Let me just tell you that competing a horse at the one star level requires so much more than a talented a horse and a bold rider. It requires having a vet at your every beck and call, a personal assistant for all of the paperwork that goes with the passport and — USEF forms, a millionaire husband to fork out the cash for the new shadbelly dressage coat and top hat, and 2 of me to be able to take care of all of Gus’s needs (and let me tell you……there are too many to count!) and still ride my poor “other” horse to get ready for shows! Needless to say, other than having a great vet who has been very available to us during this process, I have none of the rest.
Gus is on a path to the Virginia CCI* in November. Keeping him sound, and finding the time to do all of the conditioning required to make sure he can do an 8 1/2 minute gallop over 30 fences at prelim speed is our number one priority at this time. I took him to Twin Towers yesterday for a gallop and trot sets, and I was really pleased at how well we both recovered afterward. We did 3 sets of 4 minute gallops and are working our way up to 3 sets of 6. I felt that we could have done that yesterday had we not had to do our trot sets first. Elissa has given me a conditioning schedule that includes 3 days of dressage, 1 galloping day, 1 jumping day, 2 trotting days, and a day off. That is 8 days/week if you’ve counted, so I will have to ride him twice one day to get it all accomplished.
Dr. Yates is coming out today to inject his hocks for me. It has been over 6 months, and I am starting to feel some weakness on the left side. It is probably part of the reason for the left drift, and definitely the cause of some back soreness. We decided to do it today so that he can make it easily through Jumpstart next weekend without getting overly back sore during the show.
My shadbelly is ordered, and Elissa said I could buy her black top hat from her. A top hat. I cannot even fathom riding my horse in a top hat. I’m going to have to do a lot of practicing in my tails to make sure that gus isn’t freaked out by the tails laying across his butt. I’m sure that will be fun the first time.