my boyfriend and I wanted another thoroughbred mare after losing Amalia and because I knew Poseidon’s time was coming to an end. Marble have not been all bliss and happiness, she was sick when she came home, thin and suffering from pneumonia and once we got that treated and she started gaining weight, she suddenly went into a growth spurt that had her front legs causing her a lot of pain because her tendons could not keep up.
Marble has been on painkillers most of this summer, while we waited with baited breath to see if her tendons would loosen up. We took x-rays of her legs to make sure that her bones were not straining too much, and luckily they were all clear. By fall, her tendons did loosen up as well and hopefully she will not have those kinds of problems again next year. Hopefully she will grow up to be a happy filly over the next summer.
Apollon and I had our “trial by fire” in May, when we loaded him into a trailer for the first time ever without sedation, after having spent most of 2011 training him to do just that. We drove to the beach and had a nice and quiet day, playing in the water. I was so utterly proud of him, for finally trusting me enough to be comfortable with being driven.
Things were looking up a bit, and I hoped that we would now be able to get back in the game, competition wise. He was such a great horse, I really wanted to show him. Now, because he could be loaded into a trailer, the world opened up to us in a very different way than it had before.
Two days after our beach trip, he came up lame on his right front leg and we spent the remainder of the summer taking x-rays of all four legs and his spine, doing ultra sound scans and flexion tests, to no avail. We simply could not figure out what was wrong with him.
I settled for accepting that he was lame, it wasn’t too much and he was happy still. I figured I would give him a year off and hope that whatever the problem was, would mend itself. It couldn’t be anything major since we could not locate it.
Saleem got broken in and we started prober training of him this year. We even figured out how to deal with the last complications of his fractured jaw and his “headshaking.”
Saleem turned out to be a very fast, very nimble, very outgoing and trusting young horse. He is very secure in his own abilities and he trusts me in a way Poseidon and Apollon never did. Saleem might look at mailboxes and street signs, but once I tell him that they are not saber tooth tigers in disguise, he believes me. Riding a horse like that, with his spirit and courage is a whole new experience for me, after 15 years with the two red boys and I must say, Saleem has won me over, big time. He is extraordinary.
Over the summer, in the midst of battling Apollon’s strange lameness, Marble’s growing up issues and training Saleem and Apocalipse according to their age, I managed to find time to release my book, the Hand of Fate, the first in my fantasy series, Starstone.
Releasing the Hand of Fate means a lot to me, since this is a story I have been writing on ever since I was a teenager. As much as Poseidon and Apollon were my life’s work, so is this series. We released it as an e-book and as a paperback in English and as a paperback in the Danish translation.
My poetry collection, “This Song” was released on November the 16th, the birthday of a childhood friend of mine, who committed suicide 7 years ago. I dedicated the collection to her. She was a huge part of my life, and her death will haunt me forever.
This Song is out as an e-book and as a paperback as well, but only in English. It contains a lot of the songs I have written over the years, more than actual poetry, but all of my songs can be read easily without the music. The lyrics stand alone and tell their own story in each and every one of them. I had not expected to ever release my poetry as a book, but since I got so much positive feedback on the ones I posted on this blog, I figured it was time I stopped cradling them, and let them fly.
I have actually been writing a lot this year, finishing up book four in the Starstone Series and working towards the end of book five at the moment. Other than that, I have started writing on a book entitled My heart, My soul, My star, My endless night, about Poseidon, Apollon and all of my other horses, focusing on our lives together and my work as a trainer in Natural Horsemanship.
At the moment, I find it hard to write on, because I left it last time while I was introducing the young Apollon to the story, but I will pick it up again soon and hopefully be able to finish it during 2013.
A friend of mine, Elisabeth and I, started on another project together, our comic fantasy book, The Kiss, the Dragon and the Werewolf. It has been quite a challenge to write with someone else, but also a whole lot of fun. I have learned a lot from it and I am looking forward to see where this story will take us. It is a very new experience for me, not being able to control the story myself, having to deal with her ideas as well as my own and sometimes having my ideas sidetracked because she took the story in an entirely different direction than what I had expected. I can only recommend that kind of writing to anyone who wants to be better at story telling. It is fantastic.
This fall introduced Ac Bahiyya Jawahir OX, AKA Tardis, to my gang.
Tardis was for sale and since I was beginning to realize that Apollon would not recover, and Saleem had won me over by his courage and spirit, I traded Apollon’s saddle for this precious three year old Arabian mare. Tardis is pregnant and due in May 2013.
Apollon crashed and burned in November, he ran a fever, swelled up in all four legs, the foreskin and the belly. We took blood samples, which caused him to swell up in the neck and the entire front. My vet was astounded. I was too… and then again, not so much. It has always been an issue with Apollon, his swollen foreskin, his lack of energy, his mysterious fever attacks… this is not the first time we have taken blood samples from him, but it is the first time he responded so violently to them.
Apollon was euthanized on December 10th. We never knew exactly what was wrong with him. My vet spoke of immune system failure, ruptured arteries, laminitis, viral infection and a lot of things that I, after having fought like crazy to save his life, came up short against after a month of no improvement at all.
I must admit, losing him hit me very hard. He was only 13 years old. This was our time. We should have competed this year, we should have made him shine… and instead, I had to say goodbye to horse number four in two years on a snowy Monday at the end of the year.
I cannot believe that he is gone. This horse came to me when he was 6 months old. I have known him all of his life. He was my baby. Now, he is just a picture, a memory, a handful of ribbons on my wall and a huge hole in my heart.
Apocalipse has been my ray of sunlight through this entire year. I don’t know how I would have got through it without him.
So, 2012 has been slightly better than 2011, mostly because I have had time to write, to publish some of my books and because of the two precious girls that entered our lives, Marble and Tardis.
Still, losing both Poseidon and Apollon in the same year, I cannot say that this has been a good year. It really hasn’t. Not even close.
If I can make a wish for 2013, it would be this. Let the Saleem, Apocalipse, Marble and Tardis LIVE! I am not losing another horse for the next 15 years, I just can’t do it one more time. And please, let Tardis have a healthy foal and let us all turn a new page and start a fresh with this new life that will soon be amongst us.
If I should be greedy, I would love for 2013 to be the year where Saleem and I got to compete a little and where my books would start selling, but really, I am not asking for that. Just let my kids be happy and healthy. And let me keep them.
So, once again, Happy New Year, and fingers crossed, 2013 will be a new start, the turn of a new leaf, and a LOT better than 2012…