Wow. What a busy few weeks!
Heath Ryan was amazing! We got there at about 4.30pm and left at around 8pm. I watched a few lessons and then listened to Heath talk about each of the horses that they had on the property. BML Performance Horses has a breeding program with Ryan’s and all they horses in the lessons were ones Heath had bred. He then explained a little about the bloodlines and what he looks for in a performance horse. As someone who knows little about bloodlines and breeding, I found it fascinating. He then hopped on a horse that he hasn’t seen in 2 years (since he sold it to BML) and proceeded to give a talk about it, they way it moves, it’s breeding and also tell some anecdotes. He is a very funny, charismatic man. He is super passionate about his horses and the breeding program. It was a brilliant evening, I am very grateful that I was invited.
I have also moved Bo and GK to another friends place. They have 3 paddocks to themselves at night and during the day they have about 4 acres to free range on. I moved them the Saturday after I saw Heath Ryan and I took GK up to Brigadoon the next day. I was not expecting too much from him as he was not settled at all but he blew me away with his behaviour. He was an angel. The Polo Club was using the grounds, as was the pony club… both of which back on to the cross country course. GK having never (as far as I am aware) seen a polo game, I was expecting a few fireworks. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not even a swish of the tail. He honestly did not care. We jumped some Intro 2, Intro 1 and a few Prelim jumps and had no troubles. Well, except for a log that had a pretty decent drop on the other side. I let him have a look at the log as it was pretty heavily shaded and then took him round to approach it. One stride out he slammed on the brakes and ran out. I took him round again with more left leg and right rein… It happened again. So I walked him up to the log, gave him a kick and made him slide over it. It wasn’t a big log and he understood what I wanted. The next time around I trotted him over it not a problem and the last time I lined the jump up, it was at a decent canter.
At that stage, Bo was still ever so slightly lame and I hadn’t hopped on him since I did the Bowen and Red Light Treatment on him. However instead of it being in his hindquarters, it was in his front end. That sort of thing is pretty common, it’s called a referred pain pattern. Think about when you hurt yourself, you try and protect whats sore by compensating for it with another body part. After a while, the other body part will start to hurt because it is being used in a different way. For example, If you sprain your ankle, you limp. This puts most of your weight on your other leg. You increase the weight on your ankle which in turn passes it up the leg to your knee and so on. Referred pain patterns are often the reason you may find you get a sore back if you hurt your neck or shoulder. Anyway, back to Bo. I warmed him up on Sunday evening with my friend M watching. She said he was still a bit short, so I hopped off and stretched out his Pectoral muscles for a few minutes and then hopped back on. His stride evened out and he worked pretty well, almost back to normal. He was just a bit lazy but that is pretty normal for Bo.
Because Bo has been treated with Bowen Therapy on a regular basis and also because I gave him a treatment almost as soon as he slipped, his recovery time was a little over a week. At the start of the year, he had a similar injury (he is a bit accident prone, is young Bo) which happened in the morning and I treated it that night. He took two and a half weeks to come back into work. The more often a horse has body work done, the quicker the tissue tends to heal. This is because the circulation is improved, allowing for the cells to heal themselves faster and allowing the lymphatic system to process any waste products which could make an impact on healing time. All body work is helpful, regardless of the modality. Chiro, Physio, Accupuncture, Equissage, Sports Massage etc it doesn’t matter, even giving your horse a good groom with a body brush and curry comb. All of it will boost circulation and aid healing.
I gave GK and Bo a day off on Monday and then lunged M’s horse Joe on Tuesday night. We had a pretty big storm front come through Tuesday night and I was lucky enough to catch some nice-ish weather to work Joe. Just after I had put Joe back in his paddock, the heavens opened and it bucketed down! I am glad I had my Drizabone. I had to take GK over to D’s place as I had a lesson on Wed night. So GK got loaded in the float and taken over to D’s place where he got a yard to himself. I changed his rug over – D has a strict No Pink policy and as Bo put a hole in GK’s other rug, the only warm waterproof one is a Pink swirly Weatherbeeta one. I changed over the pink rug and put him in the medium fill rug he gets at shows which is Blue with Red and White trim, gave him dinner and some hay, popped in to have cuddles with all the stallions and then went home.
Wed night, my lesson was brilliant. GK is becoming more consistent when working in a frame. He is tracking up really nicely and was working on the bit without tucking his head up behind the vertical (YAY!!!!! Finally) most of the time. It has taken me almost 2 years to get him to stop doing that. Now his trot is pretty good, we can focus on the canter. GK likes to motorbike and carry his head in the air like a giraffe in canter… Wednesday night we got him round and working correctly! Success! D’s housemate, L invited me to stay for dinner so I took GK home. I fed and rugged him (changing his show rug back to the pink one) and did the same to Bo who was so happy he came galloping up to the float and tried to climb up next to GK as soon as I undid to tail gate. D has some pretty good news to share too. Him and one of the stallions, Robbie have been selected for the National Dressage “A” squad!! That’s huge! There are no other people from Western Australia on that squad. Hopefully I will be able to say in a year or so that they are on the Elite Squad and are off to Rio. Fingers are crossed. 🙂 Robbie’s owner also has another horse, Bug on the National Para Dressage “A” Squad. Needless to say she is pretty excited. Both Bug and Robbie are amazing horses and I am truly lucky to know the pair of them. Maybe I will make it onto that list one day… 🙂
The rest of the week was pretty good, the boys have both been really good and have both been trying really hard as opposed to being really trying. haha
Last night I rode both boys. GK got a bit fed up with all this new hard work that I have been asking him for and was a bit of a pain in the behind. Once he got over himself and realised that he does get to do fun things when he behaves (like cantering on the sand tracks – strange horse, he really loves it for some reason) he behaved. Bo was an angel. I rode him without spurs and he felt fantastic. He barely needed any leg at all which made a nice change and I even managed to get him to lift his back up and work in a frame in canter. So very proud of both boys over the last few weeks.
This weekend I am at an Equine Herbalist workshop. Bo and GK will be coming with me on the Sunday for assessment. I am looking forward to it and it should be very interesting. http://www.thecountryherbalist.com.au/
I will also be getting GK ready for Gidgegannup. Our second run at Intro 1 (EvA95), we will get a completion this time! I have a lesson with D on 1/8 so GK will be jumping in it. After that Bo will be getting ready for Peel ODE. I have sent off his entry and he will be doing PCAWA E Grade which is 45cms. Bo completed Serpentine ODE last year and came 11th, so I am hoping to finish mid field or better but if not I will not be too worried.
Hope you are all well.