Well, unfortunately, I do think the Spoiled One strained her suspensory ligaments in both hind legs. That was exactly what I was afraid of, and I have been really up and down with my emotions lately. But the reason I have not excercised her at all, is that whenever she moves, her rear fetlocks kind of sag with each step. Nothing dramatic, but she also did develop a small swelling on the right rear cannon bone 2 days ago. We'll see what the vet says.
She probably would have needed to be retired in a few more months anyway, (and I've been expecting it, which is the main reason why I'm always so hypervigilant about her movement) but it's upsetting to have it happen now and in this way!
It is funny though, because she always loves to show off for the other horses and literally "strut her stuff" for them, even more when she is under saddle and going past strange horses. It's like she doesn't want to think of herself as being "old" yet! So, I hope to get her pasture sound and then be able to take her on handwalks down the road and stuff. She just really likes exploring and seeing what's around the bend!
Other than that, she will enjoy simply being a pasture ornament now. :-D The plan has been to get another horse in about 4 months - my schedule and job, etc. probably won't allow for another horse before that. I could start asking my friends for rides again, but most of the people who have enough time to let me come over live too far away for me to go there often. So who knows when I can ride again. Mostly, I'm sad that she got injured and had to be retired already, and even more sad that I was responsible for the "incident."
On the other hand, this has been an absolutely fantastic experience with her so far (worrying aside!). Keeping an older horse healthy, and ideally rideable, is a huge challenge, but I have learned so MUCH during these last 8+ months! I hope she stays around a long time more, so I can keep learning and so she can teach the younger horse I plan to get. The alternative is too frightening, so please God make her recover quick!
Also, muchas gracias to everyone who has commented lately! :-) Sorry if I sound depressed, but I can't help it - I am depressed. My family and best friends are all being very sweet and encouraging, but I just can't help worrying. I will be posting some more cheerful links and stuff soon, though...