Four legs good!

The vet came out for Prem’s second scan today.

Backstory: the injury to his near-fore Superficial Flexor Tendon occurred in March. Since then he’s been on box rest, with in-hand exercise on an increasing scale. For the last few weeks I’ve been splitting up his in-hand: half of the day’s exercise in the morning, half in the evening.

The first thing the vet commented on was that the leg looks much reduced, and had lost its ‘banana’ appearance.

The second thing the vet said, as I was towed, at great speed, down the trot-up, was that Prem is sound.

The re-scan showed major improvements in all areas.

Comparison photos and measurements showed how much Prem has improved. And it’s a lot.

The vet has said that we should continue the walking exercise, but there’s no need to stay in-hand; we can progress to being ridden in walk.

Prem's near fore being ultrasound scanned

Prem’s near fore being ultrasound scanned

Yay!

For the last two weeks I’ve been walking Prem out in-hand, but tacked up, so that when I do put a saddle on him, it isn’t going to trip his mind out.

So the next time I tack him up, I’m going to try to sit on (if Prem will let me!).

I’ve put together a bridle from Beech’s tack which fits Prem as if it had been measured for him.

When we reach 45 minutes of walk, we can introduce five minutes of trot.

And in four weeks Prem can have an hour of turnout a day.

This is all such positive news, the vet said I was to keep on doing what we’ve been doing.

So we shall.

Horsing about (a bit)

It’s been two months since Prem/Bob arrived at his new home in sunny Leicestershire, and his character is really showing through now.

From the gentle little wicker I get in the mornings, to the full-blown YES!’ of a wicker I get at tea-time, he’s proving he has a sense of occasion.

And a sense of humour.

Like when I’m skipping out and he clamps his teeth on the shavings fork and tries to carry it around the box for me.

And the way he won’t let me top up his water bucket without taking a good long pull at the water before I put it in.

And let’s also mention the way he won’t take water from the automatic drinker in the first place.

Such a character.

🙂

Prem/Bob is up to 15-minutes of in-hand walking per day.

The vet said he would rather that we didn’t use the walker, so for 15-minutes a day Prem/Bob and I walk purposefully around the arena.

After just ambling about, leaving random tracks in the equirubber/sand surface, I hit on a cunning plan to raise the boredom threshold.

We are walking almost every dressage test I’ve ever ridden (and a couple that I’ve only judged, not ridden).

We had a few sticky moments with Medium 71 the other day, but that was partly down to a young horse pratting about in a nearby paddock, and Prem’s/Bob’s natural inclination to run through the bridle (we almost didn’t stay at walk).

As well as following these patterns in walk, we are also working on our halt to walk, and walk to halt transitions.

They’re not exactly snappy yet, but at least these transitions are becoming established.

His halts are now usually square in front, but he trails his hind legs as if they were stuck on with Bluetack as an afterthought.

Bless.

Prem’s/Bob’s second leg-scan is due mid-to-late September.

I’m hoping that the Vet will say we can consider saddling up, even if we do need to keep the work at low-level, zero-impact.

In the meantime, we’re just going to keep working our way through British Dressage and British Eventing dressage tests.

An unexpected bonus of mucking Prem/Bob out twice a day is that I have shed 3/4 of a stone, and I’m nearly back at my riding competition weight.

Revolution!

Sam is away on business.

She’s supposed to be in Myanmar, before heading on to Vietnam, but Dubai airport was too busy to dock her arriving aircraft, so she missed her connecting flight.

Frankly, Emirates, it’s not much of a connection if the outbound flight won’t wait for passengers who are booked on it, when they’re sitting on another of your flights waiting to dock.

Anyway.

As a result of the Emirates/Dubai airport screw up, Sam has had to spend 24 hours in a Dubai hotel, at Emirates expense, and lose a working day of her itinerary.

Awesome.

Not.

But as you might expect, while the cat’s away the mice will play!

And oh boy has this mouse been playing?

Has he?

*sigh*

No.

This mouse is too diseased to do any playing.

Apart from a brief couple of laps around the village this evening, I haven’t even been up to taking the Ninja out this weekend.

Seriously.

It’s that bad.

There is the possibility that, tomorrow, after doing Prem (who is still called Prem and not yet named Bob), I shall pay a visit to the excellent chippy in the next village.

For some delicious potato-based foodstuff.

And perhaps some vomit Vimto.

