It takes a village to raise a child. Or get a horse ready to go out and show. Let's take a look at the players:
Trainer: I've got to have one of these to keep my very short attention span focused and keep me moving forward. Way too easy for me to feel like I've got this and not put in the necessary work if I don't have eyes on the ground telling me that I've done screwed up.
Vet: Horses are always looking for new and interesting ways to get hurt. Having a vet you know and that knows your horse is pretty critical, especially for those NQR situations.
Farrier: No hooves, no horse. Also needs to be available to put the shoes back on when your horse is constantly deciding that he prefers the asymmetrical look.
Saddle fitter: A horse that isn't comfortable isn't going to perform the way it could. Horses also have the charming habit of changing shape, meaning that regular visits are necessary to keep that perfectly fitted saddle perfect.
Chiropractor: Athletes need to be flexible. With horses, so much of that comes through their back. If the spine is out of whack, you can just forget about being supple and forward.
Massage therapist: All of that exercise results in tight, sore muscles. I do some body work, but I'm no expert and I don't have the strength to give him a full hour of work in one shot. He needs a pro to really get in there and release the knots.
Dentist: I know I wouldn't be able to focus if one of my teeth was hurting. I remember when my impacted wisdoms decided to let me know it was time for them to come out. Add a bit and it is mission critical to keep the teeth in good shape.
Barn manager: This is where I start for weight management and energy levels. This is the person that makes sure your horse is getting the right food, the right amount of turn out, and managing things like worming schedules.
As of today's chiro visit, I think I've got a complete team for Theo. It's kind of a relief to have all of the roles filled in and the numbers in my phone. If something is up or needs to be adjusted, I know who to call and that it can be taken care of. The downside is that each and every one of those roles equals another bill. This month is farrier, vet (spring shots and coggins), saddle fitter, chiro, massage, possibly dentist but that might be next month. I kind of hope it's next month. Yikes.
But it's also expected. It's the time of year where I need to get the prep work done. Shots and spines and saddles all need to be taken care of because there won't be time once spring hits. I'm looking forward to going out and seeing the report from the chiro. Theo's getting today off and two days of light work after his adjustment. Sounds like he had some significant work done on him. Considering the way his neck sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies when he does his stretches, I'm not surprised.
As for me, I'm using a rolled towel in my office chair to keep my lower back from checking out after sitting at my desk all day. And a Salon Pas patch. I wish I could go see a chiro and massage therapist . . .
Being the owner is a rough role.