This year has kicked off with more riding than ever. Usually it's a great time to give them some time off with the rubbish weather, and short days, however this year has been great for the weather so we have carried on like normal. They did have an impromptu break in July when I broke my ribs after all! Ben is feeling great and we have had some excellent schooling and jumping sessions. His jumping is still very green and a bit spooked by fillers (see photos!) but generally his striding and shape is improving every time. His flat work is becoming more consistent as we move into more lateral and medium work.
Django has been on his first hack (walk?) around the village where he experienced so many things. The aim this year is to get him out most weekends, as breaking is not much more than a year away and I want him to have experienced as much as possible, so new things become less overwhelming.
We passed traffic, walkers, dogs, lawn mowers, drains and a variety of other things as we went through the village and around the fields and he took everything in his stride. We tackled tight gateways, wooden bridges and a little ditch. With this being is first proper walk I did not consider how unfit he would be and after 1hr 30 mins and 3 miles he was exhausted and happy to be home and rest. He recently also has his first dentist visit. He didn't need anything doing, but having the headpiece on while the vet fussed him made for a nice experience and hopefully future routine visits will be straightforward.
Unfortunately I received less good news on Travis who has been out of work since June 2021 after some out of the blue unpredictable behaviour. He was treated for ulcers which made a small difference and then in recent weeks he deteriorated again, so the vets run some bloodwork and my hear broke when they told me he has low red and white blood cells, and his liver and kidneys are not functioning properly. We are not certain of the cause yet, it could be auto immune disease, tumour or an underlying infection. He is on 10 days of antibiotics, steroids and liver boost. They will re-run his bloods in 10 days to see if anything as improved or not and then consider the next steps. I am so sad to think of the chronic pain he must have been in, and it has been a stark reminder what a tough face these horses are capable of putting on and how well they can mask severe pain and it is our job a owners to investigate and listen to even the slightest change in them.