Two years ago I started a business because I wanted to offer more to my horses. At first I was so strongly apposed to any sort of medical, herbal, hormonal, ad infinitum alternation of the animals. When I started using Regumate I thought I might have been copping out or letting necessity trump principals. Like all initial conclusions, I let time, experience and education season it.
If you have been following, I was bucked off and tore some ligaments in my knee. Mr. Cook, my deservedly well-respected and well-informed coach, worried about my safety and the opportunities I was missing, spending so much time in the little jumper rings. He asked me to be open-minded about selling my beloved mare and, wanting to be a good student, I spent my winter months looking into another horse. Internet land- this is a BIG thing. I wouldn't consider myself an animal hoarder but, as someone that has a troublesome time relating to other sapiens, I find a great deal of comfort in my horses. All horses are special little snow flakes. But my special little snow flakes have helped me tremendously with the depression and anxiety of a wretched family history. To think of letting a companion out of my life so I might become a better competition rider was a serious conundrum.
A conundrum that again relates back to social depression and anxiety. I have rarely admitted out loud much less committed to print a long history of serious depression. This winter I was also trying my best to come to terms with a personal belief battle between the rationalist side of me, believing logic and theory could discuss away emotional imbalances and the sort of empirical materialist believer that all mental states are actually brain states. The rationalist wanted to think away depression. The empirical materialist actually started to understand that depression, like colds, cuts or broken ligaments, was a sort of broken brain. Thankfully a broken brain that medication could fix. For the first time in my life, I started on medication for my depression. Long-winded I know, but I swear it is related.
In this vain, I started thinking back to Zis. Perhaps what had been labeled behavioral was actually a physical disfunction. Could having foals somehow change the way her body felt?Could it change the pressure on her ovaries? Its not as if the damn mare can speak, so I did what any good scientist would do, I tried Regumate and I minimized the variables. What followed: a dramatic improvement on her behavior most importantly a willingness (gasp, desire) to go forward.
Most horse trainers will think this entire post is silly, certainly Mr. Cook thought my complete refusal to try daily regumate was unproductive and juvenile. And it was. Blood, sweat, tears and oh so important time shed with this horse and something so simple could be the difference between clean rounds and not. But where would I be if I didn't make mistakes, have some courage in my conviction and the good sense to know when I'm wrong. Of all the complicated things in horse training, I'm skeptical. But a season has taught me to be skeptical of the skepticism.