Let's recap, shall we?
We just tried to get Allie worked as much as possible. I was still on maternity leave at this point so lots of leading Allie out the car window doing trot sets with a baby sleeping in the carseat. I had some drama with another agister that made me cranky, and we did quite a bit of jump schooling. We went off property to the indoor and for a jump lesson.
|She looked freaking awesome!|
|I think that smile says it all.|
More of the same this month, schooling and working her best I could. On the 20th was our first event, ever! We were just about second last in the rankings but my dream of eventing finally came true and you couldn't wipe the smile off my face.
|So so so happy here.|
|Looking like we know what we are doing.|
I fell off Allie on the racetrack at home. It was my first proper fall from her ever and was totally my fault for not having short reins and a strong leg when she spooked. We went to the indoor and Allie's canter was starting to become phenomenal. Easter Monday we had an 80cm Hunter Trial at Silver Hills. I didn't write about it then but she had a bit of a cough with no discharge at Silver Hills. The cross country course was very intimidating but we did most of the jumps.
|Natalie riding Allie at the indoor|
We went to the vet to get Allie's teeth done and to have a scope shoved down her throat to find out why she was coughing more during exercise. They took a sample of some mucous from her trachea and sent it off for culture, and Allie was put on antibiotics in case it was bacterial. The culture came back as bacterial so we continued antibiotics and didn't do any steroids so she could fight off the infection. After finishing antibiotics, she continued coughing, and it got worse the more work we did. Back and forth to the vet 3 times and we still didn't know what was going on.
|That is a fake smile.|
I had to scratch from Equestriad on my birthday, so that sucked big time. She also had some body work done and felt a lot better afterwards.
We had to scratch from Mudgee ODE at the end of May, because she was still coughing and it was getting worse when she was on grass. We moved her to a yard with no grass, started soaking all her hay, and started only working her when the ground was damp (either from rain or from a sprinkler hose). She was finally officially diagnosed with Recurrent Airway Obstructive disease (RAO, the new name for heaves) and she also got two weeks of clenbuterol, a bronchdilator. We also upped her omega 3 intake for the anti-inflammatory properties. I didn't ride much really, maybe only 3 times? I was on the phone to the vet quite a bit too, and I was re-evaluating my goals with Allie.
I did ride Prince a little while his owner was recovering from a fall.
|Prince with me up in the saddle.|
June and July
We didn't do anything in June and July except a few schooling rides at home. We continued to monitor her coughing and she did really well. We started to get a bit of rain which helped settle the dust and allergens in the air and Allie was fat and happy. Andrea came to try her in July, and the lease was started. No media of June or July though!
Allie got her teeth done again (she's on a 3 month cycle for teeth for now). The poor thing had lots of ulcers from the old pack from her surgery trapping food and so that was removed. We had a week worth of bitless work to let it heal. She was a different horse afterward.
She also stabbed herself in the eye somehow and developed a little ulcer. It went away easily with treatment (for once!) and we went to jump club!
We started to get busy in September. Early in the month we went for a dressage lesson with Ann and then the stars all aligned and we managed to go eventing at SIEC. Allie was AWFUL in the dressage but she did really well jumping in the very wet footing. We were a bit terrified out on cross country so there were lots of "oh SHIT" moments.
|Happy for it all to be OVER.|
We came DEAD last. But we finished!
We went schooling at Silver Hills with Debbie, and then we competed at Equestriad in Camden! Big month was September.
|Schooling at Silver Hills|
|Our dressage at Equestriad was significantly better than at SIEC. Lessons learned!|
|Still lots of holy crap moments on cross country at Equestriad though.|
|Last fences don't get much clearance though|
SO MUCH HAPPENED in October. Allie did a dressage clinic and a dressage protocol day with Andrea, then we moved properties, then we had Mudgee eventing clinic, then I had Silver Hills 80cm at the end of the month. PHEW!
We also did some jump schooling. Allie was getting better and better.
|Schooling at the new property.|
|She looked freaking AWESOME at Mudgee.|
|Mudgee showjumping lesson.|
|The water at Mudgee.|
|Silver Hills 80cm|
|No Holy Shit moments at Silver Hills after our amazing weekend at Mudgee. We look like we know what we are doing now, because we DID know what we were doing!|
I just want to say something about these cross country pics from Silver Hills. Her dressage (while no media except this video) was amazing. The best dressage test we had done to date. But the cross country pics, I think they really show the difference in my riding. I'm more confident, more forward, I'm actually riding instead of being a passenger which is why Allie at previous events was doing giant bloody leaps over the jumps and scaring me from almost jumping me out of the tack. At Silver Hills, I rode like I meant it. And we did our best cross country to date. We almost rode to time (didn't because we slowed down not to overtake a horse who would have gone nuts if we had stormed past). We also finished mid field instead of almost or actually dead last. October finished on a high for me. What a great final event for the year!
Andrea had a dressage show with Allie early November and Allie was an absolute mole about it. She reared and carried on in the warm up and in the test. Then, although behaving normally in the second test, Allie started stepping short behind and the judge asked Andrea to retire because of lameness. Poor Andrea took it all in stride because she's so amazingly optimistic but I was a bit gutted.
We gave Allie a week off and her lameness seemed gone after a few rides with me but with Andrea it returned. And went away. And returned again. She kept jumping out of her paddock every time her paddock mate was taken out too. She chucked poor Andrea off and was just a general pain in the arse. She got some body work done and had a few rides but mostly we took it easy until I could take her to the vet.
Allie had her teeth done again, and they were looking really good. But the vet wasn't able to diagnose anything with her intermittent lameness because she wasn't lame enough. I took her home and worked her for a week as hard as I could but she didn't pull up lame and so I rescheduled the vet. Then, this past week, I cancelled the vet because the weather has either been stinking hot or pissing down rain so no riding has occurred. I've suspended the lease with Andrea for now until we can figure out what is happening with Allie's hocks.
So that's 2016! Lots of amazing highs and a few shit lows. Lots of vet bills but it wouldn't be Allie without spending over $2000 at the vets.
Hopefully 2017 can have less health issues, please and thank you!