Monday, 29 March 2010

Fruiter still ;)

We were in the school tonight to do something 'constructive'. Ha!

I set up a little grid down one side, and two jumps along the other (at a related distance, boys have gotta work for their keep!) and also some raised polework down the middle for some physio warm-up.

Once again I pulled their rugs whilst I poo-picked which left me with two very muddy-but-happy horses. Luckily the mud isn't too gloopy anymore, it brushed right out.

Warm-up over the middle section was ok, Quadi didn't see how he could possibly step over them, and was doing his wriggly best to avoid attempting them properly.

We had trotting poles down the grid to start, which Quadi went through really well a couple of times and then tried to canter a couple and whilst he didn't get in a pickle it made for some interesting shapes down the lane! Once there was a little crosspole at one end he sat back properly and popped it really nicely. But kept cantering around and not paying any attention to my increasing brake aids! By the time we got to proper jumps there was no petrol in the tank and he kept refusing. He wasn't feeling terribly compliant either, he was ok but wilful. I'm not complaining, he was zoomy and a good giggle, even when I went airborne over one jump and landed in front of the saddle. Thankfully he has quite and 'up and out' neckset and bless him, he kept his head up whilst I clung with arms and legs clasped to his neck. We did half a circuit of the school like this, but only at a walk. And only because I was giggling furiously and wholly without the strength to stay on and wiggle my way back to the saddle seat!

Composure was regained in time to see Kate bail over a crosspole after doing much the same thing. A big jump and awkward landing in the saddle meant she decided Fin was better off without her on board. If you can imagine clanging two metal dustbin lids behind an unsuspecting cat, this is the style in which Kate and Fin parted company, landing on her back going backwards. Laughing and knickers full of sand! I collapsed in tears and fits of laughter, didn't think I'd ever exhale!

Not a terribly constructive approach to jumping. Well, it was to start with but degenerated into capering around. We all enjoyed ourselves, and Quadi and I will return to polework on the ground and improved canter work :s

The forecast for the next couple of days isn't fantastic but I live in hope it will sneak around us...

Sunday, 28 March 2010

A Little Bit Fruity

The boys that is! Windy day + fit ponies who've had a couple of days off = much excitement!

I hacked them both. Fin was full of himself and I almost came a cropper out the front door when he spooked and wheeled around. I was busy footering with my ankle at the time (trying to find a way to put more weight through the stirrup without being sore) and he took offense at something or other nearby. Anyway, composure was regained and we had a nice hack.

Quadi next. I put the seatsaver on the saddle. Didn't like it, it was like a space foam nappy! I think the high pommel and cantle of the saddle didn't lend themselves to needing the seatsaver, in actual fact I find it a lot more comfortable without. All it really did was allow me to sit squint which isn't much help. I will save it for long hacks but it's not required at present. I was very aware of it for the whole hack.

Naughty Quadi didn't want to leave the yard and stopped a couple of times on the way out. I say he was naughty, he stopped, I asked him on, and he went. Much better than he's ever been but still a way to go.

We had nice long trots and a big canter where once again no brakes were present, luckily there is a scary big water container at the end of the track we were on otherwise I think we'd still be doing laps right now! It was lovely though, nice to have my boy feeling so well. Despite the breakdown in communication in stoppping versus going much faster I got a fit of the giggles. I suspect I am leading my impressionable horse astray ;)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Bring and Buy Bargains

Today I had a day off, but not from horses entirely. I have been helping out, in my own small way, with a riding club. Classical Riding and Equitation Society Scotland, or CRESS for short. Things are really starting to pick up now and a sort of bring-and-buy sale was arranged so that we could bring horsey items we didn't need to sell on, and perhaps pick up a few second-hand bargains. Which I did. Well, I did the shopping part! I procured a Heather Moffett Seat Saver in Havana, brand new for less than half price. And a pair of brass-coloured Icelandic safety stirrups. Feeling most pleased with my purchases, both were on my list of tack wants!

