I hope you all had a good weekend a didn't get caught in any of the wet weather we had! I think it's safe to say Autumn is definitely here!!
We were out competing yesterday at the Riding Club Area 10 Winter Dressage Qualifier's held at Blue Barn Equestrian Centre. I had Roxie entered as part of a Novice team and initially Milli was entered as an individual in the Novice section. Due to other members horses going lame etc I was called up into the other team on Milli, but unfortunately after the news I received from the vet on Friday with Milli I was unable to take her. With Riding Club competitions, although it is the best 3 scores to count there still has to be 4 members in a team. So, not to let the other members of the team down I took my sisters coloured cob, Todd to make up the numbers. Todd did a very good job for me bless him, considering he hasn't done much for the last year other than be ridden and kept fit by young children he thoroughly enjoyed his trip out. We were very pleased with our score of 63.75!! For more pictures from the day along with a video please Click Here.
Roxie was next and I was told before I tacked up that they were running about 15-20minutes behind so I tacked up slowly and headed over to the warm up, thinking I had 30-40minutes until it was my turn. Due to people not turning up they had managed to catch up and after I'd had a walk / trot on a long rein around the arena to warm up they called me over and said I was to go. As this was even before the time I had been given I was still entitled to another 10minutes before my time but I knew this still wouldn't be long enough to get Roxie focused and settled so I did a bit more and then headed in and knew I just had to make the best of what I could get out of Roxie. She started the test well but unfortunately the two helpers who were picking up droppings in between test obviously didn't see me start my test so I had to dodge around them as I started my 20m circle at A, commenting to them that I was doing my test, they didn't move and when I came around finishing my circle they were still picking up the droppings right on the line I wanted to be on!! I said to them again that I had actually started my test but had to keep myself calm as I could feel Roxie tensing up a little bit as she knew something wasn't as it should be.....sensitive TB!!! They then finally realised that I was now half way through my test and they left the arena thankfully. The rest of the test wasn't too bad, not a patch on what I know she can do but I must remember that she's not been out doing much for the last 18months and this was her first time competing back indoors and the atmosphere at Blue Barn was much bigger than at Shotfield where it is all very laid back and chilled. We did still manage to pick up a score of 65.83% which was only just over 1% off the leading score so I was pleased with how she went and exceptionally pleased with the fact that she didn't jog in her walk at all!!! Sounds very silly but this is a big achievement for Roxie especially when she is slightly tense! For more pictures from the day along with a video please Click Here.
It got to 8pm and although there were only a few more scores to go up we decided to make a move and head home as my mum was there at 8am for the morning test where my sister Sophie was competing, mum came home and then came back with me so it had been a very long day! I'm not entirely sure where I finished up but Roxie was definitely in the top 10 out of 40+ so it wasn't a bad trip out and Todd was just out of the top 10 I think....not bad considering I can't remember the last time I rode him!!
With regards to Milli, you may have seen on Facebook but I didn’t receive the best of news from our vet last Friday. Although she is still 100% sound she just hasn’t been herself for some time now and after having her teeth and back done, her feet all checked by the farrier nothing was becoming apparent. Milli came in form the one evening last week with a slight bit of swelling and heat on her left fore. I cold hosed it and bandaged it up for the night. By the morning the swelling and heat had gone but I still wasn’t 100% sure with how it looked / felt, she was fine in herself and 100% sound still but after having a chat with the vet, I booked in to take her and have her leg scanned, more for my own piece of mind!
On arrival at the vets Friday afternoon we walked and trotted her up and she was 100% sound. When the vet felt her left fore he could feel something not 100% but said it felt like an old injury and asked about her history. When I explained that she’d never had a lame day or any form of leg injury he said it would be interesting to see what her leg looks like on the scan. Unfortunately this is where the news isn’t so good, it appears she has done some very minor damage to one of her tendons between her knee and fetlock, however the vet is 99% sure that it is an old injury. After more scans and comparing her two front legs the vet came up with the conclusion that she has suffered minor damage to one of the tendons in her left fore, nothing serious enough to make her un-sound at all but just something that has been there in the back ground if that makes sense. This would explain why she hasn’t been herself with her jumping since the spring and looking back now I know exactly when she ‘tweaked’ it. Her first event of the season at South of England Horse Trials was where she first stopped and I had absolutely no idea why. I watched the XC video from SofE on the way home from the vets….she was jumping so bold around the novice track; nothing seemed to phase her at all! At the water she jumped in very bold over the upturned boat house and slightly pecked on landing, it was then at the next fence that she stopped so I honestly think it was then that she tweaked it! I feel so sorry for her now but am very pleased that we finally have an explanation for why she just hasn’t been herself recently. The vet did comment, that unless I had her leg scanned we may never have known so I guess the wet weather we have had recently has worked in my favour for once! We think she probably slipped in the field, tweaking it and where we had no idea of any underlying injury it hadn’t ever had time to heal properly, that is what caused the fluid build up / slight swelling which made it visible…….if only they could talk - much simpler!!
