Monday, April 5, 2010

Aidol's Story....... the Down Time

Part 1

It was the following year after the experience with my broken finger, that I began showing horses on the Arabian circuit. It was actually at my very first ever horse show that my daughter, Lindsay, was diagnosed with brain cancer. From that point forward throughout Lindsay's treatment, Aidol just hung out around our farm. The only riding I was doing was at shows and an occasional day home on a break from the hospital with Lindsay.

During that time Dave was pretty much in a fog. He was so overwhelmed by Lindsay's condition he escaped in work leaving Nick to deal with the horses.

Nick was only twelve at the time and not a very mature twelve. Despite the fact I had a neighbor who would help care for the horses, Nick wanted to do it himself. My then neighbor, Naomi, backed off to let him and instead just came by to check up on Nick's work. That way I knew the horses were taken care of and Nick felt like he was doing something to help the family in this crisis.

Now if you think about it. That was a lot of work for a kid to be doing in the first place. We had 5 head of horses at the time, Scandalous, Dandy, Aidol, Mark and Lindsay's pony, Poa Moa Punch. Nick would feed the horses in the early morning. Then he turn them out before school. After school he'd clean their stalls and put them all back inside to feed them again along with getting his homework done and feeding himself. The kid was pretty much on his own.

We had only had the horses on our own place for about a year and a half so Nick wasn't really all that experienced with handling horses. Yet here was this kid with two young horses to deal with. Dandy was a yearling and Aidol now a four year old........... a rampuctious four year old at that.

During all of that time Aidol never gave Nick any problems. Known to jig his way all the way out for turnout, Aidol squelched the urge and walked flat footed for Nick. Even on those occasions the horse hadn't been out for days because of rain, Aidol didn't test Nick. The horse seemed to sense the fragility of this boy caring for him and took care of him just like he'd taken care of Dave on the trail.

I wish I could say the same for Dandy. While the young colt didn't ever hurt Nick, he certainly could have. Dandy was a typical yearling pretty darn full of himself and rearing was fun sport to him. Unfortunately Nick thought the rearing was fun too, so I never learned of it until almost a year later. It was at that time, that Dandy was gelded. I wasn't taking any chances of Nick or Dave getting hurt.

It was during this time in our lives that Aidol learned how to escape from his stall. It didn't matter what kind of latch was on his door, with our half doors the horse could still reach it and work his magic lips. The horse was regularly letting himself out.

Aidol always made the most of his time out by letting out his buddies to play with him. If the horse didn't get caught right away, Nick would find Dandy and/or Mark out with him. If Aidol escaped, the odds were he wouldn't be out alone.

Nick always acted like he was very frustrated by Aidol's antics. I think deep down the boy was actually relieved to have the comic relief. He'd grumble to me about "that darn Aidol" when I spoke to him on the phone but I could hear the glimmer of a smile in his voice. While Lindsay fought for her life, caring for the horses saved my son.

To be continued....................

Mr Personality

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  1. Nick was a good kid and real help to the family. You all have gone through so much. I'm so glad that Lindsay was a fighter and made it through. I'll bet the horses helped a little too with the healing process.

  2. What a terrible trial for you and your family , Lucky that your sone had the horse and youand your hubby ,Is your daughter OK now?

  3. Arlene, the horses were definitely a part of the healing for all of us.

    FV, Lindsay is doing fine. She has some brain damage from complications from her surgery and some residual nerve damage from her chemotherapy but considering she wasn't expected to survive, she's doing great.

  4. it's wonderful to hear this backstory to your other stories. thank you!

  5. Nick sounds like a really good young man. You must be very proud of him, for stepping up to help. I'm so glad that Lindsay made it through.

  6. Wow! So sorry to hear of this time for all of you! So glad to hear your daughter made it.
    Good for Nick for stepping up and helping the family.
    What a gem of a son you must have!
    I wish you all much health and happiness!
    Terri Baker

  7. that's arabians for you - the only breed known to absolutely positively ADORE children. I've seen horses that would try a trainer immediately settle down for a child.

    mine loves kids - sasses me, but put a 7 year old near him or on him and he becomes absolutely docile.

  8. Horses are the best psychiatrists and therapists there could be! Especially for children!