We were also raising awareness of our RC, so I was tasked with selling raffle tickets which will be drawn in May :)

Back to yesterday, the vet phoned me at the end of the day to say he'd looked at the x-rays. He said the off fore was absolutely clear, no hidden cracks in the hoof so two thumbs up that is gone. He said that in the hinds, he just had a quick look and there is still a negative palmar angle of P3 in one foot and it's bang on level in the other, so we really need both of those to shift a little with some trimming help. I'm a little disappointed that they're still like this, but not totally surprised, and they're better than they were. Will have to come up with a Plan Of Action for these troublesome tootsies!

I'll be getting digital copies of the x-rays so hope to post them when they arrive, hopefully I'll find a way to post them here.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The Best News!

Phew! All clear! Well, am still waiting on a phonecall about his x-ray but even if there is more gappy infection up there, which would contradict everything indicated on the exterior of the hoof, I know we can deal with it.

I clipped his pastern in preparation for his scan, and he stood really well for me to do this. It bade well that he was in a compliant mood whilst we waited on the vet.

Despite there being a bin-lorry on the road we did our walk and trot up, the vet was smiling as we came back as he said he looked absolutely fine. He said if anything he was a little more careful on the near fore but totally sound. We trotted up the driveway which had odd little stones all over it, and Quadi's been on soft ground all winter and his sole is not tip-top yet because of that, so for him to run up 100% is terrific :D

We stood out and had a look at his (Quadi's!) feet and had a chat about hoof balance. I have a few things to correct but it was fab to chat with a vet who cared about hooves, he even crouched down to the floor to see them exactly side-on! There was no evidence on any proper separation up the white line, a little bit but not where we had the crack and certainly not to the previous extent.

Next was x-rays. Quadi was being such a good boy we did these without sedation. I also snuck in a couple of hind hoof x-rays so we can see how the pedal bone and other structures are doing. To slightly dull the shine on his halo, Quadi did put a hoof through the foam cover which was part of the case the x-ray machine came in! Oops, but perhaps it shouldn't have been so close to his feetles ;)

Lastly was the ultrasound. The ligament in question (medial collateral) was thicker than the the accompanying one on the other side, don't ask me what that one is called! But we clipped his other pastern and scanned his good leg and it was the same, so because he came up sound we can assume this is normal for him now.

Kisses were then lavished on said pony by me for being so helpful and not jumping on any expensive equipment or breakable vets!

After a feed I decided he could have the day off. I'm sure the x-rays won't show up any nastiness so I'm quietly very excited, although I have just lost my excuse for not competing!

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Mist and drizzle. Yuck. Instead of lunging I opted for stretches in the stable. I would have been happy to ride had I made the time but lunging and then having to wait on a wet horse drying didn't appeal. Carrot stretches certainly appealed to Quadi anyway, nipped my fingers for more as I did a foreleg stretch with him, monkey!

Tomorrow the vet's coming. Am nervous, should I be?

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Itty bitty jumps

I just got it into my head I should do some jumping, and with my new-found enthusiasm for riding I couldn't see a reason not to. Ok, I could think of a few but I breezed ahead anyway!

Before catching the boys I set up the jumps. Two crosspoles, one at B and one at E, and two little uprights across some diagonals. They sort of surrounded one wing of the crosspole set-ups, handy to stop him running out to the side ;) They were very dinky indeed, only about 80cm in height, real nursery stuff!

Quadi was most amenable in the stable too, so nothing to put us off doing something new. As I took him in the school his face lit up, his ears pricked as soon as he clocked the jumps.

Warm-up was fine, little more tricky than usual, he was looky at the wings and took me a while to achieve any yield on the left rein but we got some. Trot was fine too, he didn't try to tram ahead, and I checked we had our Sensible Canter hat on. We did :)

Can't say it was a spectacular, glittering session in that I was lobbed almost as many refusals and run-outs as I was rewarded with jumps. But it was something to do with the right rein. On the left I could barely get him to stop. He wasn't being dangerous and taking off, he just kept cantering a loop and jumping whatever was in his way! On the right he wasn't very keen even from trot. But when I bolstered my confidence and really put my leg on and kept up with him he jumped with such gusto! Much bigger than was appropriate for the height of the poles!