Poor Milli now has 6 weeks box rest / in hand grazing ahead of her before we have the vet out to re-scan her leg….not that she’s complaining too much as she loving being tucked up in her stable with ad-lib hay, plenty of Likits and out of any rain we have! Fingers crossed we have some good news when we go back for her next scan and we can get back out doing what we love doing and more importantly get the cheeky Milli back to her normal cheeky self!
I will of course keep you posted with how Milli's recovery is going and I'm hoping to get Roxie out to our first affiliated BD competition soon. Diaz is starting to come back into work now after having 3 weeks off after Tweseldown, we went for two nice hacks this weekend and she's had a few gentle schooling sessions so far this week and she feels great!! Diaz will be out doing a bit of dressage and show jumping throughout the winter in preparation for next season.
Until next time,
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
I hope you are well and had a nice weekend in the sunshine?! Aren't we having lovely weather for September / October.....long may it continue!
After our very busy yet successful weekend the weekend before last, only being out one weekend competing last weekend felt quite nice. Diaz was the only one out competing and we were at Tweseldown Horse Trials. Tweseldown is one of my favourite events, they are so well run and being on sandy ground, the going is always fantastic, plus since it has been taken over by new people there have been some fantastic changes made to the XC course with lots of lovely new fences at all levels!
After Diaz started getting slightly stressed in the dressage warm up at Munstead causing us to loose a few costly marks, I was trying a new warm up method with her at Tweseldown and I'm pleased to say it worked very well. There are still things to improve on but she remained chilled throughout the whole test, staying in a nice consistent rhythm and listening to me very well. Her concentration wandered a couple of times as I was in the first arena right by lorries coming in off the road and horses trotting past going to their own arenas. I was eve more pleased with how she went when I saw that we scored 33.0 which put us in 8th place out of 37+ competitors after dressage. This was a new PB score for us as well!
We didn't have long between each discipline so it wasn't long before I was down at the jumping as I didn't have much to change other than my saddle and put boots on Diaz. Along with the new warm up routine I have had a play about with bits and she is seeming to love a straight bar happy mouth egg-butt snaffle at the moment, as soft and basic as you can go!! I had jumped her at home in it and she was as keen as normal but not too strong so I was happy to give it a try. The show jumping was in the international arena which can be a bit daunting for a young or inexperienced horse as it is very close to the pavilion with people sitting up above the horses as well as having flag poles around one side of the arena! Not that Diaz minded any of this, she remained very grown up and jumped a lovely clear round!
On to the XC and I was keen to get her out on course, it was a more technical, up to height course than the one we did at Munstead the week prior but there was nothing that I didn't think she was ready for. We were called down to the start box and Diaz is definitely starting to know what the game is now and was keen to get out the start box and on with the job. Off we went and she flew over the first few fences really confidently. The first combination fences was at fence 4 with a and b elements of the medieval village and the fences and surrounding areas were all decorated with medieval items and fires. There was also rope everywhere making it look very professional!! The course had caused quite a few problems throughout the morning and the horse before me had been eliminated at the water. Fence 6a was a skinny log up on two steps and the horse was stood no more than 6 foot away from the fence so I had to make sure Diaz was focused and locked on to the skinny fence, which she did jumping it brilliantly and cantering on through the water. From the start of our round Diaz felt confident and was taking me to the fences so I let her run at her own speed to see how quick she is without any pressure to make the time. She jumped a super round, remaining confident throughout and flew over the last fence which was a spooky dragon fence with something over the top. She did exactly the same over it as she did with the owl hole at Munstead a few weeks ago, put her ears straight back and poked her nose out as if she was going to hit her head....bless her! She finished full of running and jumped a super clear for me.
After sorting Diaz out I headed down to have a look at the scores and we were definitely going to have a top 10 placing which I was very pleased about but where in the top 10 depended on our time. I later found out that we were comfortably inside the time as well which poses well for when she moves up the levels as it did feel like we were just cantering around for fun! Finishing on our dressage score meant that we were to finish in 3rd place and Diaz won her first bot of prize money which is always a bonus!! Unfortunately this was our final run of this season, however I was chuffed with how well she went, she has improved each time out and learnt so much from every outing!
Diaz has had an easy week since Tweseldown and is enjoying a bit of rest time in the field as she has done a lot this summer and I think some time off to reflect on things never does them any harm. Roxie has a few dressage competitions lined up over the next few weeks / months and Milli has some jumping training sessions booked with the plan of getting her back out jumping affiliated to get our remaining double clears at various heights before April.
Until next time,
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
You'll find regular updates on this page with all the very latest news on everything that we have been up too!