I'm writing this at 4:56 am. Yes, that does say ‘am’ after the digits. I've woken up a week before Ryan's flight from Belgium to New York, worrying that I haven't purchased him a fluffy headcollar for the journey and in my brain, he cannot live without one! (I know, I'm slightly bonkers!)
The reality of the journey ahead and what I am about to ask Ryan to do has really began to set in. I think I have gone through of the emotional spectrum. I am currently at petrified and doubting my choice phase. While sitting in bed before I fell asleep, I had the thought that maybe I am asking too much of Ryan. At the heart of it, he is 4 years old and he has only been out of racing for eight months. I am asking him to travel across the English Channel, onto a plane to New York, spend three days in quarantine and then travel down to Lexington.
Back in February, when the search commenced, I set myself a definite target; he/she must have a fabulous temperament. I saw a few horses that ticked the boxes for ability, conformation and looks, but they were a little stressy or flappable by new situations. I kept on telling myself (and sellers) they must be very relaxed and be kind and willing. I am glad that I waited, going through 50 horses, until I found Ryan.
At 5:05 am, having purchased said fluffy headcollar, making sure that it will arrive before our departure to Belgium, I begin to pull myself off the ledge. I know that Ryan travels exceptionally well. I have taken him to shows for short and long periods, both with friends and by himself. He is a good eater and doesn't get phased by new situations. In New York, the three days will help him recover form flying and he can spend his time sleeping and eating, preparing for the next leg. When he arrives in Lexington at Tanya Davis’ yard (Three Day Farm) we have a week to rest, recuperate and get going. We will be fine.
At 5:20 am, with a cup of tea, I start to panic and fill out yet more paperwork. I feel like I have potentially destroyed a whole tree with the amount of paper work I've filled out. There are lots of forms, signings, bloods and timings of vets and authorities to allow Ryan to leave the country. The shipping company that I am using, Pedens Bloodstock, has been amazing and dealing with daily phone calls from me. Usually me worrying about things in concerns to rugs, feeds, hand walking, travel boots or bandages etc, etc. They have been so patient and always putting my mind to rest and confirming that Ryan will receive the best care at all times.
6 am comes around, and the panic begins to subside. I go and get dressed and walk to the yard to start feeding, mucking out and riding. As I walk into the yard the first face I see is Ryans. He is whinnying at me for his food. Seeing his face makes me know that he will be OK, and I can't wait to see his face in Kentucky all happy and settled. Seven days and counting……….