It’s been a while since I did an equine update so…
Vin’s headshaking continues to improve; the treatment seems to be capable of mitigating about 90% of his most serious symptom, which is a massive win.
I’m so happy with the way he’s responding that I’m now devoting quite a lot of time and effort to finding him a convalescent home; a place where he can spend a year resting, and allowing his back ligaments to repair.
Tom’s getting quite a lot of work thrown at him and while this seems to be suiting his attitude and temperament, it means he’s now incredibly well-muscled and fighting fit.
I schooled him in flatwork on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday we schooled over the cross-country course and had a great time!
On Saturday Tom and I went to a local show-jumping competition at an agricultural college.
He worked in brilliantly, we jumped well and he needed just a very light-touch over the 1.10m warming-up fences.
Unfortunately, it was a different story in the arena where Tom napped badly back towards the collecting-ring, and we were eliminated.
The following day – yesterday – Tom and I went to a combined training (dressage and show-jumping) competition at Stow-on-the-Wold.
I was a bit hazy on the dressage test, and the judge didn’t ‘get’ my pick ‘n’ mix approach to the sport, so we had a couple of ‘errors of course’ but, apart from them, we came away with some very respectable marking right down the sheet.
The show-jumping was a nice big arena, but it consisted of the scariest, spookiest, shiniest set of BSJA/JAS-style fences I’ve ever seen.
And we bombed round.
I was a little more assertive than the previous day, and we tanked round. The final fence was an absolute galloping monster of a five-bar gate with a rail on top; it came at us so quickly I didn’t really have time to fiddle our speed down so I went forward and encouraged and Tom answered with a beautifully basculed shape over it, even if we were slightly above the national speed limit.
Big smiles and many pats!
The rest of the week looks like this: gridwork tomorrow, flatwork on Wednesday and cross-country schooling on Thursday.
On Friday Tom’s off to NN14 3JA to do a Pre-Nervous with Sammi. I might let her do a Novice with him later in the season, but the plan is that Tom and I crack on and just have fun.
There’s another combined training competiton the following weekend, and the weekend after that is our ‘home’ One-Day Event
p.s. the title springs from a rhythm exercise; the perfect show-jumping canter is supposed to be the same beat as a correctly-paced chorus of the song ‘Nellie the elephant’, or so I was told in Pony Club. Maybe it was just a cruel joke to get that tune embedded in to my head!