Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Plan, Re-plan, and Plan Again

I'm a planner. I don't cope well when plans change. But, with horses, that's what planning is - it's planning to be ready to change your plan! Ugh.

The past couple of weeks have been such a flurry of changing plans that I can hardly keep up! Katchi came back into work after his short summer vacation, only to promptly come down with cellulitus. Luckily, I figured out the culprit very quickly and had him on antibiotics before things got out of hand. But, it still meant 5 more days out of work, followed by a few light days of work to be sure we were in the clear. And then the hurricane blew in. More changes in plans. In the past 10 days, Katchi extended his vacation to miss 2 jump schools, 2 fitness days, and generally worry me to death. He also missed his "pre-fall season" vet check-up to be sure his joints are all in working order and get approved to charge into the fall season. While he's technically still entered to run Prelim at Seneca this Saturday, it's been a less than ideal lead-up, and I'm feeling under-prepared and a very worried mom.

So, tomorrow, we ride with Phillip. And I was able to just squeeze Katchi in for a make-up vet appointment on Friday. As terribly disappointed as I am, I think I will have to let Seneca go. If the vet says Katchi's 100%, all systems go, then we run. But, I have a fall season to conquer still, so if it needs to start 2 weeks later at Marlborough, that's okay. We'll adjust. Ugh.

As I was torturing myself today, thinking 'do I run' - 'don't I run' - I started thinking about how the top riders go through this over and over again in the weeks leading up to Rolex, Badminton, Burghley, or any other big event. How horrible that must be. It's a weird thing, this sport we have and our relationship with our horses. To scratch, in some ways, feels like we've given up before even trying. If I was the only athlete in this game, I'd give it a try and see how I feel. I wouldn't give up on my goal until I'd tried my hardest and just couldn't pull through. But, adding a horse (that you LOVE and would do anything for, and who trusts you with everything he's got) into the equation complicates things. While we listen to everything our horses say, they don't always say what they should. So, sometimes we walk away from goals to be safe and fair to our horses - to save them for the long run. Wow, is that ever a painfully hard decision.

So, maybe we'll see you at Seneca, maybe we won't. But, we'll see you soon - and we'll have fire in our eyes and big goals to conquer, that I can guarantee you!

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