If I’m well enough, obv.

But it is the Law of Sod that sayeth that a fine-weathered weekend with a free pass will be frittered away on illness.

Amen.

Anyway, what is this revolution of which you speak, I hear you ask?

It is me, my friends.

I am revolting.

In her absence I am shunning Sam’s instruction to use the dishwasher.

I AM WASHING THE DISHES BY HAND!

Revolution and rebellion are rife in this house.

Er.

Until she gets back,obv.

Leg up

Prem (who may be on the cusp of being renamed ‘Bob’) had his injured leg scanned by the Vet today.

The news is that there is only slight damage to his Suspensory Ligament.

Yay!

However there is evidence of severe damage to his Superficial Flexor Tendon which, the Vet said, would seem to be about 3-4 months old.

This estimate corresponds with Prem’s/Bob’s last race, when he was pulled up due to injury.

The Vet has suggested that Prem/Bob stays on box rest, but is walked out in-hand for five minutes a day, increasing by five minutes every two weeks.

Prem/Bob will have a re-scan in three months, to determine how things are healing, by which time he should be walking, in-hand, for 30 minutes a day.

As you can tell from this photo, Prem/Bob is thrilled to bits at this prospect!

Prem

Prem

New family member!

Last Friday was a special day.

We left Nottingham and drove to Sheffield, where we transferred from my car in to a lorry.

Then we drove to:

Scotland

Scotland

Once we had reached our destination, we loaded up the lorry, said goodbye to one and all, then headed back southwards.

At our destination, we unloaded the lorry:

Prem

Prem

I’m thrilled that Prem has come to live with us.

We have a bit of a long-term project on our hands, but I hope that by this time next year, Prem and I will be off bothering various equestrian officials.

Sam was brilliant, esp given that she’s not horsey in any way.

I think she secretly loved driving the lorry!

Anyway, here he is today:

Prem

Prem

Saturday horse stuff

I slept as if I’d been doped last night; instantly unconscious and waking through a cloying foggy gunge of sleep.

The new cunning plan of not drinking tea or coffee after 1pm seems to be working. And, as a result, my intake of fizzy water has gone through the roof. And that has to be good, too, right?

It’s 8am; I’m going to leave here to ride Vin soon. I’ll go up on the Bandit with a clean numnah and my riding hat stuffed in a rucksack.

I’ll go up the long-but-pretty way, to avoid the waterlogged lanes; A40 from Witney to Burford, down the hill through the village and up to the yard via the Chipping Norton road.

I’m taking Vin for a hack (read: scare every motorist to death).

Thoughts of the Grand Plan of moving house later this year make me nervous about being able to find Vin the quality home that he deserves to have.

I explained to a friend, the other day, that it’s a bit like taking the time and care to find the right Day Nursery for a child. Yes, it’s a bit like that. But more so.

Good thoughts about moving. It won’t be happening for six-eight months. But it’s still daunting. And exciting.

Ponies and stuff

Accompanying five attractive young ladies to the London International Horse Show at Olympia is just one of those, you know, ‘it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it’, kind of things.

So yesterday I took my bravery pills, drove to Oxford, jumped on a train and headed in to that London, to do that thing.

We had a giggle.

There was the inevitable amount of piss-taking (Clare and Tor taking the piss out of me, obv), and laughs and oohs and aahs and gossip (so much gossip!) and champagne.

We also got to watch some very talented ponies (horses) jump staggering heights (said someone who starts to get nervy above 1.25m).

And it was fun to meet up with a bunch of fiends friends and have a chuckle.

The time is now rapidly approaching 2am and I should be asleep but my head is still winding down.

So I’ll pootle about on the internet for a while.

And then fall asle……

Video documentary

The reason:
Because of Sammi’s illness, I am looking for a new subject (or possibly two, but we’ll see) for a short documentary film I want to make.

The topic:
Eventing; I want to paint the sport in a more ‘every day person’ light, make it more accessible. Ideally, the subject will be winding up to his/her first Intermediate or * (One Star) level.

How will it work?
The film will run to around 18-20 minutes. It will be structured in such a way as to follow, over a period of time, the passage of time. Day-to-day routine scenes, from schooling to tack-cleaning (and everything else involved), will build a picture of what goes in to getting a partnership to an Event.

