I met Baby Girl about two and a half years ago on a bright day in September. The day before my first CTR. I was suppose to ride her in the competition, as the horse I was suppose to ride got severe girth rubs at the last minute. She was a green broke barely-four-year-old who had never been away from home, never the less to huge out of state trail ride.
We were almost pulled at a P&R 14 miles in, but managed to complete the ride. I was hooked on the sport and wanted a horse to do it with. Why not this horse? It was love at first sight.
I rode her every weekend until Decemeber, when she became mine on Christmas Eve. We worked hard that first year. We put in six CTRs that year and got regional high point junior novice horse, rider, and team. All in spite of a bowed tendon during the summer from which everything thought would be career impairing.
Year two was even more intense. We did four rides during the spring. We planned on a full fall season, but BG became severely ill during the summer. She tied up during a routine trail ride. I didn't know what was going on. We called the vet, but it was 9:00 pm and all the local vets were closed. She wasn't stable enough for a trailer ride, even if we could get in touch with someone.
I sat with her all night. I held up water and hay, because she was so stiff she couldn't lower her head to drink. She panted, her heart raced, her urine was brown-red in color, her gums were sticky pale, and she stood unable to move for eight heart wrenching hours.
The vet later said it was a miracle she survived. It was the worst tie up she had ever seen where the horse lived. Her blood work was sent to UGA, as the vet's machine's wouldn't read numbers so high. Just as miraculously, there was no permanent kidney damage. The damaged muscle would need slow, careful rehab.
Two weeks and I was cleared to ride her at a walk for 30 minutes a day. BG tied up minorly again three weeks later, and another time two weeks after that. The vet suspected she had PSSM, so we changed her diet and lifestyle to manage it. Even with management, no one thought BG would ever be suitable for distance again. I was encouraged to sell her as a pasture pet.
Two months later, and BG's turn around was spectacular. She looked, felt, and performed better than ever. We finished out 2012 with two open rides, one of which was the toughest ride in region 5.
This year, we have 12 open rides planned. We'll need that many to get our national championship. Let's do this thing.