Easter sunshine is good for the soul, box rest..not so much.
Its been a super busy April! Though I felt like I didn’t have much planned, a lot has happened!
The last weekend in March was a busy one setting us up for the month ahead with dressage on the Saturday and a show on the Sunday. Dressage didn’t go completely to plan when Gerry decided that he didn’t fancy loading into the trailer (erm, why?!) so we were then behind schedule and I didn’t get the warm up I wanted, I had planned to warm him up in the astride saddle and then get the side saddle on but we had so little time I just had to get the side saddle on and get going. Gerry was tense and a little inattentive in his test and also had a spook, for like, the first time ever!! But none the less we made it through for a score of 64% which I guess really wasn’t too bad. The next morning I left extra time for loading and made it to the venue with a bit more time to prepare! I did however forget to take the right showjacket (oops) but thankfully had a navy one left in the car. Gerry was a massive fidget in his class and just wouldn’t stand still. His go round and individual shows were both good but he just decided he wasn’t much up for standing around that day. He was quite hot and we called it a day after the one class. That weekend was one of those that I think I’d prefer to just..brush under the carpet!
The following weekend however was FAR more successful, I’d go as far as to call it flippin’ brilliant. We loaded up (thankfully without stress this time) and headed off to Auchlishie Eventing for a cross country lesson. I had a lot more control than I expected and jumped all the jumps I wanted too. I had been a bit worried that I might have been too nervous and Gerry too excited, but he gives me a bit more confidence as he knows what he’s doing and he really wasn’t uncontrollably excited either, he was great. We had a fantastic day and thankfully the rain stayed off, it had been forecast for heavy rain the WHOLE day, so we got lucky there! Then finally, on the Sunday… the day I have been looking forward to for the last 6 months….we went HOME! Gerry finally got to go back to the “right” yard. It will be hard for you to imagine without seeing for yourself but Gerry’s positive reaction to being back was immediate. He came off the trailer and went into his stable, had some hay and water then just hung his head over his door and took it all in. I guess it would be the equivalent of a human getting home after 6 months away and putting their feet up with a cuppa sighing “its good to be home” He went out into the field and immediately chummed up with his old friend Louis that he knew from before. Gerry was so relaxed he lay down in the field on his first night back there. The relief slowly just washed over me that first week as I realised that I had my safe and sensible horse back. It was a great feeling. What he didn’t like about the winter yard I will never know, I guess he maybe just sensed something that he didn’t like. The most important thing is that he’s happy again, and I will not be subjecting him to moving again.
Not ready to lose my mojo from the cross country lesson from the weekend before, Gerry and I headed off to a local hunter pace on the lovely Dunecht estate. I walked the course on the Friday night and chose not to over face myself with any jumps I wasn’t comfortable with, after all I had the choice, if I ever go eventing you’re not graced with such luxury! Gerry was super, though didn’t much enjoy waiting in the starting area or being held out on course for a fallen rider up ahead, he just wanted to be moving…fair enough! He flew over all the jumps I had chosen (apart from one which I missed the turn for but I mean who’s caring) and we got some fab go pro footage from our round. I never realised quite how much I chatted to him while I’m riding until I watched back my go pro film!
So like I say it was all going swimmingly, Gerry had been in the field for a week and then had a wee disagreement with one of his field mates. He had a few cuts which looked to be superficial, and a bit of a swollen fetlock. I cold hosed and cleaned up the cuts and popped him back out. The next day the surrounding area of one of the cuts on the inside of his back leg was hot and he didn’t want me to touch the area, I called the vet for advice not sure if it was possibly infected or if that was “normal” He did say some swelling and heat were normal during healing so I continued to cold hose and rest Gerry. The following day with Gerry looking a bit lame and the main cut looking a bit funky, I phoned the vet again and got someone to come out and see him. Ive always been quite lucky and never had too many equine injuries to deal with so i would never claim to be all that knowledgeable in dealing with such things! The vet came out the next day and agreed one of Gerrys cuts was definitely infected. Maybe I should have just asked for the vet to come out during the first phone call ..but hindsight is a wonderful thing!! The vet came on my lunch break from work and agreed the cut was infected, but she was concerned about his swollen fetlock and so decided to scan it. She came back later the same day and took X-ray and ultrasound on the leg. There was an old bone chip found, but the edges were smooth and the vet reckoned it had been there for some time, she didn’t think that was causing the current swelling. Thankfully, nothing else was found. His suspensory ligaments and tendons look to be fine, some wear and tear but nothing unusual for a horse of his age. So almost a sigh of relief but at the same time, still some unclarity as to what might be causing the problem. We agreed on 14 days box rest for Gerry, which as I write this blog on day 5.. is going pretty well. He is being a much better patient than I would have expected him to be, though maybe that’s thanks to the sedatives; haha. One nice thing about box rest is the extra time spent with Gerry that I wouldn’t have normally. Lots of extra grooming and attention, lickits, ice lollies and snacks to keep him entertained, seems to be working so far. So the vet is back at the beginning of May to review and they plan to xray the other leg that had the infected cut too, due to its location there was concern there could be a hairline fracture under there, so they just want to rule it out. Hopefully Gerry will improve and he can go back out the field at the end of his 14 days. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
While he’s resting ive had to try cut down his feeds, but obviously with antibiotics, danilon and sedative to get twice a day, he needs to still be fed enough to disguise those! One thing I can change is his chaff, thanks to our super sponsors Honeychop who literally have a product in the range for every occasion. I’ve swapped Gerry temporarily on to the Chopped Oat Straw while he mends, which has a combined sugar and starch level of only 2.2%! So he’s not being fed any additional sugars that he doesn’t need while his movements are reduced. Hopefully he wont have put on too many easter pounds while he’s out of work!
Until next month, when hopefully we will have some good news,
Grace & Gerry x