The film will close with scenes of the competition day, from loading, arriving, unloading, grooming, tacking up, working in, dressage, show-jumping, cross-country, untacking, wash-down and relaxing afterwards.

In my head, the film will not have any narration. It will will feature a subdued musical backing track, I intend the film to speak for itself and should not need a narrator (though there will be titles on-screen to introduce scene changes).

Is that it?
Well, not quite. Ideally the subject should live within fairly reasonable reach of the OX28 area. And, obviously, I’m not a professional film-maker, so it will be a learning experience, but I have lots of video editing skills, years of audio editing experience and I’m confident I can do it.

So…

I think that’s probably enough lists, for now.

While all the lists were written some time ago, and published on a ‘scheduled update’, things – in other areas of my life – have been, as you might imagine, happening.

I have been to so many gigs in the last two months that, frankly, I can’t remember them all. I need to find a quiet half-hour (or hour!) to sit down and go through my notes.

And, erm.

I’ve started writing for a media offshoot of The Guardian.

Yes, that Guardian.

And, in another area of my life, as the personnel have, obviously, changed, I’ve put some serious thought (and effort) in to remodelling the show – This Reality Podcast.

The changes that I’ve come up with; updating the format, increasing the musical content to six tracks, and tightening the duration downwards to around 30 minutes per show, all seem to have been well-received in the greater world. The listener figures have seen some significant uplifts, now that the show is more focussed.

It was helpful, obviously, that I was able to do some significant networking at the Media Centre in Manchester.

And also down at NME.

And, most beneficially of all, I’ve slutted and whored the show all over the Guardian (who have been wonderful about allowing me to trawl the show’s name and website details through their print and online properties).

I’ve also made a couple of minor updates to the show’s website. The most significant change is that the the revolving header photograph now updates, whenever a new show is released.

It always seemed odd, to me, that I’d put out a new show each week, but the main eye-grabbing feature of the website didn’t reflect this.

But not odd enough to do anything about it.

Until now, obv.

In other news, we had the yard Christmas ‘do’, the week before last. And that’s all I’m giving away.

I’ve sold my beautiful horsebox.

Even though Vin is on the point of being passed as ‘fully fit’, I’ve decided that my seriously competitive days are over.

If I need to take a horse somewhere, I’ll borrow a lorry.

Vin is due to see the chiro in the next week.

If he gets a double thumbs-up, we should be able to start bringing him in to work just after Christmas.

And, erm, speaking of Christmas.

I am off to Morocco in a week’s time.

And going to the Event Riders Association ball in January.

Umm…

My phone is due for an upgrade this week.

I want the new Nexus, obv.

But I’m also thinking of dumping Vodafone.

This is radical, I’ve been with Vodafone for about eight years. But, you know, one always wonders if the grass could be greener on the other side of the telecoms fence.

And there have been lots of other things going on.

Yes, lots.

*nods*

And?

Despite last night’s cider and almost-frozen vodka chasers, I feel remarkably excellent today.

Finding myself partially-dressed, when I got out of bed, confused me slightly, but we’ll just gloss over that for now.

My Twitter stream, from last night, seemed terribly amusing at the time.

Slightly less so, in the cold light of morning.

Oh well.

Heike went to bed complaining about the food baby she was carrying.

Yes, I’ll admit I got the quantities of last night’s Chinese sweet and sour stir-fry a little wrong.

But she hardly eats enough to keep a sparrow alive, so it’s not really my fault, is it?

Today I’m going to be madly busy.

And we’re going to a gig this evening to see, amongst others, Black Hats (a fine trio of energetic talent, who purvey musical thuggery for their own enjoyment, as much as for anyone else’s).

The chaps have promised to ply me with alcohol.

Pints of crème de menthe and crème de cacao have been mentioned.

*shudder*

Heike leaves tomorrow.

This makes me sad; her company (not to mention her arse-kicking) has helped put me on the right track, and helped do it much quicker than I should reasonably expect.

I’m spending tomorrow (Saturday) night in Peterborough.

On Sunday I have an afternoon meeting in Lapworth.

And in between these things I have the usual domestic and equine duties to crack on with.

Sadly, on the equine front, the Vin-related news is not good.

The vet has said that the entire left-half of his head is paralysed, due to nerve damage.

We’re giving him a week before the vet comes back for another look.

But if there is no improvement, the prognosis is terminal.

I want to say something really profound here, but the bottom line is that we wait and see.

Wait and see.