Sarah & Jack’s Diary, Part 5

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

1st November

It has been a long but fruitful week, and spending a day today drying out. I am running the Area 13 gridwork with Donald Kear at Plumpton tonight, and had planned to take both the boys but quite frankly they are knackered. Have given away their spaces to a last minute taker.

6th November

Last big show of the season on Saturday Plumpton Dressage affiliated. Taking both Doozer doing P19, which suits him well and Jack doing N35 which I don’t like so much. It is a peculiar test with not a huge amount to show off with separate collectives at the end for each pace. He seems to do quite well whenever we ride this one though, because of the paces marks. Worked today on brushing up on movements.

9th November

Plumpton in the pouring rain! Thank god for the new lorry! Great day out, show was well staffed and stewarded, super friendly and the horses had a great day. Doozer 4th on 65.91%, with 7s and two 8s, and Jack won on 69.62% with all 7s and 8s. Funny as I felt the test was wiggly and argumentative but surprisingly the video looks much better than the test felt! Thrilled to bits with the babies. Have to keep reminding myself that they are only four and six!

13th November 2013

Doozer having a well earned rest. Alison has asked me to start doing unaffiliated Elementary tests over the winter, so I have found one at Plumpton on the 1st December. Started looking through the test today.

20th November 2013

The Elementary test we are looking at has canter 10m circles in it and back to the track in counter canter. We have been training to the Amy Stovold “Pushing Power” download, helping to develop his balance and counter canter suppleness. At the moment he is happy cantering 12m circles on both reins but finds 10m a struggle. Also as the test is in a short arena it is incredibly hard to ride this movement. For example right rein canter half 10m at H, return to track at E and counter canter to K. Very tight! Finding it hard to keep balance and thoroughness, but it will come!

27th November 2013

Alison here for training today, she had a sit on Jack, as she does regularly to feel for any weaknesses or tightness that I have missed. We are both very pleased with how he is going. Vet coming later to look at my old chap, he has been really suffering with his eyes. His vision is poor, and he suffers from degenerative retinal myopathy, with recurrent bouts of uveitis. This is particularly hard to control, as he absolutely refuses to stay in, and won’t keep a mask on.

28th November 2013

The worst news, my old man is now completely blind in one eye and can only see shadows on the other, due to huge cataracts. This explains his disorientation in the field. We are agreed there is not much we can do with regards to managing his pain levels from the uveitis other than bute, and there is little I can do with regards to him being bullied and seen off his feed by the others in his herd. Have to make an incredibly hard decision. He is a proud chap.He has been a gentle and strong herd leader throughout his life, but no longer has his status in his herd and is thoroughly miserable at the moment.

1st December 2013

Elementary at Plumpton with Jack today! Chuffed to bits with 69.62% and a third in a pick-a-test class, judged by Dr Carol Green, with whom I trained for my BHS Stages. Can’t quite believe it! He coped really well with the new, more difficult movements and kept his thoroughness and balance for the majority of the test. Yay… a very good day where all our focused training is paying off!

2nd December 2013

With immeasurable sadness, said goodbye to Mr B today. Heartbroken, but the kindest decision.

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