Monday, May 3, 2010

It Takes a Village (one with a Chiropractor, a Massage Therapist, a Hot Walker...)

I can't imagine what it takes to keep our top level horses competing and staying at the top level of competition.  Getting my mare sound again after arthritis in her coffin joints THEN a bruised pastern has been such a team effort I can hardly imagine what it takes to keep a top level string of jumpers, eventers, or dressage horses.

I'd like to think I take good care of Sugar.  Even before she had problems she saw the chiropractor and massage therapist on regular basis.  She had farrier visits every 5-6 weeks, regular worming and dentistry, and supplements as needed.  I stretched her before and after every workout and often massaged her as well. 
During her period on the Injured Reserve she was handwalked, massaged, stretched, soaked, iced -- in buckets and with ice boots, wraps, and even the Cryo Cuff Cooler I got when I had shoulder surgery (my own version of the Game Ready system.  She also had almost two months on the Aqua Treadmill at High brass Farm in Pittstown, the best darn equine spa around!

Now that she's almost fully rehabbed and back into work, she's back into chiropractic, massage, and we've added one of the new bells and whistles available to us at our new home, Altea Equestrian in Califon, NJ.   Sug now has a daily session on the hot walker.  The first couple of times were hysterical -- she was definitely excited to be playing with all her new friends.  All the other horses were walking calmly, almost letting the butt bar shove them along, while Sug was pressed up against the front partition and passaging away, looking like the type of of overachiever who has always annoyed the rest of us who are satisfied with mediocrity.

My point (you knew I had one!) is that if this is what it takes to keep my moderately active 14 year old jumper going, what in the name of Sam Hill must it take to keep Sapphire or Let's Fly or Authentic going??
I'm going to the WEG this fall, and I'd love the opportunity to hang around in the barns and watch the various equine Pit Crews in action.  The amount of learning that could be had would be phenomenal!

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