Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fairhill Recognized Novice -- May 19th

Coming off the heels of his nosebleed issues and forced break, Scout came back into work hardly missing a beat and felt ready to tackle Fairhill. Unfortunately, the weather turned into a summer swamp the weekend of the event which definitely had an impact on a horse who had recently had some unintentional time off.


Not exaggerating about the dust! 
I'm just going to say for the record, that I don't love the dressage warm-up at Fairhill -- it's a tiny little bowl that's super dusty and if even one horse is acting up it gets really chaotic real fast. Scout came to the warmup flat-footed as usual but was definitely dull. The heat and humidity were certainly a factor, as was his recent time off -- so he lacked his usual spark. Nora did a super job livening him up a bit before they headed into the ring and I really feel like she got every last point out of him that she could for the day. It was a nice, obedient test, but was missing some oomph.

That's more like it


Starting to get the free walk finally

He's happy that's over, hahaha!

Despite his lack of enthusiasm, they still squeaked out a 31.90 -- A score I was pleased with, but in a division of all professionals, it put him in 8th after dressage. Overall, I was really pleased with his work ethic to go in the ring and get it all done. He never quits, and that is such an admirable quality in a horse.

And the thing I love (and hate) about eventing and the various division breakdowns, is that if he was in Open Novice B, he would have won his division (though the other two groups at much wider margins for dressage scores) -- very interesting!

After a break and a bit of a cool down, it was time tog et ready for stadium and xc. At Fairhill, this requires a long solo hack through the woods to the other side of the property (which can take some getting used to for greenies), there's also a stream to cross on the way! Unfortunately, SJ was running 45 mins behind and poor Scout had to stand around in the heat for over an hour waiting. We did complain to the officials, who told us that they had no way of letting anyone know (which is funny, because LOUD SPEAKERS) -- but I'll take every experience as a teaching opportunity and it was good practice in standing around and waiting his turn.

Ready to jump things

The long wait gave me time to watch a ton of horses go and Iw as really pleased with the course. They had expanded the space allotted and the course rode best on a big galloping stride, right up Scout's alley!

Being the best at waiting

There were a few combinations that I was concerned about, but nothing seemed out of the realm for a recognized event. I think the trickiest part of the course was the first few fences, a massive oxer with a dogleg left to vertical, and hairpin left turn away from the in-gate.

Scout felt like it was best to give the first fence PLENTY of space, just in case. 
The second fence came up quick, and he jumped it a bit green, but left the rails up (this fence caught quite a few riders).

On to the big combination on a course...

I believe this was a 4 stride to 2 stride
I thought he might get a backward coming into these, but they made him sit back and think, which led to him jumping them cleanly.

The second related distance on course, nailing it -- even if a little green still

Better through the out of the combination

And even though it was a galloping course, it had plenty of twists and turns to keep you thinking about balance and momentum. He had one unlucky rail at the skinny fence on course, but he jumped everything with a much-improved maturity and technique.

Last fence on course -- cleared it!!!!
I didn't get to walk XC this time, but it had a half coffin, water and a bank combo. He literally ate up the course, cruising around like it was a walk in the park! A beautiful double clear to add to his record and he came off the course feeling like a million bucks! And while he didn't look like he was going that fast, Nora said that at the second to last fence she realized she was over a minute under the time and had to rate him in order not to get penalties -- he just really covers the ground SO much!

So thankful for Nora and her whole team for bringing out the best in my young horse. I feel so lucky to have found her and Scout just adores her too! I'm so very proud of his attitude and continuing progress. It's really amazing watching this young horse blossom and develop.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Bloody noses

Guys, I've been a bit preoccupied lately...

Welcome to the family Cooper!
We found a new family member 2 weeks ago and he's a full-time job/he's perfection -- more about him later<3

A few weeks ago when Scout was coming in from turnout, he and his turnout buddies had blood all over their flysheets. After careful inspection of all the usual causes (lacerations, etc), we found that Scout was the culprit and was bleeding very slightly from his right nostril. He had no other symptoms of any kind and no outward sign of trauma.

First day
Second day
It's not completely uncommon for a horse to get a nosebleed, so we took the wait and see approach as it was just barely a trickle. Our thinking was, we'll wait until the end of the day and if it's still bleeding actively, we'll have field services stop by. By the afternoon, it was still trickling bright red blood so we had our vet swing by to take a look. She was able to scope him to rule out anything going on in his lungs, etc (which would have been quite scary) -- through the scope she could see a few blood clots quite high up in his nasal passages but the scope couldn't go any further than that to figure out the cause of the bleeding. She gave him a clotting agent to help stop the bleeding and we would recheck in the morning.

Overnight, the bleeding continued, not enough blood to completely panic about, but enough that despite the clotting drug it was not stopping. I met the vet later that day to rescope him with a different device to see if we could go a little deeper. I had a real proud mama moment when the vet told me how wonderfully behaved my horse is. I mean any horse you can scope with zero sedation is a GOOD BOY:) She was able to show me what she was seeing in the scope, which was more blood clots way up high and we STILL couldn't see the cause of bleeding. At this point, the vet recommended that I bring him into New Bolton for further diagnostics. Again, she wasn't completely alarmed and it wasn't emergent, but since we couldn't figure out where the bleeding was coming from we needed to rule out every possibility. The next day we brought him to NBC for more tests and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pretty concerned.

By the way, when your horse has unexplained bleeding from his nose, don't Google stuff... that's just not helpful at all. All I kept imagining was Scout having guttural pouch mycosis and bleeding out.

All the while, he never acted like anything was wrong
Realistically, I knew that the outcome was probably very good... but it's never a great feeling taking your horse to a big clinic. And now that Scout is insured it was a no-brainer to allow New Bolton to take whatever measures needed to figure out what was going on.

Scout was not impressed
They decided to scope him AGAIN, and were able to see that there was a small amount of active bleeding way up high in the nasal passage. The suspected cause was probably roughhousing in turnout (or bumping it somehow), so they wanted to rule out any kind of major trauma in his head before sending him home. They took radiographs of his head and they could see a small amount of fluid (blood) which confirmed their suspicion about the cause of the nose bleed. We were able to take him home a few hours later with a super prognosis. He was confined to small paddock turnout for a week and no riding, and once the bleeding had completely stopped he could go back out and resume work.

A few days after going to New Bolton

After resuming turnout, some discharge but mostly clear
I was so relieved to see the bleeding resolved and he was super happy to get back to work. All told he had about 10 days off and with an event on the horizon, we were eager to see how he was feeling after a little break. Thank god for thoroughbreds who don't miss a beat!