Yesterday was a very equine day.
Beech is bearing up fairly well to his enforced ‘imprisonment’.
But he looks mighty fed up.
His coat’s suffering from the lack of wind (and rain!) and I’m sure he’d love to feel the sunshine on his back.
He’s due for his next set of X-rays in a few days.
I got a progress report from the vet on Wednesday evening.
In a nutshell his prognosis is good to excellent, providing that the initial stage of healing – the reason he’s on box rest now – has gone as well as we hope.
If everything knits well the leg will actually be stronger than his other three.
Something to do with the strengthening process that goes with calcification of a fracture.
After I’d shoved a couple of sliced apples in to Beech, skipped out his box and groomed him I went to find Vin.
And it started raining.
So I detoured to the kitchen, put the kettle on and got the saddles and bridles out of the tack room.
Spent the next few hours up to my elbows in saddle soap, leather oil, and warm soapy water.
Routine, repetitive tasks; how therapeutic are they?
With the sparkly clean, dressed tack hanging up back in the tack room, I shifted the lorry so that it was front-facing-out in its bay.
I had parked it rear-facing-out so that the signwriters could get at the tail.
Then I picked up his head collar and went to get Big Vin.
Who took one look at me walking down the track and melted my heart.
He started walking towards me then picked himself up and trotted right up to me.
Unconditional love, that’s why animals win out over people every time.
While I’d been engaged on my tack-cleaning marathon Karen had started schooling Arthur over a small course of show jumps.
I asked for the fences to be left up, then put Vin in the washdown bay, removed his rug and set to grooming the dried mud off his legs, neck, head and bum.
Don’t ask me how he manages to get mud up his bum when he’s wearing a rug all day, he’s obviously just a talented boy!
We had a bit of a kerfuffle when a soaking bin that he was standing next to was emptied of water; being a typical Thoroughbred he went in to orbit and pulled back hard.
Unfortunately the safety string didn’t break; the thing that did give out was the tie-point. Oops.
With Vin tacked up and me gloved, booted and hatted we set off for the arena and mounted up.
First we schooled flatwork to establish rhythm, build on balance and threw in lots of transitions to get his back-end actively engaged.
After 20 minutes it was time for the jumps; the first fence was a horizontal cross.
Which he attacked.
It felt way too quick.
I mean way, way, way too fast.
One of those occasions when I could have done with a ground-based observer; was my perception correct or was I just being scared?
As soon as he landed he was on his forehand so we came again and I was ready for him taking off and rebalanced him properly.
He reacted brilliantly.
We jumped the course six times – alternating clockwise/anti-clockwise each time – concentrating on being consistent with straightness and rhythm for every step of the track.
We pulled our work to a close, I loosened the saddle and dismounted.
Big Vin is a bit of a star; such a lot of potential if I can harness his abilities.
With Vin untacked, groomed, rugged up and back in his field with a couple of sliced applies in his belly I broke up the course of jumps and put everything away.
Then had another mug of hot chocolate.