The vet came out yesterday to have a look at The Bardy Lad. He examined him thoroughly and I trotted him up for him. Barnaby is clearly not lame and the vet said he'd be very surprised if he had an infection. He said it looked like an oedema, almost as if he's been on box rest, but it's because he's gone from lots of exercise to a week of doing nothing. It can't be helped, there's no way I'm going to ride a horse who spent the previous evening hanging about over his stable door, is there?
Basically, the vet said to exercise him to dissipate the oedema. It is pretty big actually. I rode him in the school yesterday, then Missis and I hacked out today. I only wanted to take it steady, so we walked all the way down Press, then turned and trotted all the way back up. Lindy was cantering along behind me (on the road) which really sets Barnaby off, and I can only just hold him. Missis realised what the crafty beggar was doing and put a stop to it. We trotted to the top of the steep bit, then walked the rest of the way home. I think if we'd cantered on the verge like we normally do, we'd have been home in time for tea and medals. I can just about hold Barnaby in that sort of mood, so I think I'm going to hack out in a double bridle for a while, just to remind him of his horsey manners.
When we got back, Missis tacked Hugo up and we went into the school. I gave her a lesson in 'gymnastic jumping.' Hugo was quite lazy at first, but soon perked up and did really well. She has got a lesson with Nicky tomorrow, which seems a bit pointless now, but there we are.
This is all because Mr O and Missis went showjumping a couple of weeks ago (the day before Barnaby did his leaping episode). It was at a place called Marchington, which is an hour and a half to the south, in Staffordshire. It was a really nice place, with a big indoor warm-up arena, as well as the main showjumping arena.
It was 2-phase jumping, which means you jump the first eight jumps to see if you go clear, then fence 9-14 are timed. Mr O went in and walked the course but felt like he hadn't really learned it but it was time to go and get Zak and get warmed up.
He jumped quite well in the warm-up. It's the first time Mr O's ever competed him, so we weren't sure what he'd be like. As it turned out, he was going very well, and clear, when Mr O completely forgot the course. It was difficult, because in the end I shouted, "Green planks!" but didn't want to eliminate him for outside assistance. Mr O saw a green fence and jumped it, and immediately got eliminated anyway! It was such a shame, because he was going beautifully. Mr O said when he walked the course he kept counting his strides, which he never normally bothers with, but didn't concentrate on the course itself. We've decided next time he must take longer just to walk it and learn the route and I'll walk Zak round in the collecting ring so he's warmed up a bit before Mr O gets on.
Missis also did it, but had several fences down. I've watched the camcording, and she looks terrified. I don't think it was the fences particularly, she just got totally overcome with nerves. They are going again on Sunday afternoon, so both of them have decided to get some more practise in. I have to say, for a Trailblazers competition, there were a lot of fences, and the spreads on them were really big. I know when you're competing you can think, 'the fences were huge,' but that's just nerves kicking in. I wasn't competing, and I still thought they were big!
There are 14 fences, too, which is quite a lot, but it's because it's two phase. I suppose it's quicker to get everybody to do both parts in one go, but I think I prefer a jump-off. Maybe it's calmer this way, but I find it very peculiar to jump some fences both ways when you're doing a course. It's all good experience, though, isn't it?
Overall, though, we were very pleased with Zak's performance. He certainly had no trouble with the height. I think Missis was quite surprised too, as she's been having lessons with Nicky and is on a proven event horse. We've got an ex-racehorse, coached by little old me, and he did really well.
It turns out there is a rather spectacular photo of Mr O jumping. We are both quite astonished by it and have ordered it, so as soon as it arrives, you can rest assured it will be on here, facebook, my screensaver and Mr O's computer at work!
I am interested to see what this Sunday brings, but we are forecast snow on Thursday. I've no way of knowing what sort of quantity we're talking about, but it could totally scupper our plans. Never mind.