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For Victoria Bax Eventing it’s Sunshine and Smiles

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For Victoria Bax Eventing it’s sunshine and smiles. June kicked off rather well. Crystal Ka and I headed off to Little Downham for the Open Novice class. We produced a nice, polite dressage and the most beautiful double clear, sadly 9 seconds cost us the win, so we finished a creditable 5th. I was thrilled with our performance as both of us were absolutely on form. I was very surprised that I did incur the 9 seconds worth of time penalties because as far as I knew I didn’t take a pull the entire way round (we meant business!) It really does give you a boost for the old confidence when everything goes right on the day as it’s not that often that it does actually happen!

The following week I held my 5th cross country schooling clinic of the year. This time it was held at a super venue called Lodge Farm in Matfield, Kent. This is somewhere I first visited towards the end of last year and found it to be an educational venue. I don’t know of anywhere else that has that amount of combinations set up as Lodge Farm does. It also has a beautiful new water complex with lots of different in and out options. None of my clients attending had ever been to Lodge Farm before, but by the end of their sessions, they were all beaming with pride at their achievements. Sadly my main achievement for the day was to get pretty sunburnt as I didn’t have time to get back to my car to reapply the sunblock (epic fail!).

The following weekend saw scorching temperatures and burning sunshine as we headed off to Stratford Hills. My most local event, Crystal Ka produced a fair dressage although it seems the judge wasn’t feeling the love for everyone’s efforts on that day as none of them had particularly amazing scores. Still, as long as everyone is scored in the same way it still makes the competition fair. Another clear show jump round followed, but by then I had already made my decision that due to the scorching temperatures, in the 30’s and the no real need to run cross country, I withdrew and took my lovely boy home to cool off.
Crystal Ka is my horse of a lifetime and at 15 years old, although that is not overly old, he is an ex-racehorse having completed 23 races by the time he was 4 years old and being my main event horse for the last 10 years so there really was no real benefit in running him in that kind of weather. He means a huge amount to me, much more than just giving me the adrenaline rush of going cross country. As he in no longer running at Intermediate level and is out of Novice points, he can not qualify for anything so there really was no need to put him through that and I would never have forgiven myself if something awful had happened due to the weather. I only wish a few more people thought the same as there were plenty of tired horses out there on that course that I saw while walking my track.

My year is starting to take a turn for the better as more good news has just been received:My one and only, 6-year-old Alberta’s Pride aka Frankie who was very sadly diagnosed with a suspensory ligament injury to his right hind back in January of this year but has now been given the all clear from the vet. It all started in January, following a few months of back issues occurring (too many times in too short a period of time) so I decided there must be something else underlying causing these issues. This was confirmed by a lameness workout, and his right hind suspensory was found to have been enlarged to 21.5mm (his left hind was normal at just 13.5mm). Fortunately, there were no lesions or holes, so the vet was confident it was due to a trauma rather than conformational or other reasons. However, there was always doubt as to whether it would repair itself suitably again. As you know I am a fan of the Arc Equine technology which I have used for a few years now on both horse and human and so in conjunction with the Arc technology and feeding Aloeride we followed our rehabilitation programme to the detail.

The result is that in just five months, in fact, 10 weeks actually as the scan showed the reduction of the suspensory ligament right back down to the same size as the uninjured one. However, the fibres at that time looked good but needed to look thicker and stronger. So the final scan just another ten weeks later showed even more of an improvement to the point where the vet advised that she didn’t think they would look any better given even more time. So, as he was sound and had been back into a good amount of ridden work, i.e. Cantering so she was happy to sign him off.

However, this is not to say he will be going eventing anytime soon. I will, however, continue to increase the load on the suspensory ligament through increased and varied types of work to hopefully ensure the improvement keeps happening so at some point in the not too distant future this little horse who I think an enormous amount of will one day get back out eventing and aiming at fulfilling our dreams.

Please do all keep your fingers and toes crossed that he continues with his improvement!

Also, great news for my grey, Alberta’s Rose who sadly had a fall in the water at her last event has been given the all clear by the vet to get back to work and competition. I was concerned about some swelling that was still viable on one front leg, so decided to get it checked out. Thankfully the vet found no damage to the inside of the leg at all. The only clue which became visible as the leg was clipped ready for scanning was a graze on the side of her cannon bone that couldn’t be felt through the leg hair. She must have really whacked that when she went down and it appears that could be what is responsible for the swelling. With this news, I have had her right back in work, entered her next event and been back out on the cross country course to check that she has not lost any confidence when it comes to water or anything else for that matter. Thankfully she was as keen as ever and thoroughly enjoyed herself.
This means we head off to Brightling Park at the weekend, so until next time…

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