I smiled. That was not the first time my husband had delivered this ultimatum. Little did I know, it would be the last.
Sam passed away March 23rd.. I lost my husband, my partner, my best friend. Life changed, and with it my perspective and my priorities. What had seemed so important yesterday seemed trivial in the light of my changed circumstances.
But, Decadance was the last gift Sam had given me, and I owed it to Sam to continue on. I started working with Decs again. It was a welcome distraction. Grief, which was always with me, receded to the background. I lost myself in the moment. I was able to forget, for a time, all of the worries that plagued me.
We started back with ground work, and after a few sessions, began riding again. Decadance was wonderful. The time off had been good for him. We had no misbehavior, and were able to walk, trot, and canter without issue. I was cautiously optimistic.
Of course, as with all things Decadance, it would not be that simple. He started to struggle with the trot work. He'd start to use his back, be on the verge of a big suspended gait, and instead break into a hollow canter. And in the canter, he seemed unable to use his hind end correctly. What was going on?
Decadance tested positive for one of the markers for EPM, and began treatment. It's too soon to say whether it's worked or not. I'm able to ride him, but just at a walk. That's perfectly fine with me. It's riding meditation, I can slow down, relax, and just breathe. I don't care if my horse ever makes it to FEI. I've been there. I don't care if I ever show him; I don't have the resources right now to campaign him even if I wanted to. We are both in need of healing, Decs and I. Perhaps that's what brought us to each other, some creator's master plan . When I look at Decadance, I see the love that brought him to me. I see Sam's face as he delivered that final ultimatum. It fills my heart with gladness, and I thank God for all the gifts of my life.