Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is Luck the Sixth Leg? by Danny Warrington

How hard this game can be... both physically and mentally as well as the emotional roller coaster ride the sport and horses cause. Some people are not as lucky as we that do this for a living. This may also be lucky for them! With only one or two horses your odds of mishap maybe lessened. But by no means do I mean other people don't have the same problems, some just get the good luck if only by the odds.

This is the come back story of my good horse Will Smith which is still in progress. When Will came to me a few years ago, let's just say it took a few months just to be able to get him to the arena on a daily basis. Then the dressage was some what in the 50's and the topper to that was a 2 for my riding......a 2....... come on I stayed on! I thought an 8 even a 9 for the effort! Yet we managed to get better. Then the start box became the issue. At Waradaca a couple years ago he lost it, completely lost it. The quote was from Phillip Dutton who said as I was leaping through the air " I don't think he is coming back. Can I go? ". Back to the drawing board. I decided that it was the one day format the horse didn't like, it was too fast for his brain. You are done all 3 phases sometimes in 2 hours depending on how the divisions are organized. So we started to do only shows over 2 and 3 days and that seemed to work until they held me at the start box area because the judges weren't in place yet. @+(#@- ! So he got me off, got loose, got caught, ran cross country great and had a big leg sunday morning. @+)#@-! An ultrasound, 2 weeks at the fair hill therapy center, another ultrasound, months of hand walking and grazing, months of trotting and only flat work.

355 days from the "suspicious leg" we are doing a little cross country school the other day. I am having the time of my life THE BIG HORSE is back!!!!!! We jump 5 training level fences in a row ( so easy for an intermediate horse) then a prelim corner!!! Take a little breather, talk about how great he's being and off to the water! The training house in, around the corner ( the smile on my face just getting bigger!). A prelim house one stride into the water and in super slow motion he goes all the way down (and down goes Warrington as well). As I get to my feet watching him shake the water from the tack trotting away. I look for a hole (because of course my horse wouldn't just fall) hole! What could it be??? The 'in' was perfect, the 'down' was great, what happened!!! I am very self critical..... but I think the horse just fell. Like sometimes you just trip or stumble.

I feel like I have done everything right by the horse, by his owners and now we need LUCK! Mr. Jimmy Wofford talks about the fifth leg...... maybe luck is the sixth. Good luck to everyone!

Photo by Katherine Rizzo

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