Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Just when you think you have it all sorted.........

Well it has been an eventful couple of weeks and to be honest a bit of a roller coaster..........

Arabella the week before she got ill
Arabella was looking fighting fit and on top form until last Monday. Then she seemed a bit flat when I rode her and sweated up quite a bit, on taking her temperature it was slightly raised, by Tuesday she wasn't eating and her temperature was spiking, her respiratory rate was up and she appeared to be colicking, so the vet came out immediately. He put her on a drug to reduce her temperature and took some bloods. It showed she had a systemic infection but no idea where it was coming from. The vet came back and gave her IV antibiotics that night and we continued then IM for the next couple of days but she need to stay on the Fentamine to keep her temperature down. By Thursday she wasn't any better, her temp spiked again and they took her in to hospital with suspected Peritonitis. The first peritoneal tap was inconclusive and scan was clear, the 2nd one showed slightly raised levels, so they added in another antibiotic and treated her for that. Her second blood count showed no response and the inflammatory markers were still high. Vets were baffled. (In the meantime we were taking the temperatures and checking respiratory rates of the other horses to check they are all still well, they were). A week later since it started and she is still in hospital, but they might have got to the bottom of it. Last night a lump came up on her flank, they scanned the area and found a small pocket of fluid consistent with an abscess, really deep down. So fingers crossed.

Hector warming up beautifully!
Hector has been jumping out of his socks and his flat work at home has been fantastic. On Saturday I took him to Twesledown, he got so many compliments. He warmed up beautifully for the dressage but unfortunately decided to throw in the towel for the actual test. I think he heard the xc and thought he should be doing that as he actually tried to bolt off during his test. Hey ho not too worried about that becuase he can do a fantastic test, he will settle as he does more events. Then it was time for the showjumping. This has always been a challenge for Hector but he jumped such a beautiful clear round, he really has the hang of it now.He was a bit green xc, but nether the less did everything asked of him and we got another clear. Can't wait to take him to Borde Hill on Sunday.

Boo in her second ever test.
On Sunday we took Boo to her first ever one day event in Pachesham. It was her second ever dressage test. She literally turned heads and loved the attention! She is becoming more and more chilled and relaxing a lot more in her test, although she can still be sharp, I need to keep my wits about me. She was so well behaved in the lorry. She did a great round of show jumping, it was a very very spooky course and we had one refusal but she went over it second time. We pulled out of the cross country after walking it as the ground was shocking.

Bit of medium trot!
On Monday it was Danny's turn, we were moving up a notch and it was time to do our first ever intermediate dressage and jumping test as a combination. Shaun Lawson, Grandad and our  friend (and my boss) Carolyn Gorman came to watch. Sometimes everything just comes together at the right time and he did the most incredible dressage, in fact it is the best score he has ever got in his life. 26.8, such a clever boy. On to the showjumping, he had a blinding round, it was a full up intermediate course and tight in places, he flew it, we just knocked a plank but I was so pleased. In the pictures he makes the jumps look so small. Confidence riding high and one of the leaders after showjumping we went into the cross country. At the 5th jump disaster struck. It wasn't a difficult combination, 4 strides which we met but he somehow missed the jump and clonked it full force. I felt immediately there was something wrong and pulled him up. When we got back to the lorry, we iced it, pumped him full of arnica and put arnica gel on. When we arrived back home he was hosed again, we used laser therapy and gave him some bute. I hosed him again late evening and repeated late afternoons process in the morning. I have everything crossed it is just badly bruised but as I write this we have just seen the vet, he has been booked in for xrays tomorrow.

Jake and me at Badminton Grassroots
Then to top it all Mum had a call from the people that have her Jake (aged 23) on loan to say he hasn't been right, the vet has seen him and they think he has some internal tumours so Mum wants him home so she can care for him, he is our horse of a life time, he gave me the best start in British Eventing, took me to Badminton Grassroots and the least we can do is give him the very best of care in his twilight years.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Symms International Horse Trials - Will we, wont we........

The build up to Hambledon was a little stressful. The reason this run was so important is that Danny and I are due to go to Jardy (Paris) 10 days later and this would be our only run at 1* level as a combination before we go. The Sunday before we had a fantastic afternoon practicing our jumping at Coombelands, he was sound as a pound, Monday morning he went out in the field, still sound, Monday afternoon he was literally hopping lame. Where were my vet and farrier? On holiday! Frantic phone call to Zack Treliving who came in at 8am the following morning, meanwhile we poulticed and prayed! Zack came and removed the shoe to see if it was an abscess, he didn't think so, so we put the shoe back on. Because we couldn't use bute or any medication prior to Hambledon we called Stuart at Arundel Equine Hospital to get his advice. He suggested ice tubbing and then using like ice clay to pack the foot with and to keep him in. We did this 3 times a day every day. It was going to be touch and go as to whether he would make it. Everyday he looked a little better but I wasn't allowed to ride him. Thursday night he was sound. Pip arrived with Red as were taking them with us too and we left for Hambledon at 5am the next morning.
We arrived with not a lot of time due to traffic problems it took us 3 and bit hours to do a 1.5 hour journey. But I quickly got ready, thanks to Pip who did Danny for me, I put on my top hat and tails and we went to warm up. (Click on this link for the video of the dressage http://youtu.be/BgwurF94hZE). Well considering this was the first time Danny had been ridden since Sunday he was amazing, yes there were a few disobediances but I can forgive those and he was completely sound. We got a 56.1 which put us mid table.
Then it was Pip's turn, she did her dressage (slight memory lapse in the middle) and then we all went off to walk the course. I walked the 1* with Michael Rogers from MDR Photo and Mum and Pip walked the 100 course.
Pip then went and did a beautiful double clear. We had such a great day, went off to find our stables and then after we settled the horses went to the pub for dinner with Mum, Michael and Tom. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Pip and I stayed in the lorry whilst Mum stayed in luxury with Michael and Lisa, our evening was fairly incident free except for when for some reason Pip thought Red was cast and went rushing out at 4.30 in the morning to check on him. We were so organised that the horses were done and ready to go back to the showground, lorry tidied etc by the time Mum, Michael and Lisa arrived at 7.45am.
Photo: This is the way to do a competition!
My brother Ross and his friend Gary turned up to watch as Oxford is only 40 mins away. We also had some other friends turn up from London Lydia and Eliza, it turned into a proper social occasion!
I was so excited to do the jumping, we had a great round although we rolled 2 poles, something we need to work on.
And then on to the xc, it was an exhilarating feeling. The course was challenging, it caused a lot of trouble but we went clear and to be honest I looked at the intermediate and felt ready to take that step. (Just need to persuade Mum now).

We stayed a little bit longer, I let Mum walk the course after I had jumped it and we finally returned home late afternoon. It was such a lovely weekend.

Photo: We wanted to jump this!!!
This intermediate jump is bigger than Pip!
After Pip and I had unloaded the horses and the lorry we went off to Coombelands to walk the course we were jumping the following day!

Thank you to http://www.mdr-photo.co.uk for taking such amazing photos, the full gallery can be viewed on my website http://www.harrietupton.com/hambleden-international---20th-april-2013.html