Every road has its bumps.
This past weekend at Waredaca the boys were super! Willy is steadily improving in the dressage department- this time putting in some lovely canter work earning a score of 39! Hopefully scores in the 30s at the upper levels will become the norm, it's something I can definitely get used to! His jumping, like always, is impeccable. I recently began taking lessons with Gayle Molander, who is fine tuning Willy's amazing ability, making sure that he is even more careful and precise. Cross country was quite effortless as well. In an effort to be careful (we've got to keep a sound, healthy horse for Young Riders) I took it rather slow and was very deliberate to each and every fence - which paid off with a clear round (though we added some time faults). Willy finished in 14th place (though he was 8th after show jumping..and would have been 4th if not for the time faults!), in a division filled with top-dollar horses and riders. Not too shabby!
Deacon was not to be outdone by his brother! Though keeping his attention in warm-ups seems to be the hardest part for this youngster - especially when cross country is close by! He put in an excellent dressage test despite the icky footing and scored a 30.0. I was even more pleased with his performance over fences! Deacon is just beginning to understand how to use his whole body over fences.... and man can he jump! For the first time Deacon was quite bold towards all his fences, never missing a single beat.... finishing in 2nd!!!! It was a very tough, large division filled with former Olympians and baby Deacon is proving to be quite the competitor.
Now for the difficult news.
Willy came off xc with a very small scrape right above his knee. We have no idea how he received such a scrape (though we have our own theories), but were very careful to clean it off and even had the on-site vet throw in a couple of stitches. Everything was fine until Willy stepped off the trailer at home, he was incredibly lame on the leg (right front). After we unpacked we took Willy out of his stall 30 minutes later to check him over again and reevaluate the situation. Willy was practically falling over, and was not able to put any weight on his leg. Fortunately our vet came out immediately and it was determined that something had punctured the joint. Willy was immediately on his way to New Bolton where he stayed for exactly a week. Thanks to our early diagnosis, Willy appears to be making a full recovery... and has only 10 more days of stall rest/hand walking. After the 10 days, if Willy is sound, he can start aqua-therapy and dressage training. Because Young Riders is at the end of July, we will be cutting it very close for getting Willy back up to his peak fitness level... but the dream is still alive.