As I cooled him down to a walk on a long rein he picked up canter from walk and took us back over another jump, I managed to gather my reins in time but it was unexpected *lol*

So I can't surmise he was in any huge pain because he went over ok from the left. Perhaps the dodgy right fore? It will be thoroughly x-rayed and checked on Friday, and our physio is coming for a hack on Sunday, I can have his back checked over then too.

He did pick up canter on both reins but it wasn't easy on the right. One thing I did notice was that he was a lot more off my leg and I was a lot more relaxed about the transitions, perhaps we should school around jumps more often!

I should say I was using my dressage saddle today, I was happy to end our session with me still in the saddle and both of us feeling more confident. If I didn't give it a go I wouldn't know what we need to work on now.

Tomorrow is just a lunge day, good for me to check him over before the vet on Friday :s

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Spring has sprung

Day off the horses for me today. I thought that instead I'd have a run. I started getting stuck into spring cleaning and ran out of time to do anything else! Never mind, another day's rest for my ankle is no bad thing.

I did have a horsey playdate with a friend and her mare but that's postponed so tomorrow I think Quadi and I will do some work in the school. If I'm feeling bold I may assemble a few jumps...

Claire asked me a few days ago whether Quadi has LGL. When he came up last year and was still shod we were seeing evidence of laminitic episodes when he had his shoes off to have his feet trimmed. He wasn't ever lame because of it on account of being shod (I guess!). To be honest, I can't decide whether he is suffering a bit of LGL or alfalfa sensitivity. His new hoof growth is still tight as a drum at the top, perhaps it is the alfalfa, which is his sole feed. He literally gets a handful to provide some protein without excess energy, and also to carry all the powders he gets.

He is lacking puff on hacks so I'm wondering about feed and whether it's providing what he needs.

The feet thing could also be weakness after a long winter of very soft going.

Always something to think about isn't there!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Weekend catch-up

Whoops, naughty of me not to keep up. There have been a couple of opportunities to sit down and blog but being honest I just wasn't in the mood. I'm feeling much perkier now :)

Friday we went for a teatime hack, just round the woods with Kate and Fin. Lovely night and Quadi was a Very Good Pony :) I started on the poo-picking (it'll take several long days to clear the field) whilst the boys hooned around naked, rolling and playing.

Saturday we trailered both the boys to a local forest. Much bigger and more open trails than what we have next to us, so great for hooning around for a few hours. Rather pleasingly, Quadi loaded without much fuss at all. We gave him a good chance to load for sweeties, he advanced and retreated a few times and although he went in further each time he wasn't quite up for walking right in. So we put the lunge line around his backside and he walked right in with it loose, just touching him. He hat-danced some whilst we took a little longer with Fin, but for a horse who has in the past taken two hours to load I was left amazed!

The forest was wonderful. The boys were a little jiggy when we tacked up but we set off, Quadi booted as we do for longer hacks, and they were just lovely to be with. The forest track was a windy hill so poor Q was blowing a little at the top, but we had a canter (downhill!) and then on the road back we had another couple of brill canters with us in front. He took a hold when behind but I had to keep my leg on in front. Funny boy! On the homeward route I hopped off after about 2/3 of the way as he was sweating like a woolly old bear along his neck and belly. Poor chap was dragging his toes by the end, it was good for us to stretch out legs on the downward home straight.

Again Quadi loaded up really easily to go home and didn't jig too much whilst we worked to get Fin on board. Our first 'family' outing where they didn't move house, I think they enjoyed themselves!

Yesterday was a day off for us all. I was hungover! I fed the boys in the field and did some leg stretches with Quadi whilst Fin ate his food.

Today I hacked again. I'm not going to do too much schooling yet, I am losing my way with it a little so I'm going to back off until our Perry Wood clinic. The aim of the game is fun after all!

