My life with Decker began in 2006. Quinn, my new eventing prospect just had severed his deep digital while foxhunting, so you can only imagine how heartbroken I was when this happened. Quinn's heart was never into eventing, but he loved to hunt. This is when my mom came home one afternoon after she had been talking with Sondra Edwards about me needing a new horse. Sondra had mentioned that she may have a horse, and that I contact her, and maybe meet up at her barn, so I could try him out. Without any reservations the following week I had made arrangements with Sondra to go, and try their horse "Decker". A tall and handsome Flee-bitten gray that had my heart from the first day I met him. I remember the first ride just like it was yesterday. Out in Sondra's outdoor just trying to feel him out, and getting to know him. The history that I had gotten on Decker was he spent most of his life on the track, seven years to be exact. He is a taller Thoroughbred. Decker stood about 16.3, and he had the attitude to back it up. I saw something in Decker that day that reminded me of myself. A horse that was looking for a forever partner, someplace to call home, someone to love him unconditionally, and he had all the love to give right back. After talking with Sondra, and riding Decker I knew that this horse was the right one for me. Sondra was so kind, and gave me the option to Lease Decker, and maybe down the road to potentially buy him. I had gotten a good amount of feedback from others that had known Decker for a while, and it didn't seem like he had left a good lasting impression. When I told my trainer, Katie at the time that I was looking at Decker, she was like "are you serious?"
After I brought Decker back to my barn, and after several lessons, Katie changed her mind about Decker, and mentioned that she thought we were perfect for each other. We had this mutual understanding. He had this uplifting presence about him that would bring a smile to anyone that was around him. He had a great work ethic, and would go to leaps, and bounds to make sure that his whole heart was invested. He became a true partner to me. No other horse had ever captured me the way Decker did. At this time is when I knew Decker and I were made for each other, and I purchased Decker from Sondra.
I thank Decker for my breakthrough into eventing. Before Decker, I was starting to get discouraged, and just wasn't finding the right horse that I meshed well with, but Decker was different. We complimented each other so well, and we brought out the best in one another.
In 2007, we started competing at local Area 2 events at Training level. With hard work, and dedication we came out to our first event and nailed it by winning our division, and I was on cloud 9. We then competed in 8 other Training level events before competing in the Waredaca Training Level 3-Day in October 2007. I never thought I would find a horse to compete with let alone compete at the Training level, and then become quantified for the 3-Day? The 3-Day was an absolute blast. We had such a great time, and we came out of the competition even more bonded than ever, and the icing on the cake was we finished in a respectable 3rd place. Ending the season on such a high note, and talking with Kaite we had made the decision to hopefully make the move-up to Preliminary in the Spring.
The next year didn't go as planned, one afternoon while brininging Decker into ride I had noticed some inflammation in his left hind. After talking with my vet at the time, it didn't seem like anything too serious. With some bute, and some time off, hopefully it would heal......... As I am not one to stand around, and wait, and after making a few phone calls. I got the advice to go, and have Decker seen by Dr's. Shauna and Gary Spurlock at Spurlock & Associates. After making the appointment we were off to the Spurlocks to find out that the road ahead was going to be a bumpy one. After the initial ultrasound, they had noticed a small puncture in Decker's left hind deep digital. It hadn't actually severed the tendon. A surgery later Decker was doing well, and was able to come home. Time passed with anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, stall rest, light grazing, and tons of crying, and TLC. Unfortunately the morning came when I went to go, and get Decker out from his field, and his leg had become a tree trunk over night, and he wasn't even able to bear any weight on his leg. He was practically on his toe, and in a lot of pain. With the help of my Dad I hooked up my trailer as quickly as I could, and got Decker loaded, and made the trek up to Leesburg.
After Dr. Gary had evaluated Decker, he knew exactly what was going on, and the outcome wasn't good. This by far was the worst day of my life. I had to make the hardest decision that I would never wish anyone would have to make. I had gotten the news that his tendon had become infected, and the infection had become systemic.
It is now almost Decker's 6 year Anniversary, and I miss him so much. Decker will be a part of my life forever, and if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be doing what I love today. Decker is the horse that captured my heart with his work ethic and dedication not only to me, but to what we both loved.... eventing. Decker has a soft spot in my heart, and their is always a void their now that he isn't with me. With developing myself as an individual, my farm, and business, I couldn't think of a better time to honor Decker, so that is why I have named my farm, A Deck Above.