This is Foster, who also goes by the alias of Kentucky Gentleman when we dare to compete. Foster is a 6 year old “Oldenburg X Appendix” gelding that puts up with my antics of playing dressage and eventing.
I love Foster a lot, he’s super sweet and cuddly and is always excited to see me.
But lately, Foster has been driving me to drink his namesake whiskey.
It all started last fall, when it become obvious that something was not quite right- haunches right became our normal mode of travel and jumping became something unpleasant at best. After dilly dallying between days of perfection and happiness to days where I could not figure out what was wrong with my poor boy, we finally got a vet out. One scary SI injection later and poof! Foster is magicked back into consistent perfection. You want to jump that 3’3″ fence? No problem! Lengthenings? I got this! Shoulder In? You betcha! But alas, it was not meant to last.
Fast forward through the horrific wet winter we had, where arenas were constantly closed and trails were dark by the time I got off work. Riding was at a minimum, and both Foster and I were sad. (Just kidding, he probably loved being hairy and dirty and lazy). And once the weather looked to be improving, I became distracted by the non-horsey aspects of my life. Namely, buying a house and getting married. My limited rides during this time took me back to the days prior to our injection, adding to the mix a lack of forward energy that was very unlike him. Luckily my best buddy Ali offered to try to get him in shape for me and do all those boring stretching exercises at nice, slow paces to help him develop muscle over his topline.
Now that the days are longer, the wedding is over, and the house is starting to really resemble a house, I can focus again on my four-legged love. We’ve had several vet visits now and he is finally starting to get better and better. The forwardness is starting to return, we’re getting a little straighter, and we jumped a short round that could make a hunter jealous. Conditioning is now the name of the game to get him back into top form, and my Kentucky Gentleman is well worth the effort.