JIVE, Therapy & Horses, My Heartbreak

June & July weren’t exactly good months for me. A whirlwind of some sort. Heartbreaking even, that will forever alter my well being. There is not a day that I do not think of her. I try to put a brave front and face what used to be my almost daily grind and of course, the need to go on with my daily life. I had to give up Jive. My horse. My baby. My key to recovery (physically, emotionally, and psychologically), my happiness, that I can really call my own. My chest tightens just thinking about it and tears start to fill the brim of my eyes. MANY will say that I’m just overreacting or being a brat. I’m still trying to wrap around the thought of why people don’t understand how much Jive means to me. Only a good handful of people understand this. Yes, I admit that I didn’t “work” hard enough to be able to afford her upkeep. Believe me, I tried. I spent months talking to other riders, parents and other people who would want to half-stable Jive, a good learning horse, but because of her age, most said that it was time to retire her. My own mother even said to put her to sleep but when she found out that it would cost at least P25,000 or more to do so, she kept quiet. Jive still has a few good years on her, she’s a tough girl. I could still ride and make use of being the only accredited FEI ParaEquestrian in the country and who knows, join more competitions and represent our country.

The connotation that riding is such an expensive sport is true. It is. BUT there are other sports that cost much more. Do you have an emotional and physical relationship with you golf clubs, scuba diving gear, bikes, etc? Does your gear respond to your touch? I didn’t think so.

My mother keeps shoving up my ass of how I need to work, find a regular nine to five job, etc. My mother also forgets that I have a medical condition that could be fatal if i get too stressed which I have been, trying to make ends meet. She forgets too that I have medical screws inside my ankle area that helps me walk better. As much as I want to bike everyday for at least an hour, I have a feeling that the screws inside my paralyzed leg have been misaligned because my ankle is starting to veer to one side again. No severe pain at all which is a big bonus. I don’t have any pain or pressure when I ride. Again, my mother NEVER sees my riding or my love of Jive as something beneficial in all aspects rather a big burden, a useless expense. Since my mother and I NEVER see eye t eye on this, I have become an expert of walking away once she brings up this topic. Rude, yes but it’s the only way to keep the peace and be civil.

“Physically, horses can help people gain greater mobility, a stronger sense of balance, better sensory skills, and improved neurological function. Riding a horse benefits ill or injured people who have trouble walking (such as stroke victims and those suffering multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy) because a horse’s gait has a rhythm that is strikingly similar to that of a human being. After spending some time riding a horse, people may walk better on their own. People who need help with their sensory skills or neurological functioning (such as those with autism or people who’ve suffered brain injuries in accidents) often improve after working with horses.

Emotionally, horses can help people recover from trauma, so people with a variety of psychological needs (such as abused children and soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder) spend time enjoying horses’ company and taking care of them to build bonds that give them the courage to eventually build stronger relationships with other people. The strong yet gentle demeanor of horses encourages people to talk openly with them about their thoughts and feelings, and horses respond with much-needed listening and unconditional love.”

If you come across anything about how horses are both beneficial and therapeutic ones well being, feel free to get in touch with me. I’m a living proof of how riding and horses has helped me.



I don’t think anyone will really understand how much my horse means to me. To some it’s just a waste of money and resources. I’m tired of explaining to people how Jive has helped me recover. I would have been bound to a wheelchair til this day if it wasn’t for Tita Marivic and Jive. After years of competing and attending Riding for the Disabled conferences abroad, why would anyone think that it was a waste of time? Yes, it’s all personal to me, it is me.

Just like you and I, we get sick. We get ill. Imagine, after 16 years, this is the first time, Jive gets an infection. This is all new to me. But because of TLC she’s better. She’s ALIVE and KICKING (literally). Even the VET is amazed of how fast Jive recovered. Thank you Dra. Anna Chavez. Good job! The groom sent me a message saying the Jive was ridden by Frances last weekend and she was fine. Thanks for the heads up and thank you for riding her Frances. I have less to worry about this afternoon. I am both scared and excited to get on. Wish me luck!!

Being Picky

The walk back to the stables. That’s Jive and the groom. Jive didn’t want to leave yet. She must have wanted more human interaction and carrots. Such a sweetie. Love of my life next to my son I tell you. Hehehe.



Last Wednesday, I had the scare of my life! My groom (the one that takes care of my horse) gave me a call saying that Jive, my horse, had a slight fever, and had a swollen groin area. She had an infection. Cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the connective tissues under the skin, is most common in the hind limb according to ©EQUUS Magazine. This has never happened in the 16 years that I have had her. You can’t imagine all the things that were going through my head. What was happening to my baby? Is she really getting that old? Is is really time to put her to pasture?

