Thursday, November 7, 2013

Behind Every Team, There's a Team

Ready to roll: The writer and Taffy show off their extended trot. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Truett.

By Jennifer Truett

Here I am, the night before we leave for the US Dressage Finals Presented by Adequan, and I haven't even started packing yet. The horses are bathed and the trailer is packed, thanks to my wonderful groom, Ayme, but I haven't even begun figuring out what to take and it's already 10:30 pm.

Taffy, Sunset, and I had one last check-in with our local coach, USEF "S" judge Sue Madden-Mandas, today; and she was very happy with everything Taffy did. She even used the word "perfect" to describe a trot-halt-rein back-trot. I've never heard that word from her before to describe a movement :-) I'm super excited about how well Taffy is doing. 

Sunset's also doing much better! His neck is totally back to normal, thanks to a lot of generously donated myofascial work from our ever-supportive body worker, Julie Fox, who came out multiple days in a row, including over the weekend, to ensure his comfort and success. I am so blessed to have the best support team to help keep my boys healthy and sound and me mentally stable in spite of all the craziness leading up to this major event. 

I want to send a special thanks to the most amazing farriers, Skip and Josh Miller, who care as much for my horses as I do. Skip even called me last Saturday to ask how Sunset was doing. He knew I was worried about Sunset not feeling his best, and so Skip was worried about me. He and his son, Josh, always go out of their way to keep my horses' feet as perfectly balanced and healthy as possible. 

I can never thank my super-wonderful friend, mentor, and student, Suzy Fitzsimmons, enough for making the trek to Ohio from Minnesota to help and support me at Finals. I set up a clinic for her to teach at my farm since she was in town, but I know in my heart she would have come just to be there for my boys and me.

Many students and friends--from Minnesota and Michigan and all over Ohio--are coming to Kentucky to cheer us on. I am excited to glance through the crowd and see smiling friends instead of strangers.

My parents and wonderful hubby, Lenny, are also coming. They are the foundation of my strength and confidence. I could never do what I do without all these amazing people.

I have to be a little bit of a starry-eyed fan for a moment. I just checked my stabling assignment and discovered that my boys are stabled adjacent to Akiko Yamazaki, owner of Ravel and Legolas! I am so excited to finally get a chance to thank her in person for all that she has done to help make dressage what is is in our country. She's been a hero of mine for quite a long time, so I'm thrilled. Many thanks to the stabling gods for putting my precious boys in such a perfect location!

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