|Bacon and Nolan of Course|
We've spent a lot of time in the truck recently, and I hate to say it but I've got a bunch more time on the way being that the AEC's are in Georgia next week. I'd say 35+ hrs in the past 3 weeks, and another 28 to go next week! The great thing about the long rides, aside the road coma induced uninhibited conversations, is you have plenty of time to reflect on the past. More importantly how you're going to improve conditions for the future. At this point in the year I've had a bunch of great things happen, but also my fair share of disappointments. Fortunately, I think the light at the end of the dark tunnel is coming near.
Lets start with the DL (disabled list for those non-sports fans). The DL is diminishing by the day. Tali, owned by Amelia and Larry Ross, who if you remember had a freak injury to his stifle at Pine Top this spring is more or less fully recovered. He's 100% sound, which is such a relief I can't tell you, and is up to 8 mins of trotting. He should be back in full flat work within the month. When their on the DL you tent to forget what each horse was really like, and damn this horse is a freak of nature (in a very good way).
Simon, owned by the SNS Syndicate, who ended up having a minor tear in his minicus of his right stifle in the dressage warmup at Jersey is also on the same path as Tali. He's up to 6 mins of trotting.
We had a few other random minor cuts, bumps and bruises all now on the mend.
A lot of this reflection has been focused on Patti Springsteen's, Running Order. He's had an inconsistent year. He's sitting in 5th place for USEA horse of the year and had a number of top placings. He's also had few minor hick ups which have simply highlighted holes in his training. Following this weekend, I took a quick trip down to Phillip Dutton's on Tuesday to get another set of eyes on the topic. His assessment, which it's not like I hadn't heard before, was a simple one. He just needs to be better jumping out of a bad distance on his own. Up until now I've been able to keep things very calculated for him, but by Advanced he's got to carry more of the burden. Phillip was able to whittle it down to a very easy fix which I'm confident will resolve this issue once and for all. Long story short I just need to get better at training him. I've got a plan so we're set!
That's the best thing about working with horses. I can't tell you how many horses I've started who have developed into upper level competitors, each one is different. They find a way to keep you on your toes, and keep you thinking and learning.
Other happenings, a big weight is about to be lifted from my shoulders. My book will go to the publishers tomorrow, it's subject is training/rehabilitating difficult or problem horses. It's been in the works since the spring, and what a process. Funny thing is that being an Engineering student in college, the longest paper I'd ever written was 10 pages double spaced of course. The book is just around 150 pages at the moment. It's been a great experience, putting ideas things on paper has a way of becoming clarifying what it's all about. Without a doubt it's helping my riding. Being this is the first time I've gone through this process I don't know the exact next steps, but it should be out by summer of next year.
What's on the horizons this week? We come out of the hurricane relatively unscathed, our barn still does not have power. We're lucky that's the only issue we have at the moment. I feel horrible for the people east of us and up in Vt. We'll have a crew going to the Briarwood jumper show on Monday. Then in the truck again, this time heading down to the AEC's Tuesday with Running Order and Tribute.