Cadeau, my top horse, has weird feet. They’re small and a little upright, and like everything that comes from Europe, he struggled a bit to adjust to the concrete block that is the ground in a Virginia summer. One of the 10 million reasons I use my excellent farrier Sean Crocker is because he believes in the team approach: He listens to my also-excellent sports medicine veterinarian Dr. Cricket Russillo, and he listens to me when I tell him how the horses are going.

So when he said to me, “Sprieser, Cadeau’s feet are making me nervous, and I want to make sure I’m doing the best for him. Can we get a consult in Wellington with one of the best farriers on the planet?” of course I agreed.

I grew up far away from the equestrian centers of our country, finding my love for horses at local barns and then graduating to competing at the national levels. But I left for a reason, and that reason was that international-caliber training and horse management was much harder to find there. Going to college on the East Coast and spending time in elite-level barns there blew my young mind, because I didn’t even know how little I knew.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!