There was a movie in the early 90s titled "The Program". A particular conversation in that movie, between a coach and player, reminds me about the type of commitment required to become better at our chosen sport. The conversation went like this: “Are you hurt or are you injured?” asks the coach after his player goes down hard from a tackle and is holding his leg. The player looks up at the coach with a puzzled expression, and with that the coach replies “well, if you’re injured, I can’t let you go back in, but if you're hurt then you can play.”
The sport you have chosen is a difficult one. It requires strength of body and character, stamina and drive. You must be self-motivated. You must be willing to push past your own pain for the sake of the ride. This is your sport. Your horse would rather play in a field, snacking on grass, with no burning desire to travel in a frame, extend and collect, or accept the distance you choose to the jump. However, your horse will perform for you even when they have a sore back, hip or foot.
This time and commitment spent with your horse is vital to your progress, so when you cancel your ride because of a stubbed toe, or sore wrist, your horse will still need to be ridden, and your trainer will have to fill in for you. Commitment means riding when you are hurt. Your trainer rides with sprained ankles, jammed shoulders, bruised legs and sometimes even a recent concussion. Your trainer rides because this sport is all about keeping our horses, who are also our partners, fit and willing. In doing so, we keep their attitudes happy under saddle and work through adversity.
This being said if you have cold or flu like symptoms, we'd rather see you next week.