After my recent article with Lars Petersen in the November issue of the magazine, I started to listen to my own writing more than I have in the recent past. He gave me a wake-up call that made me realize that if you want to get ahead as a professional in this sport (and probably any other sport), you are smart to have someone watching you ride every day … if not every minute. In reply, I packed one of my horses up and moved him an hour away to a barn with a trainer I can really WORK with. It has been a while since I have done a lesson every ride, so I was all smiles and Olympic dreams when we first arrived. Cut to one month later… we are more about sore muscles, drooling lower lips (him, not me) and that nose-to-the-grindstone look in our eyes that says little more than “I have improved 110%, but I am too tired to focus on anything more than sitting the trot until I can taste my breakfast, holding my rogue right elbow steady until I want to cut that arm off or the other 1,000 things that full training points out to you on a daily basis.” Remind me again why I am paying for this?!?! Well, I have lost 10 pounds, my horse has put on about a zillion pounds of muscle, our changes are so expressive he is practically kicking himself in the stomach, our trot has improved ten-fold and I see tempis down to one in our future. Little by little, he is getting fit enough to enjoy the hard work because he likes being good at what he does and showing off at it. ?I might not like it as much as he does now, but ask me in the spring if driving an hour to be tortured was worth it. Hopefully, I will be as fit as my horse … and happier because of that.