Yeah, yeah, life is one test after another. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You can survive this. Those mantras run through my head after I walk down my barn aisleway each time this week and look at the various heads of my little herd poking over the stall gates. My Hospital Stable.

A thrush infection. An infected cut and an abscess. Lost shoes. Continuing heel abscess. Continuing scratches infection. I think all of this is related to having the horses out on the lush pasture we’ve had this summer and fall – and subsequent moist conditions. Heavy dew in the mornings and the rain have made for wet ground. Horses react the the environment around them, so I’ve got the consequences standing in the barn eating up winter hay, pooping in $5.59-bag shavings and generally making me get up at 5:30 a.m. to finish medicating, treating, soaking, and cleaning in time for work.

In a way it’s sort of a good thing, and a bit of payback for bragging that they were all so sound about a month ago. I don’t need to ride every horse every day, they can have a break and it’s not going to kill anyone. But I want them to be healed up and stop hurting.

I have begun the final countdown to Fair Hill and we have this rainy weather that will make the fence decor a bit difficult. Hopefully there won’t be much wind or rain between Sunday, and Tuesday, when the course is officially opened for the approval of the Ground Jury and then for the competitors. We sweat this Sunday night, when we take stock of all we have done, and what is left to do — it is a big undertaking, a lot of jumps, and a lot of physical work. But I enjoy it a lot.