Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Homecoming

You'd think when this whole mess was over, I'd finally be able to relax and move on but there's something about being so focused for so long that makes changing gears difficult. Having thought about this thing so hard for so long, it just didn't want to leave my brain.

I understood there would be a delay from the point we signed the papers until they were signed and executed by the other side but having had such a negative experience with these people it was hard to even trust them now. I just couldn't believe it was real even though I knew as a officer of the court their lawyer must follow through with the offer or she could not file the stipulation dropping the case. Without knowing they had signed the paperwork and the process was underway, I sweated what was coming next. Some part of my psyche would only be satisfied once the horse was home and not before.

From the Tuesday after Labor Day to the time the horse arrived home it was a full, long, miserable 8 days. Insecurities filled my thinking and I struggled with doubt. I wanted so badly to post here about the internal conflict but just didn't dare. I was worried one false step might blow the whole thing up and I sure didn't want that. My health was suffering from all the stress so I needed this to be done.

With my focus still centered on the conflict, it was hard to do anything else. Shifting gears and going on with my life seemed premature so I found myself continuing on with my paperwork. I figured if I got everything in proper order, I could use if for reference in the future should I even find myself needing to act as my own lawyer again. After all I sure didn't want to have to do all this research again. Maybe because I'm prepared I won't need it. I sure hope that's the case.

By that Monday I decided I was going to begin doing some little things around here with my horses. I have a number of young stallions who need something to do so I turned my focus to them. I must admit I think Rhet was really glad to get some one on one time in even if it did mean just lunging in the round pen. Patriot and Andy seemed that way too.

The lunging session were short both because the horses hadn't been worked in months and because I hadn't worked much in months either. Five minutes of me walking around in the round pen following a lunging horse caused me to sweat. The first day I only worked three horses and I was spent. By Wednesday I'd worked five horses and I was done for the day.

The horse was delivered here on Wednesday afternoon. The weather was supposed to change to rain but I'd already decided the first thing I'd do with this horse was turn him out. It was my best guess he'd not been turned out in a field but maybe one time in two years. He was long over due for some time to really be a horse.

When he came off the trailer, the first thing he did was scream. Like most stallions, he was announcing his arrival and the rest of the herd welcomed him. Then the little snot reared and pawed the air shaking his head at me but he did come down when I asked and pranced his way to the paddock in front of my house.

My friend, Chris, had said she wouldn't turn him out in a large place just in case he got a little nuts over finally being free. Although I didn't think he'd do such a thing, I'd decided better safe than sorry so I'd gone for this paddock that's probably 80 feet square by 65 feet, bigger than a round pen but not big enough to build up too much steam.

From the time we turned towards the paddock the horse knew exactly where we were going. He pranced, tossed his head and snorted in anticipation. If I had any doubts that turning this horse loose was the right thing, they were quickly dissuaded.

We've had such a cool miserable summer, my horses haven't gotten nearly the amount of turnout time they normally do. I'm used to seeing horses strut their stuff for a few minutes because they're so glad to finally be free. However, that strutting doesn't last long as they go to the more serious business of looking for something to eat.

That sure wasn't the case with this horse. I sat on my front porch watching him play for over an hour before I got cold and went into the house. Even from inside I could hear him kicking things up.

The horse wasn't stupid about it but he played hard. He did these leaping twisty things in the air kicking up his hind feet and throwing his shoulders from side to side. Sometimes he'd rear and just paw the air all the time tossing his head and celebrating his freedom.

I'd put some hay in the paddock because it needs to be reseeded and has little grass. He'd dive by the pile of hay grabbing a mouthful on the run. Then he'd toss his head like he'd made some great score from an unknown target. It was very heartening to watch. I knew by the length of time he played, that all the torture of the past months had been worth it. This horse was now home and in a much better place.

Four hours later Dave tried to catch the horse to put him in for the night. Even though he and Dave have always been great buddies, the horse did NOT want to be caught. He made it quite clear the last place he wanted to go was back into a stall even though it was now raining and this horse has always been something of a powderpuff about being rained on.

NOTE: I know there are a lot of questions about what happened here. Things are pretty raw right now and I need to move on but the day will come when I answer those questions or at least some of them.

The Second Day

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  1. The horse in the phots is lovely , I will assume that is him. What a huge relief for him, and when the dust settles I hope for you

  2. Wow Mikael...I just spent the last 15 minutes catching up over here and I want to congratulate you on your recent legal compromise/settlement.

    You are one smart cookie to be able to figure out your own case and represent yourself (even if you ended up with an attorney).

    Sometimes I wish that I would have went to law school (coulda, shoulda, woulda, right?) because our legal system does need more people with integrity in it.

    I am glad that everything has ultimately ended up for the better and I can't wait to read more about your new "old" horse. : )

  3. fern, yes, you are right. This is the horse all the fuss was about. I can't even express how relieved I am to have him home.

    Melanie, Thanks, I am actually proud of myself. I know the settlement offer came because of my hard work. They had no idea I had an attorney yet and I was able to put enough pressure on them for this offer to be made. To be honest, if I hadn't hired the attorney already, I would have made a counter offer but since I had the attorney looking over my case, my costs were going to go through the roof and the result probably wouldn't have been worth it. Had I had any idea this was coming, I'd have waited for the outcome of the counter before hiring the attorney. I was figuring it would be after we completed discovery before they'd make an offer. Guess my requests granted for additional discovery made them nervous.

    As for law school, that's a long road I never would have thought about such a thing but it was an interesting journey getting through this. You sure are right about ethics, though. The system sure isn't set up to reward ethics either. That doesn't help much.

    There will be some things to tell about this horse. I hope to show him next year but we'll see how that all goes. For now I'm just glad he's home and that this thing is over.

  4. welcome home beautiful.

    i sure hope you can show him soon!


  5. So glad you have your boy back. It must have been gratifying to watch him buck and play like that. I know I always enjoy it when mine come back here after being boarded for awhile.

  6. He's a beauty. Glad he's home and enjoying his time outdoors. It's time for you to relax and take a rest and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

  7. He is gorgeous! Hopefully now you can get back to living instead of just surviving (the horse too, why don't more people understand that horses need to go out?).

  8. You've been single-handedly pushing against a mountain for a long time. It will take a while to find your balance now that the mountain has gone. Great news and a well earned result.

  9. Wow, he is beautiful and so glad hes home again. Wow he must have been pretty happy to have all that turn out space! I cant imagine playing that long, he must have been tired but happy afterwards. They really need time to be a horse, not just cooped up always.

  10. ah, I love the red headed boys.

    He's a looker.

    Glad he's in a home that lets him play.

  11. Oh man, so glad to hear an end has come...and that you got your horse back.

    I bet it feels like a brand new year for you.