It’s nearly Christmas! I love Christmas, I love buying gifts, I love receiving gifts (who doesn’t), I love putting the tree up (it has to be a real tree!)… I just love everything about it. However, I hate winter so much. It’s dark when we get up for work and it’s dark when I leave work. It’s dark and cold when mucking out and riding. I find it incredibly hard to get motivated to do anything, I’d rather curl up in my fleecy onesie and hibernate until spring. Siren also doesn’t like winter. He’s not bothered about going in the field and if it’s a wet and cold day he will often only last in the field for an hour or so. But with the 2017 season firmly in our mind I am trying very hard to fight my love of the warm and get going with him.
So what’s happened since Burghley? He came home from Burghley very well and injury free. I decided to send him back to the vets for a ‘routine CT scan’ to check his sinus after all the problems with it in the past. After dropping him off and going back an hour later, I expected to be taking him home to allow him to enjoy his holiday. How wrong I was!! Unfortunately there was a bit of infected tooth fragment left from previous surgery, the sinus was full of ‘stuff’, which had spread to the sinus on the other side of his head and to make it a bit worse the ethmoid haematoma (tumour like blood clot) had returned to his forehead. He felt so well I couldn’t believe it! We either had to put him straight into surgery for it sorting or see how he went. Siren owes me absolutely nothing, he deserves the best and he gets the best. So he had the surgery straight away. He was in the vets for 5 days, and as usual all the staff loved him, he’s so easy to do and everything went to plan. I got him home and he was allowed to go straight in the field, and within a few weeks he was all healed. For the first time there was no complications. It amazes me that holes can be drilled in his skull, yet he still allows me to clean his face and isn’t the slightest bit head shy. If it wasn’t for his amazing nature and attitude it could have been a very different story! Over the last few years he has had surgery 4 times, 6 tubes in his head, one tooth removed and a never ending amount of antibiotics. Hopefully this is the end of it, but I’m not holding my breath.
Usually at the end of the season he has at least 10 weeks in the field. But after 5 weeks I was bored of not riding and he was bored and causing mischief. So I had his shoes put back on and he started hacking and gave my niece her weekly riding lesson. He has been back in work for a few months now and after very steady start is back in full work. We have had a busy month or so with a few dressage lessons and a physio session. I had to find a new physio as Sirens long term one inconsiderately had a baby (or two!) and moved down south. After bit of research I was recommend Natalie from Hilltop Veterinary Physiotherapy. Siren is usually tight in his shoulders but after lots of prodding and poking she also found he was very tight in his hamstrings. This will probably explain quite a lot that we come against in his dressage. He isn’t built to put his legs under him, after all he’s bred to tow a cart! After reassuring her that Siren has never ever kicked anyone, she luckily didn’t take my word for it as she soon had a shire sized foot flying towards her. Thankfully she was very quick on her feet and he didn’t get her, but it shows how sore he must have been. After a bit of work on him he got better, but he is having another visit shortly. She recommended the Thermatex Pro-core , which is a fabulous bit of kit! I will go more into this next time.
So 2017… Badminton!? Maybe I’m mad/delusional/insane but as we are qualified we are aiming for it, I think I would be stupid not to. I’m hoping to go and have an amazing time and both come home happy. Also to go with no pressure and do it for all the amateur riders who spend all their time, money and effort on their horses and do it for the love of the sport. We have done Burghley twice now so how hard can it be? (Please take that in the jest that it is meant with – it will be bloody hard, verging on impossible). So I have decided I need to up my/our game. We have stepped up the dressage training and really are taking it all more seriously with lessons booked into next year, we have got a 6 month BS membership to build our confidence around the bigger tracks, and I’ve even joined a gym to improve my core stability and fitness.
I’m hoping to write this blog more often so you can all see what’s involved in getting a horse ready for a 4* competition (although please note what I think is 4* ready might be very different to Michel Jung thinks!). I will write about the good, the bad and the ugly, warts and all. Until next time, Charlotte and Siren xx