The last time I wrote, everything was going a little bit too well! The horses were on flying form and I was so excited to get my exams finished and crack on. Since then it has not been going quite so smoothly.
We very sadly lost little Pickles to colic in the early hours of the 26th of April, just two weeks after his 31st Birthday. It was very sad, but he owed us nothing and we did all we could to try and make him better but without operating we didn't have any other options. He was the most amazing little pony giving me my first real taste of eventing. He was such a character and is being and will be thoroughly missed on the yard.
Last weekend we headed up to Rockingham Castle for the 2* with Coco. He did a good test, apart from one mistake in the counter canter (where I didn't have him collected enough to keep his balance) and then I went wrong which didn't help. He was about half way after dressage on a score of 54.8. See his test by clicking here. Then we had a very long wait until show jumping the next evening. It was causing its fair share of trouble, but Coco was so relaxed. He jumped an amazing, faultless round until the last fence, which was the third in a line of three fences on related distances down a hill. A triple bar, four strides to an upright and then 5 and a half strides to a big oxer. I collected him for 6 but he was just slightly running on down the hill and just rubbed the front rail which was a real shame.
The ground was absolutely perfect so I thought I would give him a blast cross country and see how he reacted. He was no less than awesome. Stepped up to the plate and ate up the course. He kept galloping until the end, making nothing of all the tricky combinations to finish just one second over the optimum. He finished 26th in a tough section and I was delighted. Our performance was on the verge of really being something special and I was feeling confident for Houghton. You can see the highlights of the weekend by clicking here.
However after galloping on Wednesday morning, his leg came up and after scanning it it turned out he had some damage to the fibres of the superficial flexor tendon on his right fore. It is so disappointing as we had pre Houghton young rider training this week and Houghton next week. He is now out for the season which is gutting. It just goes to show that you should enjoy your horses whilst they are going well because the tables can turn very quickly! However, fingers crossed we will be able to slowly bring him back into work and get him back out and about next season, as there is no rush to get him back into work for anything this year. It is fantastic that he is fed on Simple System feed at this point, as whilst he is on box rest, his diet can still be filled with plenty of fibre, and he can 'graze' all day, without causing him to hot up or put on too much weight. Whilst he is off and on box rest he will be fed on lucerne products such as Greengold, Lucie Stalks and soaked Lucie Nuts to keep his gut moving and prevent problems such as colic often associated with box rest.
If anyone hears of any projects or anyone that may have a suitable horse for me to take on and compete, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Meanwhile we are off to Aston with Lily on Saturday, so fingers crossed!
I couldn't finish without adding, how exciting was Badminton this year - I thought it was a fantastic track and although it would have been nice to have a few more finishers, it asked questions but without causing any horrible falls or injuries. I think Guiseppe has done a fantastic job and I can't wait for next year. Credit goes to Harry Meade, what an amazing achievement. I am also thrilled for Sam Griffiths - just shows you anything can happen when the jumping phases are true 4* tests!