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Friday, 7 November 2014

Very Sad News

It is with a very sad & heavy heart, that we have tragically had to have Thomas put to sleep recently.

After the heartache and strength of recovery that Thomas showed with his recent hock injury, he was due to come home.

Tragically on Friday 24th October, Thomas took a severe colic, completely unrelated to his leg injury. He was still stabled at the vets, so received immediate treatment, but continue to colic through all the painkillers that the vets were able to administer. We were faced with the decision of whether to take Thomas to emergency surgery again. With good recovery rates from this operation, and confident vets' opinions, we decided to go ahead.

After correcting the twisted the gut, the vets discovered an even bigger problem. Thomas had a very large mass growing around is colon, restricting it, and causing the colic. Not only did it look like it had spread to the lymph glands, it would have also required a significant amputation of the colon. With no known recovery rate, guarantee that it would solve the issue or prevention that it would grow back, it was a difficult decision to put Thomas to sleep.

Thomas was my horse of a lifetime, and will never be forgotten. R.I.P Thomas.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Disaster Strikes

After a very uncharacteristical stop at Eden Valley, I'd decided to hold off competing and check Thomas was physically & mentally sound. I gave him a couple of weeks break while I had a minor operation on my back, before having all the usual back, teeth and saddle checks done on Thomas. I was pleased to report that there were no issues. We entered for Cumwhinton 23rd August, but starting back at BE90 for one run.

We had great flatwork and jumping lessons in the week leading up to the event, but on the Thursday evening, Thomas came in with the biggest offside hock I'd seen, and one of the biggest my vets had seen. He was sound in walk, and not cuts or scratches on him. He struggled to move it in trot on that first night, but the next day, was almost sound in trot up, despite no improvement in the swelling.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

2014 Season So Far

So, it's now August, so a recap of the season so far.

This was our first event, thankfully a local event as we were second in for the dressage! It was a cold, dark morning at the end of March, but we were so excited to be back out eventing. Thomas put in a lovely relaxed dressage test to score our first ever under 30 score of 29.5. Heading to the showjumping (where you couldn't see the full arena for the fog!) it was sticky and muddy, but all I thought about was kicking on. We had an unlucky two down. Off to XC, but with no one moving out the warm up and the 1st fence not visible from the start box, it was called off to become a combined training. We finished 8th which was a great start, even if we couldn't do our favourite part.

We'd planned to go BE100 here, but with no XC run we stuck at 90. A decent dressage of 32.5, and a very frustrating one showjump down (the last!). Off we headed to XC - clear & in time. Great result & although being 14th, we were just 0.5 from 10th so it was a tight finish!

This was now our first BE100 run of the season. Unfortunately, due to very heavy rain overnight, it was called off on the day of our class.

A big & bold course, but our first BE100 run of the season (& my favourite event). Unfortunately Thomas hadn't been himself leading up to this event, which we eventually found (the night before) a chipped tooth, which with some persuasion, the vet managed to extract the chip & file back. I was worried Thomas was still sore so probably didn't ride like I should have done. A dressage of 38.5, and two showjumps down, but clear and in time cross country.

Another great local event, probably my favourite of the local ones. It wasn't to be our day - a dressage of 36.5 & not feeling quite together, a deceptively sticky showjumping arena and putting three down. But the worst was a fall in the cross country warm up! I was disappointed with myself so just assuming, but Thomas also put in a naughty run out half way round, giving us our only 20 penalties of the season.

Hutton in the Forrest
A good day out, although a little backward in the dressage. Showjumping was quite the opposite - Thomas became too strong after a big triple bar, and had three down after it in a row! The cross country was bold as usual, and flooding memories of my fall the event before came back. It I didn't go now though, when would I? So I set off, making my mind up that if we got to the 4th fence and it wasn't right, we'd pull up. Thomas was an angel and did all the work for me, getting me home safely.

Eden Valley
This was definitely was not our finest hour - a high dressage score, but a very bad showjumping round. With just two put down, we came into the last, a double leading up to the entrance, just one stride in between. Second part, Thomas went to take off, but put his feet back down. I went straight out the front door. Annoyingly, we had the first part down when we had to rejump. I took it steady XC as the ground was hard and no point pushing, so a bit of a cricket score finish. But we learnt our lesson, to ride every stride and never assume...

Well, that's us up to date. I'll try and post more frequently as we continue through the season.

Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Preparation for the Season - Cross Country Schooling

We're all very excited - in just under two weeks it will be the start of our 2014 season at Burgham Horse Trials, in Northumberland.

In preparation, we've all been working hard on our fitness and techniques to get the best from the first few events.

This last Sunday (16th March), Thomas, Andrew & I headed out along the A68 to Little Whittington cross country to get some practice over some cross country fences - the last time we jumped one was October!!

After playing around in the water, jumping in and out, linking up lots of fence around, and going over lots of ditch fences, Andrew got a great photo & video over our favourite fence.

We'll have lots of competition reports and news coming up in a few weeks, so make sure you keep checking back in with us to stay up to date!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Getting Prepared for the Upcoming Season

Very exciting news this week - last weekend, I entered our first event of 2014; Burgham Horse Trials. The event is in Northumberland, and takes place 29th/30th March.

With just 4 weekends between then and now, it's all go!

We've been working hard since the start of the new year to improve our flatwork & you can see from the short clip below, we're pleased with the hard work:

So what else is happening between then and now?

Well this weekend, we hope to travel to North Yorkshire to go cross country training - get used to seeing some fences again and prepared for our season starting.

After that we've got a flatwork lesson booked in, two show jumping lessons, and lots of hacking to build up Thomas' fitness.

We'll keep you posted as we get closer to the event!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

2013 Season Round-up

It's been a while since our last post - & a lot happened in the 2013 season that we want to tell you about!

June saw us compete at Skipton Horse Trials, gaining our lowest score to date, and just missing out on a top 10 finish due to a small number of annoying time penalties.

June also saw us scoop our first foundation point together at Hutton Horse Trials. We went onto get another at Hendersyde Horse Trials at the beginning of August.

Hendersyde also gave us more firsts - our lowest score & our first British Eventing rosette!

We decided to make the transition up to BE100 - starting where we had started our Eventing path the year before @ Richmond Horse Trials.

We were so pleased to complete our first BE100. We managed to get a place in the open, so a finish of 13th against established riders, horses & combinations was a great finish for us!

We finished our season at BE100 - completing Aske Horse Trials, Bishop Burton & Askham Bryan. With an unfortunate stop on the penultimate fence at Askham Bryan, we're looking for to 2014 learning from each of our outings.

So watch this space to see how we get on in 2014!

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