Quadi tried to stop on the way out of the yard, I asked him to keep going and he did. I set off a little way from the yard at a trot and he did bobble to a halt but moved off again. There was a time he wouldn't leave yards without walking around on his back legs! We did a lot of trot and canter today, wherever there was a safe stretch. He was also bending nicely around my legs as we weaved through the trees, and we walked over as many obstacles as possible. I rode him around the loop twice, and really gave it the beans at one part. He goes very long and flat and takes the rein, it felt fantastic to trust him to go flat out. He did stop as we headed around the loop a second time, had a little objection but did as asked. I don't mind him having an opinion but he must always do as I ask. The second time he tried to go fast and snatch the rein, so I held him in a really collected bouncy canter :D He got the message!

A little sweaty once we got home, but happy to have been out and I'm chuffed to bits that my little horse is so easy to be around now!

I LUFF my new saddle, I feel much straighter and far more secure in it than the Fhoenix. It seems to suit us both :D

A day off tomorrow but on Wednesday I am using Quadi to show a friend some lunging techniques. I am also planning some jumping and roadwork trotting too, and on Friday he has his long-awaited lameness check-up!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Saddle success

Finally I made it up to the yard WITH my new saddle :D It's got a few of the expected scrapes and scratches but I'm confident they'll look better once I polish it. But the leather's in fine condition and more importantly the tree and panels look straight. It has an interesting girthing arrangement. Firstly it's got short straps, odd for a dressage saddle but it actually works out better for Quadi as he has a very forward girth groove and he is very close behind his elbows, so the buckles are better up out of the way.

Once again he looked sluggish coming in and I was wondering about LGL? The grass is barely coming through though.

Whilst I'm not a saddler I trust myself to fit a saddle to my horse and try it out on the basis that I'll have a saddler out soon to check and reflock. There is great wither and spine clearance, no bridging and light even contact all through the shoulder. I put a sheepskin pad and saddlecloth underneath and took the boy for a whirl.

On the way to the school he was very odd about walking through the mud. Doubly paranoid by this point about his feet!

He felt great as he moved off, I didn't feel split in two over his back and oddly I could feel his movement MORE through the tree. Great swinging strides too, I was happy. I could only have worked him 20 minutes at the most, didn't want to do too much without having saddle fit checked. Because there was a pony in the turnout next to the school he was a little inattentive to start and apparently the poles down the sides of the school were terrifying(!) But it wasn't long till I got some sense out of him. We did a good stint of trot work and finally he's starting to understand that snatching the contact and ploughing forward and down at speed doesn't help. I used serpentines to really bring down the tempo whilst not losing energy. Unfortunately I found it troublesome to maintain correct rises in trot, had to resort to posting up and down rather than up and forward, but we can work on me once we're settled with the new saddle arrangement. Can't say he was 100% co-operative on the left rein, I had to work very hard for achieve any sponginess down that rein. As soon he gave me that and stayed reasonable soft from trot to walk I called it a day.

What made me happiest was that he didn't bite at his sides when I untacked, so here's hoping the longer girth arrangement suits him better :) And no headshaking! Not a groundbreaking day but positive nonetheless!

Then I hacked Fin. Boing! Fun from start to finish, we even popped jumps and had a cheeky canter :D

Quadi is currently out naked. He's not bloated or padded with fat (the crest on his neck is at least soft just now) but if I muzzle him I worry he won't get enough fibre over a 24 hour period and he'll get an acidic tummy. Which will leave me with a poorly and grumpy horse. The grass is a little short and sparse for that yet. It's going to be mild over the next few days so even if it rains he won't catch a chill, his coat has been flattened with a winter of rug-wearing but I never groom the grease out of his hair.

Of course, if he has LGL putting him out without a muzzle on might be a very stupid idea on my part. Just never sure what to do for the best!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A Most Frustrating Horse

Let's just say I wasn't hopeful for today when the b*ggers wouldn't even catch!

Quadi intimated that he would rather roll before he came in. Stupid Me took his rug off to let him do so, which left me with a damp skewbald. Damn. Caught them in the end by fooling Quadi into believing there might be an edible treat in the offing.

