A Chinese curse goes: “May you live in interesting times”. Well these times are certainly interesting. Having horses has been a huge blessing at a time when life is so surreal. In a changed world, the horses offer reassuring continuity. Covid may be spreading and altering every other aspect of my life, but Dolly still drinks my coffee, covers herself head to toe in poo every night and hacks out like a 15 year old schoolmaster. Amber still nickers for treats, enjoys a scratch and pulls bitch-face expressions at me if I get too near her food! Life at the farm feels more or less normal and is helping me stay sane inside insanity.
But sadly Amber is also lame. She had been going well on the flat, but I popped a cross pole and she landed then promptly decked me. Just like at Somerford. Amber may be challenging to ride at times but she is not a chucker-offer. So clearly something was wrong and a lameness work up and nerve blocks confirmed right foot pain. Same place as the injury in September when she twisted a shoe off in the field. Xrays suggest tendon damage and she needs an MRI to assss the extent of the damage but with lockdown, that has not been possible. It seems likely that the September injury, the uncharacteristic behaviour in January and now lameness are all related to what may be a serious injury involving a long lay off. Or even a shift from jumping to ‘the dark side’ aka stressage.
Talking of which, just before she went lame we entered some E-Rider dressage tests. We scored a PB of 67.34 and had some lovely comments about her potential and our partnership. Getting the sheets through the post after she went lame was bittersweet. But is was lovely to see that we were finally shifting away from low 60s scores and heading nearer that 70% 30 pens barrier. I could just about imagine getting quite into dressage if I was not so utterly rubbish at it so we may yet make a dressage partnership! If not, then she has a home for life with me anyway. The mare who no-one wanted will never be unwanted again.