At the beginning of the season I had this great plan that was flawless.... well, shockingly, nothing goes as planned. I had to change a few things and skip Southern Pines and listen to my horse. I ended up taking him up to, my farrier, Doug Neilson in PA. Doug is the best farrier of all time! He is so receptive to my thoughts and to my talking and listening to my vet, Dr. Keith Brady at Old Dominion Equine. Doug looked at Vaunted's feet and spoke with Dr. Brady.
**Side Note** Dr. Brady is Kim Severson's vet and has been for a long time. Actually, Dr. Brady is the vet that did the pre purchase on Vaughn when he was a 4 year old for me. It is crazy to think that I have known him for going on 10 years and he has been with Vaunted from the get go...and it is crazy to think that he will still take my calls after all this time. I ask so many questions! He is also one of the few people that thinks my jokes are funny...it's the little things right. :)
OK back to business, Dr. Brady was concerned of the effects that Vaughns TB feet have on him when he runs fast and jumps high. So we took some pictures and did the works and came up with a solution, glue on flat shoes. I had him in a different shoe and turns out that good ole saying, less is more, is actually applicable. The only issue with this is that it takes a bit of time to get all things back in alignment when you make a change. That being said, I have made the decision not to run at the Fork for this reason. I know that I could run the horse and Dr. Brady and Doug say that it can be done and would not do any damage but may put stress on the angles that we are trying to fix.
Now comes the hard part. Going back to the things I know. I know that I have a horse that is good at what he does. I know that I have a horse that I have been running Advanced on since 2007. I know that the partnership that I have with this horse is not something to sneeze at. I know that the runs that he has had this season were good. I also know that I will not be missing any gallops or jump schools and that he will be fit. I can not predict what will happen tomorrow or next week, much less a month, therefore I will continue talking to my horse. That sounds silly and cliche but I think that is one training aspect that works for Vaunted and I.
Vaughn is my horse, my only horse. I had the pleasure of reading Sinead Halpin's blog earlier this week. If you have not taken a look at it, I highly recommend doing so. She was mentioning in the blog about making the sport bigger and getting more horses into it. I must say that I agree. We all know how hard it is to get the purse strings to allow us to get where we want to go. From vet bills, farrier bills, coaching, shows, board, costs, costs, costs, costs! Without help from others it is next to impossible to make the changes that need to happen in this sport to allow it to grow. For me personally there is no way that I could even dream of having another horse that is actively competing. I am facing some changes right now due to my finical situation. It goes without saying that we all are in this day and time. So the way I see it we must make somewhat of a "grass-roots" movement for the sport.
Personally, if I did not have a job that took care of my overhead for my horse and a small salary as well as side jobs, there is no way I would be able to compete at all much less the top level. We all question what we are doing and if it is all really worth it...give me a break that's life right. Life with an Advanced horse, or any horse of that matter, is no different. Until they can talk and Eventing can start producing more income and winnings, we are going to keep asking that worldly question. While I only have the one horse and a very limited budget, I cant help but think that if all of you out there that are on the same page as me, put our heads together and figure out what we can do to get more people into what we love to do, then that will make out sport better. That is a really long rant saying that it take a village to raise a child and a freakin event horse!!
My plan for Vaunted is to keep training and working on his fitness. As for me I am galloping race horses to make a few extra bucks and to get fit myself. It also teaches you to hold on. uhg. I am excited about the young horses that we have in the barn and I will be competing a few of them before I run Vaughn again, which will keep me sharp. Thanks Bonnie! I have full trust in my team and my horse. Now I just need to find that pesky Luck character and then I will be set. I am also watching some old Rolex and Burghley video's trying to get my head in the game. Thanks to all my friends that keep answering their phones when I call panicking and wanting to freak out! No, REALLY THANKS!!!
Until next time....somebody find me a four leaf clover!!!!