Life is Like a Game of Cards

“Life is like a game of cards. What’s important is not the hand you’re dealt, it’s the way you play it.” 

At the moment I feel like I’m holding a hand of twos, threes and fours. Not enough to make two of a kind, or a flush. Just rubbish.

Well, it could be worse. I don’t think I have the two of clubs. That would be life changing. Hannah Francis, now she was dealt the two of clubs. But she found the three, four, five and six of clubs to make a five card flush and leave her mark on the world.

Shall I tell you my dud card?

Otis has regressed to the original lameness so we had another vet visit today. And he has suspected collateral ligament damage. Which means an MRI scan for confirmation and then box rest and prolonged recuperation over the next twelve months. I was devastated. Hope had been slipping through the sand timer whilst I frantically tried to catch Hope. When the vet said it would be a year before I next ride him I abruptly let go of all Hope still in my hands. As soon as the vet left I gave Otis a bear hug around his neck, and dissolved into tears. A year is a very long time when you aren’t having fun.

After I’d turned him out I had to hack two horses; giving me the time I needed to gather my thoughts, get a lid on my emotions, make a plan. Both horses seemed to sense my mood and were very cuddly and on their best behaviour, giving me chance to work out how I’m going to play this hand. Firstly, I need to make time fly. And for that, I need to have fun.

First off, I realised I’m actually in a very privileged position. I still have horses to ride; I’ve been offered horses to compete all summer and have just been offered a mare to compete in the winter while her owner has an operation. That I should be grateful for.

Secondly, my Mum’s pony is coming over for boot camp in a fortnight while Mum is recuperating. A couple of weeks ago it felt daunting to take on another horse full time. But now I think that if I only have one to exercise I shall be able to pay Matt more attention. Already I have a sponsored ride lined up because he’s very good on them as opposed to Otis’s interesting interpretation of sponsored rides. And today someone asked if I wanted to do a pairs hunter trial with them later that month. Maybe I should have a go at the riding club winter dressage qualifier with him … And just have some fun.

So if Matt goes home to Mum at Christmas then I should use the free time I’ve created to work towards my Intermediate Instructor Exam which is my aim for 2017. Not as much fun I’m sure, but still a time-filler.

The prognosis for collateral ligament damage is quite good, which means that hopefully we can try and aim for medium dressage when he is better.

Another positive I realised was that Otis is still with me, I still have my best friend. I may be gutted that he’s lame and hurting and I can’t solve the problem, but ultimately he’s still alive. I realised this when I saw a friend’s  post on Facebook after she lost her mare today. 

Potentially I can take my three of diamonds and make a flush, or just three of a kind. I just hope I can be strong enough to get through this.

3 thoughts on “Life is Like a Game of Cards

  1. Schmitt Sep 10, 2016 / 9:30 am

    Though I enjoy your blog very much, this piece is hard for me to read. I broke my ankle in a fall early last year, and I don’t yet know if I will ever ride regularly again. Currently I can go to the stable once a week and brush my horse, while pouring money into his board and care. My cards all fell under the table.

    • therubbercurrycomb Sep 10, 2016 / 12:54 pm

      Hi, I’m glad you enjoy the blog – it was quite cathartic to write this. Such a shame about your ankle I hope you get good news soon and can start riding again 🙂

  2. Avery Sep 12, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    You are strong enough! You may need to come back and read this post to remind yourself, but you are strong enough! The card analogy is one of the best in my opinion and I appreciate it. Keep your eye on him healing and be grateful for what you have. Enjoy getting to ride other horses and your groom sessions/quiet time with Otis. It will bring you closer and make you a better team! Keep us posted!

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