The feeling that I am being tested!
Well last time I commented on what a turn around the previous blog had been – never has a truer word been spoken the past couple of months for Casper and I! We have shared both immense highs and incredible lows which sadly have put paid to many of our future plans.
As people may be aware the Eventing Championships was for all involved one of the best experiences many of us have taken part in with the riding club. The camaraderie, team work and fun that all involved shared was narcotic and I know that all humans and horses involved had a blooming fantastic time – even if the overall results were not what we had hoped for.
Without dwelling on the past, to have been in the lead after the dressage and XC with Casper (on the leading dressage score out of almost 100 horses from across the country) was an amazing experience and whilst I did not let it consume me too much; the thought of leaving Champion did cross my mind! Having Casper trot up lame that evening and progressively get worse the next day (necessitating my withdrawal from the competition before the final trot up) was heartbreaking; for myself; the team but more importantly Casper. He was seen by the vet immediately and was well drugged to deal with the lameness. He was homebound after the competition and diagnosed by my vet with an abscess – how annoying (but treatable). The start of things to come perhaps?
After a few weeks off and being brought back into work slowly, Pontispool BE was our next aim (as there appeared to be no repercussions of lameness). Pontispool was a dream; our highest BE dressage mark of 26 (could have been even lower had he not decided to jog in the walk for the first time ever in his life) and a double clear had us second! Fantastic..
Now heed my warning – a few days later (with no signs of lameness, heat and only sporadic swelling when stabled) Casper did not seem himself; cue vet again and this time a scan – my worst fears were diagnosed: a double superficial flexor tendon injury to both fore legs! A few days later Casper had stem cell therapy on both legs and will now be on box rest for the foreseeable future (estimated he should be out of his stable after 6 months with further controlled walking to aid healing)
To say I am devastated is an understatement, but as with everything life goes on (although saying that with a 17 Hand, fit eventer on box rest is easier said than done). Not having an operational horse will not stop me being involved in horses; I have since fence judged at Aldon BE (although this was bitter sweet) and further dressage stewarding beckons at future competitions. I have also decided to pursue dressage judging and have been attending training sessions and been guided by Kingfisher Dressage with my future as a judge – so far so good – not too many offended horse and rider combinations at the competitions I have judged so far!
So take note everyone – not having a horse does not mean you cannot actively engage in riding club activities, and hopefully in 18 months / 2 years Casper will be back stronger and wiser – just watch out for me counting the days and the overly hyper grey careering round the arenas of Somerset! Believe me – the way he is going at the moment, he will definitely be keen to make up for lost time!
Team SWDG has had fantastic results this year and I am gutted that Casper and I will not be able to build on these this winter/spring but I will definitely be around to support and assist – a valuable asset in any riding club and a necessity for all competitions to go ahead (note the hint to all riding club members!)
Thank you for all the lovely messages of support for Casper and no doubt I will see people out and about competing – very little will keep me away from horses!
Happy competing everyone, ride carefully and stay safe J
PS: For those interested below is the scan image of the aforementioned tendon