He was sluggish again. I took up warm water in a hot water bottle but forgot to soak his feet, so I had to endure a hot back through my rucksack for no reason!

Because he was rather backward yesterday my game plan was to lunge with Pessoa, but it was such a clear day I fancied a hack on the road. So we were done up in our finest high-viz and headed out via the forest.

Sticky to get off the yard because there were people around and he tried to plead with them that I was about to take him out and feed him to a tiger and really Quadi shouldn't be expected to work as hard as he does so could he please stay home?!

Once out we saw the people with their ponies again, moving field. So we had a repeat performance of yesterday where we stopped and started and stopped and started and stopped and started...

I did push him up into trot and we had a few sudden halts and plants. Once into the forest he was ok, but most insistent on going home. I had planned a little canter but he spooked at the start of the track I was about to use so I thought it safest to regain composure and not bother!

Heading to the underpass which leads to the housing estate we ride through, we stopped on the approach and gazed around. The worst was at the underpass where he refused to go in and I had to back him up, I was losing patience. On reflection, I should have sat it out and gone in forwards but once in there he realised it wasn't the belly of a dragon and we headed on.

I have to say he redeemed himself fully on the roads. It wasn't busy and every driver was so polite and considerate (I made sure I thanked every one!), but there were ample 'opportunities' for silliness and pseudo-spooks which never occured to him. I think he was so far out of his comfort zone he did exactly as asked, and I managed to leg-yield him back and forth to check my controls. As we trotted up a hill he received compliments from pedestrians on how pretty he was, he does cut a fine dash even when he's in giraffe mode.

He was very sluggish though, and only picked up once he realised we were heading for home. I couldn't relax my seat and felt like I had to shovel him on. Absolutely the wrong thing to do. I dunno if I was making him tense and switch off or if his mood was causing me to feel like I had to over-ride him. Either way, it didn't feel too good :(

Oh, and he started headshaking today :( Nosenet from now on and if there's no improvement there will probably have to be another powder or potion in his meager ration. Poor love gets more powder than chaff.

On a positive note, I've lost half a stone. Hope I can keep it off.

I took some shots today, I think he looks worse than he has. Although his stance on all four legs has improved dramatically, despite my not being happy with his feet at the moment. I don't like the way his hind toes point out, he always looks like a ballerina in first and third position. His tummy doesn't look so dropped, but look at the lack of muscle :(

This one is just because he was being a sweetie whilst I inspected his all-over muddiness:

Monday, 15 March 2010

Cheers Ears!

What a mad hack!

Can't say I was too confident for this afternoon as Quadi was less than amenable once his tack was on. Perfect to tack and seemed happy about the whole process, but sluggier than a slug to come out of the stable, stand by the mounting block, etc. Never mind, I mounted up and he walked off the yard without any encouragement from me.

It became apparent almost immediately that I am squinter than when I left :( I couldn't get comfy at all. I'm not too worried, I will do my pilates ever day, I just couldn't find where I wanted to sit. The Fhoenix isn't helping of course. The saddle didn't arrive today so hopefully I can at least get to fit it tomorrow.

We rounded the first bend to find two neighbours shifting their ponies to another field. Quadi stopped. I relaxed my contact to the buckle (he rarely whips round these days so we can hack low and slow) and asked him on. Quadi took two steps, and stop. Repeat this, oh, about seven times. I started to feel irk rise in me but by the end was giggling hysterically at him. There was also a car up ahead and he just stood like a sentinel trying to ascertain whether all was safe. I knew he was going to be sticky somehow today. I hate to say it but some forecful leg aids and seat shovelling happened. Not exactly what I wanted to do but feeling so out of sorts in the saddle just wasn't helping. Anyway, we continued.

And trotted all along the track :) He was very 'looky' today and teleported sideways whilst giving several object the eye. But I don't mind this, he didn't lose forward momentum and I'll take that any day!

Actually, he was rather gung-ho from this point. Where I wanted to trot out of the forest, he spooked and slowed. Then he tried to trot all down the next path. I was naughty and gave in and let him out into a huge round trot, me giggling like a loon the whole time.

