We’re a bit down in the dumps here chez The Eventing Vet and accordingly this blog may be a bit more Vet and a bit less Eventing. We’re stuck in that rut well-known to eventers of ‘fix one bit and watch whilst another bit derails’. Firstly the good bits. A lot of patient work by my new dressage instructor (who was already a friend prior to agreeing to help me out and amazingly still seems to be) is finally starting to produce results and even if Fugly isn’t yet capable of a sub-30 test it doesn’t appear completely impossible that it might happen one day. The new saddle has arrived and I loved it instantly. Rather expensively I’ve yet to sell my old one but it’s on ebay and the number of ‘watchers’ is creeping up day by day so here’s hope that they all get into a ferocious bidding war and I end up with enough wonga to cover the cost of the new saddle. Otherwise the next things appearing on ebay will be my husband and dogs…
I have been the beneficiary of the rather controversial decision to plug the gaps in the BE calendar with two fixtures at Aston-le-Walls arranged at amazingly short notice. Fugly got a spin round the first fixture at BE100 Open where he did a dodgy dressage, nice clear SJing and royally took the proverbial on the XC which earned him a XC schooling session the following day and a return trip to Aston-le-Walls five days later for the Novice. This time the dressage was on form and the SJing round felt good but annoyingly poles seemed to fall completely of their own accord as if bewitched. We had a small ‘moment’ en route to the XC where we had to ride along the side of the track and a horse coming from the opposite direction on-course caused Fugly to spin and try to follow it. It took a lot of persuasion and a lead from another horse to get him to resume his original direction towards the warm-up, but I’m sure Andrew Nicholson wasn’t perturbed by a large out-of-control Fugly with a partially-attached jockey following him at speed as he jumped fences 5 and 6. The XC didn’t go well and I felt like neither of us were hugely up for it. I appear to have lost my XC riding flair this season and am making yet another tedious journey round the Twelve Roundabouts of Hell – Dante has nothing on Daventry – this weekend to return to Aston-le-Walls for a SJ/XC clinic with Nigel Taylor where I intend to have my behind kicked into shape.
Jerry’s going well and I’m looking for a nice BE90 to start him off for the season. He’s been entered in a couple but hasn’t got a run yet. I’m trying him in a hackmore which thus far seems to be a success and we’re spending a lot of long boring hours lobbing round small fences trying to approach them in a chilled ‘whatever’ fashion. It’s deadly dull, but I think we’re finally learning to love the lob. I’m going to put it to the test by taking him to Vale View’s arena eventing this weekend to see whether we’ve got any control in public without a piece of metal in his mouth.
This is the sort of thing we’ve been spending hours doing:
And so to the Veterinary bit. Business has slowly been building, but there’s a standing joke in the practice that every second call seems to be to a donkey. They’re not our favourite equines! The joke got to the point that I found this sign on my office door the other morning:
Our endoscope and Powerfloat arrived last week so we are now fully kitted out. We spent a morning trying both out on poor Jerry. The scope is fantastic and we are really pleased with the quality of the picture. Luckily Jerry had no problems that we could find. I had always wondered whether he had previously had a tie-back as he has a very pathetic high-pitched whinny, but it would appear that he hasn’t had any surgery – he’s just naturally camp! I’d also been a Bad Mummy and saved his teeth (which were well overdue) to do when the Powerfloat arrived and I had a really good session sorting those out.
It appears to be castration season and we have a constant flow of horses (well, mostly donkeys and Shetlands actually) booking in to be ‘done’. It’s at this time of year, coincidentally, that my husband starts to be very well behaved… We’re also seeing more than the usual number of colics, which always seems to happen when the weather changes. I did have a rather unusual call to a cob with mild colic this morning. I couldn’t find a lot wrong until I put my hand inside for a feel and found a full-term foal. That was rather a shock to the owners! It probably explains why she hadn’t been jumping too well recently!
So, back to eventing, it’s time to trot out the clichés. Onwards and upwards and all that! Hopefully by the next installment I’ll have fixed all our minor niggles, found a run for Jerry that isn’t either cancelled or over-subscribed, have received the large amount of money owed to me by bdwp/BE for the aforementioned cancelled/balloted runs, sold my dressage saddle and transformed myself into the slightly-shorter-and-plumper female version of William Fox-Pitt. You never know!