Monday, November 3, 2008

Lameness, Show Jumping and more

Again, I am very sorry for being a bad blogger. I promise to be better in the future.

A couple of weeks ago Jack went un-explicably lame. I was warming him up in the arena at a walk and he was fine but as soon as I put him into a trot I felt a hopping motion. I got off him straight away and trotted him out and there it was... a big fat limp. Something was obviously wrong with his right hind leg and as I walked him back to un-saddle him it got worse. He was really lame at the walk when just minutes before he had been fine. I searched his leg up and down for an obvious problem but I couldn't see anything. There was no cuts, swelling or heat and no muscle pain when I pushed and prodded. I decided to give him a day and see if it improved since he was still eating alright and I couldn't see an obvious cause to his lameness. The next day he had improved a lot and it got better everyday after that. I gave him a week off just to make sure and then started riding again. We did Show Jumping at Pony Club a couple of days after coming back into work. We started off with flat work which Jack hated and told me so in no uncertain terms but I did manage to get him to do a nice big trot when I over exagerated my rise. He also took the contact which I was very happy with. Usually when I ask for a large trot he bowls along with his neck scrunched into his body and his head in the air. When we went on to jumping he was just spectacular. You could tell he loves it. We flew around the course and his listened to me the whole time. I was really proud of him. I didn't work him too hard though due to the fact he had just been lame and he is still unfit.

The next day Jack was lame again. It was the same leg but this time his whole leg was hot and he refused to put any weight on it. It happened that a nice (and rather good looking) farrier was shoeing a horse at the Pony Club so I asked if he could take a look at Jack's hoof. He did some pincher tests and came to the conclusion that Jack had a stone bruise. So off I went to the supermarket to get some Epsom Salts. I soaked his hoof once a day for 20mins for about 5 days and now he's back to being sound again. Jack is currently un-shod. He arrived that way and his previous owner assured me that he had very strong feet. So i didn't get him shod immediatly thinking that I would do it when I started competiting and doing harder work. But it seems Jack does get rather ouchy when walking on stones and two lamenesses in as many weeks seems to indicate that he needs shoes. Unfortunately the earliest I could get him booked is the 14th of November (my birthday) since the Farrier Nationals are on this weekend and according to my farrier anyone wanting a farrier this week will find it very hard. I've never used this farrier before but my friend who is a great eventer uses him and I really like his work. Hopefully he'll be right for us. He was also very friendly and assured me he wouldn't be late. In fact he said "I am never late. If I don't show up, watch the 6 o'clock news and you'll see that a farrier has died in a fiery car crash." He seems like a decent bloke and I have high hopes for him.

Unofficially our first competition is tonight. We're having a show jumping and dressage night at Pony Club. I only found out about this last night and I distinctly remember this same thing happening last year. So today I'm going to be learning a very difficult dressage test and getting ready for it. Jack will probably need a bath too.

As I said earlier my birthday is in a couple of weeks. I'm not really feeling like a big birthday this year. I'm thinking of going to Woodhill Forest with my riding friends for an awesome ride and then a picnic once we're finished. It will be Jack's first outing with me so it will be interesting to see how he goes. I have no idea what I'll do with the rest of my friends.


Jennynz said...

I hope things went well at Pony Club last night :)

Katie said...

Hey Jenny!

Our dressage was much better then expected. He really started to stretch out in his trot although our trot to canter transition was less then desirable. Unfortunately I pulled out of show jumping and Jack was doing really big rears and I wasn't in the right frame of mind to be dealing with them. I thought it would be safer for both of us if we didn't participate.

Jennynz said...

oh no, thats stink about the rearing. Is he still sore do you think?
When I was your age I had a TB that would rear when I tried to jump him at shows, it got very very frustrating (and a bit scary!) I hope you get him sorted out soon.