Way back on Sunday, I took Bob the QH school horse to a schooling two phase. It was supposed to be an outing with Theo, but someone has decided they like being shoeless and out of work. More on that later. In the interest of not throwing my entry fee out, I took the bambino and we did the pre-elementary level.
Side note, I haven't done cross rails in competition since I was about 8 years old. It felt very, very odd. A walk trot dressage test and 18" fences.
It was a blazing hot day with a high of 95 degrees. Thanks, Mother Nature. With minimal requirements and a well schooled horse, our warm up for dressage was about 15 minutes long. I wanted to make sure we could stop without him throwing his head in the air and that I could, you know, turn. He's got some odd buttons due to being a former western pleasure pony and sometimes we get our wires crossed and the steering fails. To be fair, we'd only worked together for one lesson before the show. That's not a lot of time to figure someone out.
I took Bob into the ring with a complete lack of nerves. I didn't really care about the score, I was just there to knock off some rust and give the school pony a good trip with an experienced rider. He was nervous in the indoor that he'd never seen before, but settled in to give me a nice ride. We got a 35, not bad!
I spent most of the day playing support crew. Trainer A was there with another school pony (Juice Box), putting miles on him. He completed his first ever cross country test and we were all very proud of his achievement. He definitely had the swagger coming back from the finish. I also met a lady doing her first cross country with her OTTB. She had the most amazing spurs I'd ever seen, custom blinged out and matched her saddle pad. I need them. NEED them.
At the hottest part of the day, I tossed my saddle on Bob and went to the ring to jump. They were pinning classes in the ring, so I let my pony doze while waiting for our turn. I didn't want to do much of a warm up in the heat. Evidently other people wanted out of the heat and they decided to skip the last two pinnings and just run straight through. All of a sudden I was next in the ring! I trotted off on Bob and did a one minute warm up with two cross rails, then went right in the ring to jump around. Bob was, of course, a saint and we had a nice trip around the ring. He seemed very happy to go out and do things with a confident ride and he certainly put in quite a strut with his second place ribbon in the victory trot. Pre-elementary riders don't get to do a victory gallop.
There were a lot of pictures taken and they should be available soon. My white horse was so white he looked pearlescent, I was very proud. His braids also came out nice. He tends to dive down in the front which lures me into leaning forward. The consensus was that I'm very good for Bob, but he's terrible for me. I was very tippy. Overall, it was a good day and I enjoyed it. Low stress, no nerves, mostly an occasion for me to find all of my showing stuff and get back into the groove. The ladies from the barn were pretty new to showing and appreciated having some experienced advice on things like putting numbers on bridles and using hairnets.
L to R: Me and bambino, Trainer R, a young lady at her first show, and Juice Box with Trainer A
As for mi papi, he is still the king of the foot soaking. While I was gone, the farrier looked at him again. He stands by the 'knocked himself in the field' story. Whatever. The important part is that Theo is coming sound. The pocket of pus that showed up at the heel bulb has not erupted, but has also gotten softer and appears to no longer be putting the same type of pressure on Theo's heel. My horse Allen had a neck abscess that dissipated rather than erupting and draining, so I know that's a possible outcome. There was enough trauma to the hooves that finding a starting point to see if it drained out the other way is pretty much impossible. It's nothing but holes and mess at this point. I'm heading out this afternoon to see the state of things for myself. I'm not sure if Theo has shoes on or not. So long as it's not a pocket of pus trapped in his foot and it's found a way out, we should be good.
Taken just before I left on my trip, showing the swollen spot and discoloration at the heel bulb. Don't mind the poultice stuff all over the place, this was from rewrapping his foot.
I got a text yesterday that Theo managed to bust out of his stall and take six working students on a merry chase through the fields, bucking and snorting the whole way. I think he's just about had it with stall rest. I know I'm ready to be done with it.