I hope everyone's okay, it's really sunny and warm here, so I am outside a lot, making the most of the good weather.
I must tell you about Sunday. Mr O. took Zak to Trent Valley for another Trailblazers showjumping competition. We set off in plenty of time and arrived earlier than last time, but they were actually further on. The Clear Round had finished and the 65cm class had started, so we quickly registered and got Zak out of the lorry. We had come to do the 75cm and 85cm classes.
Mr O admitted he was very nervous. I am like that myself, sometimes I could be physically sick, which is one of the reasons I don't want to do it any more! Mr O tacked Zak up but I checked everything was done properly. For some reason, when you're nervous, normal behaviour goes out of the window. I've got on Max before and realised I hadn't even done his girth up properly. Nerves definitely do something to the brain.
So Mr O set off to the warm-up ring, but then realised he must walk the course. Sometimes a competition can be done so that everyone goes in and jumps round, then all those that jumped clear go back in for a 'jump-off' where less fences are jumped and it's against the clock, and obviously the fastest clear round wins.
This competition was two-phase, which means a competitor must know the jump-off course when they go in. They jump the whole course (10 fences) and then if they haven't had a fence down or had any refusals, they go straight on and do the jump-off course without stopping, which might be fence 1,2, 4,5 and 8 and 10. I can't stand doing it like this as I have a terrible sense of direction, I'd rather have a jump-off, but there we are.
I actually filmed Mr O as my photography is useless. So I was watching through the lens as Mr O went round. To my joy, he did the course clear and went straight back round to jump fence 1 again, then 2, whip round before your horse tries to jump fence 3 as it's straight in front of him, jump 4 and 5, then turn right quickly and jump 9 and 10. To my amazement, they did it! I can't show you the video as I may have said a little tiny swear word at the end, before letting go of the camera! I was so thrilled I was holding back a sob. We've had this horse two years and this is only his third competition. Mr O was a bit choked as well.
He came out of the arena and we both worked hard to pull ourselves together. Zak knew we were pleased with him. This means he has qualified to go through to the second round. This is a biggie for us, I can't begin to tell you. I am so excited, just thinking about it all over again.
Then Mr O warmed up for the 85cm class but felt something was wrong with Zak. Someone else said he looked lame. He didn't look lame to me. Mr O hopped off and we checked Zak's legs but all was fine. We decided that he should go in and have a go but if anything felt wrong he was to pull up immediately. And sure enough, after jumping two fences, Mr O doffed his cap and came out of the ring.
We gave Zak a bute in his tea and he was fine on Monday but I've got him in for his tea tonight and he is still lame. We think it might be an abscess (again) so we'll get the farrier to take his shoe off and have a look. Poor boy. Mr O is gutted, as you can imagine. We love our boys and can't stand it when something like this happens to them. It kind of takes the shine off, but I am still thrilled and delighted that Zak did it (and Mr O too, obviously, especially as he was so nervous).