I’ve been asked many times to start blogging – until now I’ve told people I do not have the time. I’ve also promised people to one day tell the entire story of the vets’ mistakes that had poor innocent Quinny suffering totally unnecessarily for over a year and how I very nearly put her down. Now I’ve decided to make the attempt at telling the story of Quintana’s and my eleven-year-old journey together in regular blogs posts.
Riding, training, healing, foaling, learning
This summer I will have ridden and worked with horses for 50 years. As my family moved from country to country with my father’s work, the level and riding style depended on what was available from demanding dressage trainings in a French top-notch riding center to trail rides in the Californian foothills. When I moved to Finland in the beginning of the 80’s, I rented a retired international level show-jumper until I got pregnant with my daughter. When my daughter turned seven, we started both riding at a riding school and she got Luna when she was 13.
Luna already taught a lot as we found out she had a back injury 7 months into our ownership but decided to turn down the offer to return her to the horse dealer, as we had already fallen in love with her. I went to a horse massage course and worked with Equine Physiotherapist Fanny Littorin to define a program for Luna’s care. Luna had an accident in October 2016, when another horse kicked her in her hind leg. The surgeon who stitched her at the University Horse Clinic, told me she would at best be a “garden decoration”. Fanny Littorin came to the rescue and in August 2017, my daughter jumped the Finnish Junior Championships with the final at 140 cm and placed 9th.
We took a foal from Luna, Cadeau de Luna. It was an interesting, educative and extremely stressful journey, which ended in Cadeau dying at age 1 year 10 months of a reaction to a sedative, into the trailer on the way back from a clinic. The toughest day of my life to date.
But it has been Quintana, who has truly challenged my horsemanship. She is a sensitive horse in a way the majority of trainers and most of those calling themselves horse persons have no understanding of. She has also had so much trouble with her health that I have consulted more equine experts than I care to count, I’ve read countless research and articles on disorders, training methods, nutrition, horses’ pain and body language etc. and bought online education programs.
I thought that all horse people must be wonderful people, since people who are passionate about an animal as gracious and beautiful as horses, must by definition also be gracious people. When I bought our first totally own horse to my daughter in 2003 and we took the horse, Luna, to a private stable, I was shocked at how mean many of the other horse owners, particularly adults, were to me and even to my then 13-year-old daughter. Just a couple of years ago, I was told by one of the trainers I’ve worked with that a first-generation horse owner cannot become a horse person – I feel put into place. However, the blog name FlowerHatLadyRider started brewing at the back of my head when I was told last spring that (at least) one of the twenty-something ladies at our stable calls me the f…ing flower hat lady rider behind my back. In the spirit of when life gives you lemons make lemonade, I decided that in fact FlowerHatLadyRider is a perfect name for sharing Q&I’s journey.
I am not claiming I’m an expert on anything. I’m not claiming I have the truth about anything. I’m not claiming I know anything better than anyone else. Within the theme of my blog platform SpeakingFromExperience, I’m just telling what I’ve seen, read and experienced with horses and if that comforts someone, sparks an idea or makes them laugh, the blog post was worth writing.