The next section of our hack was spent convincing Quadi that he needn't jog with his head in the air and soon we were back to the buckle and swinging out nicely. As we completed our loop we came across some kids playing on swings in their garden. Quadi and I stopped to wave whilst they strained through their fence to see The Pony! I was proud of him for not spooking at the kids on the swing, all you could see was a kids popping up in random time over the fence, like little meerkats!

A little further on we had another long trot and I got much more sense out of him, he relaxed into my hand. He had a little nap to go back into the forest but just as he took a step back and I thought I would have to whip him around and reverse a bit, he marched forwards. High praise for him!

He also jumped the first ditch after a quick little sniff to make sure it wasn't a chasm to the centre of the earth. The second one was trickier because the route which was narrower and more inviting had muddier footing, but the other side was much wider and too big a question for him. We settled on the muddy side and after 5 minutes he went over. Rather awkwardly I'm sorry to report, but we did it and he got a sweetie and was allowed to trot all the way up this much more open section of the forest. He blew very briefly once we reached the top but not very long after so I can only surmise that was just enough work for today. Not the most disciplined hack but lots of fun!

I hopped off a little before home to stretch my legs and let him walk out and warm down.

Here are a couple of cameraphone shots I took:

Something to the right of us?

My favourite view, he was very happy to be out!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

First day back

Boy it was good to be out! So pleased to be home and out in the fresh air. Anna and Kate already had a hack arranged for today and since I am still travel-sore I was happy to play groom and ground staff :)

Quadi seemed a little grumpy coming in, he pulled a face across the field and the yard and seemed a little shy of striding out properly. I checked over his legs and feet in the stable and nothing seemed hot or sore, no swellings. I figured if he was sore we'd spot it on the hack so didn't worry and tacked him up. It was joyful just to groom him and fuss him, even if he didn't quite reciprocate *lol*

Once out of the stable and moving around the yard he seemed fine. A little sticky to go off the yard, he couldn't possibly lead and to ask was an outrage! I walked ahead with the dog and he was fine, he seemed confident with this arrangement. He'd been playing up last weekend so not sure if it's just spring fever? He went into the lead through the forest, he soon forgets what he was arguing about!

Because I was on foot we thought it would be fun to go over the two ditches/burns. Quadi almost, almost followed me straight across but hesitated. I stood across and waited to see if either horse could summon up the courage to ford this massive obstacle ;) Both were being pickles and standing watching me across the way, so I gently took hold of Quadi's rein and asked him across. We jumped together, me taking care to be very clear of his legs and let go of his rein as soon as his momentum could only go forwards! Fin followed suit. First one down.

On the second ditch Meg and I crossed first and we barely got time to stand clear before we heard rumbling feet behind us! Both boys were massively praised and got a sweetie for jumping the ditch so enthusiastically :) Hopefully they'll be as good without a foot helper soon.

Quadi had another sticky moment just before they headed off for a trot, but he overall he was very happy to be out. Cheerful even, popping a couple of fallen trees across our path home without fuss. I had planned to take some photos but I got a little too warm and had to work hard to keep up! Anna our physio agreed that our forest paths were great work for Quadi and they were pretty good to test out my ankle on too! I might do some in-hand hacking this week because I need to build up strength too :)

On return I had one very chipper-looking horse afterwards, keen for his lunch. He is on more powder than chaff at the moment but he eats it all up :)

The grass is still a bit yellow and sickly in the field but the mud is firm. His tummy is still big but not distended or turgid so hopefully we can manage from here on in. He looks better than when I left him!

Saddle should arrive tomorrow, can't wait till then!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Home time!

Have packed my bag in the hope that no-one changes their mind again, all very last-minute this.

Despite leaving tonight I won't arrive on home soil until teatime Saturday. Trouble in securing flights means I have a 10 hour wait in CDG, Paris. Pretty much the worst European airport to be stuck in. I may just venture into Paris for a nosey...

