I understand the thrill of winning a ribbon with your horse when you compete. Let’s face it, you and your horse have worked as a team, you put all those hours of training, cleaning, feeding, rugging, shoeing and transporting, you are competing against others and on the day you were the best.
BUT what if your horse has a slight sign of lameness a week prior to the event - not enough to go ahhhh but just enough he/she is just not striding through and looking a little unbalanced. So what do you say to yourself? Ah the judge might not notice, he will be ok on the day, I need that ribbon, Betty and her horse Swish are not going to win?
So you only do really light work and it's still not great but hey you will be in there to win. The event day comes, in warm ups he is still unbalanced but hey he will only be in the ring for all of 3 minutes and then I will rest him and ice him and then we will be ready for next week's competition.
You go into the arena and so far he is putting his all in for you because that is what you have trained him to do and then you come to the end of the pattern and hey you think you have a chance. As you go to leave the arena your horse’s leg seems worse and you get him back to the stables. Heat is building up and the toxins are running straight there because the body is working hard.
Sounds kind of unbelievable? Well no, I have had some people come to me asking me to “fix” the issue with their horse as they have a competition in a week. More than likely the injury took awhile to happen or show itself so the treatment is not going to happen with one session.
I then have fantastic clients who contact me and would not rush the recovery of their horse back even if everyone else is saying that horse has potential. It is more about their relationship and connection than about winning.
So what did your $5 ribbon cost you?????? Your horse’s health and without him being in a harmonious balance of mind and body you have nothing. The ribbon is not worth it. There will be other ribbons.
I will give you another example, you have a car and its got a slight leak in one of the water hoses so you get some tape and tape it up. The tape creates a resolution to the leak but in turn it greats a different amount of pressure and water retracts back to another part of the engine which normally the value would stop but this pressure is different and suddenly whilst your car is willing to go, it can’t because now you have a secondary issue potentially worse than the first.
Your horse’s health is everything, this does not mean accidents won’t happen in the arena on the day but you want to lessen that risk, in effect you are doing a risk analysis.