My Thoroughbred gelding saw the chiropractor yesterday. It’s the first time he’s seen this specialist in nearly a year. And the last time, it didn’t go so well.

Last year was a trying one for both me and my horse. I’d purchased Mikey, my gelding, cheaply and hoped to bring him along as a project. Then we hit road block after road block, mostly due to my horse’s ailing health.

He stopped sweating. He was dropping weight fast. We dealt with on and off mysterious lameness, in his hoof, in his stifle, in his back. We treated for uclers for a long time.

I was so frustrated, emotionally, physically, and financially, trying to help this horse with the seemingly endless list of issues. For a brief period, I even listed him for sale.

I’m not sure what changed my mind to keep going, after I hit that lowest of lows. But I didn’t give up on this horse.

So the chiro came back to see Mikey yesterday, and I’m happy to report he’s in great shape. The doc was very complimentary of how fit and sound he was, given all the problems we struggled with this time last year. He had just some minor soreness and readjustment in his hips.

The day before his appointment I had a dressage lesson with my trainer. She commented on just how strong and sound the big guy is these days, with free, floaty gaits, and such an eager willingness to work.

The hypochondriac in me has been worried all summer, waiting for the day he’d shut down completely again. But thanks to a super team of supporters – from our vets, farrier and specialists, to my trainers and barn manager – do I dare jinx myself and say Mikey is the healthiest, soundest, most fit and willing guy he’s ever been?

It’s been an expensive and long road to get him here. We’ve changed everything – his diet, the fit of his tack, had regular body work sessions, you name it. But I honestly think taking a step back in our training this summer, and really drilling down on instilling a solid flatwork foundation made a huge difference, both physically and mentally for both of us.

I’m actually *excited* to be planning a fall show schedule, something I didn’t think was possible 12, 10, 8, 6 months ago. I brought him back into over fences work slowly through September. And stay tuned for an exciting report on a new adventure for us!

I’m nervous to be excited, but it’s hard not to be after logging so many happy months of progress.