Never mind, it's homeward progress nonetheless. Very much looking forward to seeing My Boy on Sunday morning :)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

A significant purchase

Still offshore. My tummy burns after every meal, am thinking ulcer or some sort of gastric issue, so not much in the way of pilates has been done. Shame on me.

My pony, however, is a lucky boy because I've finally managed to find the saddle he needs. Trying to find an Ideal Jessica in a wide fit with a 17.5in seat which isn't a stupid price was challenge enough, but I've managed to find one in beautiful condition in havana :) I hope it will be delivered sometime next week. Fingers crossed! We'll see how it looks in the short-term and I'll arrange to have a saddler check the fit and the flocking.

Kate also informs he he was a Very Good Boy for schooling last night. He is much more bendy than last time she schooled him, which was a while ago, so that's very pleasing. They even ahd a little canter on both reins. Right rein was tricky and he had a buck to start but his head was in the right place. He is checked over every month by one veterinary professional or another so I'm pretty sure the bucking is to register his dislike of having to work so hard.

We might return to a little lunge and long rein work to establish the canter without a rider. I also though to check which leg he favours when cantering on a hack. If we can ever get more than one sensible stride out of him, cantering on a hack is still rather exciting!

I realised that both Quadi and I have soft tissue damage in our right 'ankles' and now it seems we both have gastric impairment of some sort. Whatever next?!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Hot and very bothered

Well, I've done nothing. The first night I felt seasick so didn't do my pilates. Since then our air-con has been vastly under-performing, not working at all most of the time. So when it's 30+ degrees of glorious African summer outside, it's the same inside only without the sea breeze :(

I've already had to change one set of clothes today as my face was sliding down my shirt. Can't tell you how embarrassing it is to have sweat marks on the belly of one's attire. It's a challenge to keep hydrated. Sufficient to say I've made no attempt to exercise. I have been careful with food and perhaps I'll have sweated off some weight. She says, clutching lazily at straws.

Tonight, I'll try to be better. I never thought I'd want so much to go home and enjoy the miserable British weather. I'd happily lie face-down in Quadi's sodden field at this point. I can't seem to keep my heart rate below 140 at this point. Clearly, pasty Scots do not belong in this hemisphere!

I have been taking Ruta Grav for my ankle, only since I got here. Perhaps it's entirely a placebo effect but I swear it's feeling so much less swollen and more supple since I started. Still stiff and sore to touch but at least I don't squirm with pain if I bend my foot the wrong way without thinking.

In horsey news, Quadi has been hacking and his tummy doesn't seem too sore just now. I'm considering some additions to his diet, medicinal and complimentary, to try and get on top of this situation. However, I hate to over-supplement! He has been short in his off-fore but that's the hoof that currently sports a hole in the sole, probably from old laminitic separation. I'm sure with a shedding of sole that'll be gone, I imagine it's more like having an annoying rag nail than the hole itself posing an issue.

Oh, and we're booked in for a clinic with Perry Wood in April. Very, very much looking forward to that!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

So this is Africa

I've never been before, and it's H O T ! ! !

Going from a sub-zero early morning in Scotland to nearly 30 degrees at night in Congo was a shock to my temperate system! Luckily I'd thought to buy a big bottle of water at CDG. Not that it helped when I was 4 deep in a crowd waiting to collect my bags. Heavy suitcases were swung at my ankle, I even took an accidental punch or two to the stomach as people hauled their cases from the carousel.

Not sure I enjoy this flying lark anymore. It's wholly unnatural, I sit and worry about getting DVT and the whole time I'm thinking that every flight I take increases my chances of dying that way. Paranoid! 3 flights later and I'm pretty sore, even after a good night's rest. Once I'm told which shift I'm on I will start my pilates exercises. My shoulders have returned to their default position, which is around my ears, giving me a vulture-like posture.

Won't be venturing outside very much, even the wind is hot. But we have Tetley tea on board, all is good with the world :)

I do miss my pony though :( I shall use this time away to research insulin resistance in horses, I think this and/or ulcers are the missing pieces of the puzzle.