Photo by HoofClix!
You all may be wondering why the pony has been MIA from events this month? Well, after running beautifully at Full Gallop he came home with a stump leg! His left front was swollen, extremely sensitive, and very hot! I was at a complete loss because he jogged sound after his great XC run... so I called the vet immediately. The diagnosis: severe rubs from his brand new Tri Zone XC boots (the no-rub ones!). Similar to a girth gull, the boots killed/rubbed off almost all layers of skin protecting his tendons. Luckily no tendons or ligaments were effected, but the skin was in such bad shape that poor pony had to stay in his stall with Surpass ointment everyday. No water, dirt, sand, soap, etc was to touch the skin. So after two weeks post- Full Gallop the pony is finally back in work. Needless to say this put a huge damper on our competition schedule. We were supposed to run Intermediate at Pine Top II, then advanced at Pine Top HT. Since we had to scratch from Pine Top II, our advanced debut needed to be pushed back... now it looks like we will wait until after Jersey Fresh CCI** for the big move up. Sigh.
Anyway, the pony is feeling much better now! He is back in full training and being his naughty self. We were all set to go to Pine Top HT, but unfortunately i had three flat tires on the trailer... meaning its time to tighten my belt and get 5 new tires for our rig. So the pony missed his outing, yet again. Not to worry we have my favorite events coming up.. another run at Full Gallop, Southern Pines II, The Fork, then an advanced CT at Longleaf.
Deacon and I braved the winter weather yet again for pine Top II. Georgia received over 4 inches of snow... and I almost decided to stay home! The Pine Top crew worked overtime to make the facility competition-ready and worked very hard to accommodate all of the competitors! Due to the storm and delayed ride times, Deacon and I had all three phases pushed back to Sunday. Deacon was PERFECT in dressage warm-up, really soft, supple, and obedient... ready to WIN! But other things were in store for us... Deacon reminded me that he is still a baby and will go silly baby things. Dressage was in a grass area...which was horribly deep and uneven, but worse... show jumping was on one side of the arena, and xc was just across the pond. Poor Deacon just froze, and wasn't sure which way to look. The good thing is... he is starting to understand his job! He say the horses running and jumping, and knew it was time to GO... unfortunately it made for a very tense, distracted, and B-A-D test. oh well, i guess I will allow the baby horse to have one bad test every two years. Despite our interesting version of prelim Test A, we managed to obtain a qualifying score from Brain Ross. Show Jumping was BIG and quite technical for Prelim, riders had to find the perfect canter and perfect spot or rails would fly! Deacon was jumping great in warm-up and posted another DOUBLE CLEAR round. YAY! XC was even more intimidating, especially for this early in the season... questions like a bounce bank (with a huge off), corners, offset lines, BIG gallop fences, Bounce bank water fence, jumps in the water, etc. Deacon had never seen half of these questions before so I wanted to go a bit slower to really give him the opportunity to understand the course. My plan paid off. Deacon grew more confident as the course went along, and was an absolute super star, with plenty of gas left in the tank! He moved all the way up to 6th. Not too bad for his 4th prelim, in a division filled with Intermediate Horses and Riders (who were using Pine Top as a 'dust the cobwebs off' event). All in all, I was very pleased with Deacon - he is now qualified for the Virginia CCI*!
We have a short break before we head to Aiken for Full Gallop. See you all there!