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We had to cancel our competition plans

Things don’t always go to plan and that is exactly how it’s been for the last couple of months. After our first dressage outing in February, I was keen to do it all over again and so at our yard goal planning session later that month, the plan for Riley and I was to compete again in March to gain more experience. All was going well until illness struck part way through the month. I tested positive for the dreaded COVID and we had to cancel our competition plans.

We encountered another setback

After recovering,  we repeated the process at our April goal planning meeting and hoped that this month would be more successful. Alas it was not to be as we encountered another setback. Both Riley and I weren’t fit for purpose. I became ill and took to my sick bed again so couldn’t ride, which I am sure Riley didn’t mind.  He on the other hand was fine in himself, although whilst Emma was schooling him for me, he displayed a firm reluctance to canter. Emma then asked another one of the liveries at our yard to film him.  The recording showed that Riley wasn’t right when cantering. His back legs were very stiff.

After being informed of the stiffness, I  made an appointment to have him looked at. Unfortunately the the lady who I contacted to look at him comes highly recommended and her services are in huge demand so the  appointment was booked for a few weeks later. This delay has put paid to some of our plans at the moment and until we have answers we aren’t entering any dressage competitions.  Luckily, we can still hack. Walking and trotting are still on the menu and I have been grateful to be able to enjoy those moments.

Riley was very excited by this change to his routine

Riley and I heading out for yet another hack during this waiting period. Hopefully we will have some answers soon.
One of the lovely things about this time of year is that Riley can live out overnight and come in for stable rest during the day. This means more turnout time for him.  He was very excited by this change to his routine and galloped, bucked and had a spring in his step when I turned him out for his first night. It was wonderful for me to see and was certainly confirmation that he wasn’t in any pain.

Normally when he is brought in from the field he is on his best behaviour, however for the first few days of being out overnight he was an absolute nightmare to catch.One morning I had to wait until he had finished his galloping before I could even get close. Mercifully this didn’t last, and he was back to being a perfect gentleman after a few days. Riley has become quite attached to a group of horses in the field next to him and so is always keen to be back in the field.  This probably explained his unusually fast walk that lasted for about a week when turning him back out in his overnight field.

Try to regain our dressage dreams.

I’m looking forward to the appointment date arriving as I will hopefully have some answers and fingers crossed, can move forward and try to regain our dressage dreams. I will of course let you know how we get on.

If you enjoyed reading this, you can catch up on all of the earlier instalments of the life of Riley here
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Sharon Howe

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