The vet, Dra. Anna, was only available the next day. An exchange of text messages and phone calls were made as I couldn’t go to Polo that day. I kept asking the groom to update me. The tack shop had all the necessary medicines and supplies except one, Furacin. The next shipment would be next week and we couldn’t wait that long. But the vet told me not to worry because the other grooms could lend some in the meantime. Being so worried about Jive, I called my cousin, Mike, who is a small animal vet. Thank God that he had the ointment in his pharmacy which he asked one of his vets to send a tub to my house! Thank you! It was called Furazone which in the long run is the exactly same that the other grooms had.


It has been a “battle” with my mom about the stabling of Jive. I understand the expenses that come with stabling a horse. For years, I have managed to find another rider who will “half-stable” Jive with me. Meaning that person shares with the expenses thus making it cheaper. For the past weeks or months, I have been asking around of where I can send my horse (farm) but it seems that it is still cheaper to stable her at the club. I have even asked other riders how much they spend a month. Surprisingly enough, what I spend for Jive is dirt cheap (not really, nothing is cheap). Half of what others spend though. Been worrying about that and not wanting to get into a lengthy emotional discussion with my mother. She has already said that starting January, she does not want to pay for anything anymore. Little does she know that, what she pays for is just the excess of the total. Sigh. Moving on to other things…

Because of the cold weather, Jive’s coat has become so thick that she looks like a huge dog! Fluffy soft doggie. Kakagigil.

JIVE Doggie

BUT she really needed to be clipped. It took more than two weeks to schedule the clipping. Why? Because the clippers to be used were Tita Marivic’s (riding teacher, coach, second mom) and she does NOT let anyone touch them or use them except Nanding, my previous groom. Nanding was busy with another horse that had colic so he was not available. I didn’t want to be a nag so I waited again. When Jive got her infection, the vet herself suggested that Jive be clipped. After that scheduling ordeal, Jive finally got clipped, everyone was present. My Tita Marivic, the grooms, the vet, myself, and two other riders, Frances and Isa. It was a big affair. Hehe. I’d like to think of it as moral support for Jivey.=)


Jive was such a trooper. Dra. Anna was worried that all the discomfort, the standing in one position for so long, past her meal time, her being clipped would stress her out. But it didn’t. I was so proud of her! Number one trooper! She drank a lot of water and ate her feeds were not enough for her. Haha.

Jive was all bandaged up on both hind legs to balance her footing as the vet explained.


Only downside of it all was the expenses that were piling up. All the supplies needed, antibiotics, vitamins, and others. I bought the extra supplies in Mercury Drug because it was 10x cheaper there like the Betadine and roll of cotton. Actually, medications are still on going. Vet bill not included yet. =(

Supplies & Meds

Last Saturday, I practically spent the whole day in Polo. From 9am til almost 8pm. From looking after Jive, watching a horseshow, and checking up again after the show. She was a bit more playful probably relived that all that hair was gone too. I know because she was being kulit. Look…


She was well enough to be walked all the way from her stall to the small arena which is quite a distance. I allowed her t0 graze a bit. Not the best grass but it should be ok.


I was a nervous wreck the whole week because of Jive. Thank God that she is okay now. That infection really worn her down. Added Vitamin C, she should be good to go. I could ride her more again. I love you Jivey.

Stable Rats Kris Kringle 2012

As I have mentioned before, the past months haven’t been that great in many levels. I always needed to get out of the house even just for a few hours. The stables and horses have always been my happy place. I’ve made some “new” friends of all ages during this time. I also told myself that I would be more active with the shows and activities. I’ve made friends with both riders and polo players and it’s really just been good ole fun. I do wish I could stay longer or have drink or two or simply just hang but times up when the clock strikes six pm. I’m usually just waiting for Xavier to finish football or basketball. Or on the days that I go riding, we just wait for the car or we have to go pick up my mom. Then that’s it for the day.

During a show, there was a Kris Kringle paper going around and I was not too sure if I wanted to join or not. But I thought, what the heck, I have nothing to do anyway. I know most of the people in the Stables who I have known for years. This should be fun. So I signed up. We need 4 theme inspired gifts that we will drop off at the Stables Office every Wednesday. It’s been two weeks and I have gotten two gifts. Something FUNNY and something SMELLY. I still do not know for sure, but have an idea of who my “parent” is. Hmm. This is what I received:

yup PLANTS….thank you Mommy (I know my parent is a girl)!

Stall Visit

Over the past weeks, two or three horses were stricken with COLIC. According to Equusite.com, “The term “colic” means only “pain in the abdomen” or “pain in the belly”. There are many causes for such pain, ranging from the mild and inconsequential to the life-threatening or fatal“. There are about 17 types which of I am not even familiar with but the bottom line is, it could be fatal. I have to thank my lucky stars that in the fifteen years that I have had Jive, only once did she have this and it was a mild case. Have to thank Dra. Ingrid Hernandez and the grooms for this. I took the initiative of getting PSYLLIUM HUSK from a neighborhood Indian general store and scheduling a TUBING for Jive. I visited her along with Xavier and see how she was doing. Happy to report that she hardly had any sand in her tummy. Good job Odong and Darwin. Thank you.

In all this, we see the importance of having proper FIBER in our systems.