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May/June 2016

Cassie’s Diary

I’m writing this at 33,936 ft currently flying over the Atlantic on our way to Mexico – for seven days of horse-free holiday time! Like many horse owners, planning and actually going away can be really stressful – arranging for someone to look after the horses, the cats and Bart the dog, and finding a time when Simon’s not on call takes a lot of planning.

Rupert and Patch have gone on their own holiday. They have gone for a week of schooling at Geoff Billington’s. I was really worried about leaving them and wasn’t sure how they’d cope (mainly because they are very spoilt!) but they settled in straight away and quickly made themselves at home.

Poppy has the company of my friend Sue’s horse, Kenco, for week at home and she seems quite pleased with her new friend. I think she’s probably going to get the most relaxation out of this week, due to the terrible twosome being at boot camp!

 

Patch is back on form…

Patch showjumping

Since I last updated, Patch has had a couple of dressage outings where he achieved his best scores to date. He has also had lots of jump training and went to his first jumping competition. We decided to go to our local evening show jumping and he loved it – although in my excitement I managed to miss out a fence!

He’s also been going to weekly water treadmill sessions to really get his back working as part of his continuing rehab- I can’t describe how much this has helped him.

Patch at one of his dressage outings

 

Rupert has become a teenager…

Rupert

Rupert has been a little naughty recently, and has been feeling far too well! Let’s just say he was a little over-enthusiastic jumping at our last show. So to try and regain some discipline, we have been doing flat work, grid work and lots of cavaletti. As well as this I have been concentrating on getting the control back between the fences.

He looks so grown up now. It’s hard to imagine he was ever four! However he has been throwing some teenage strops. This includes refusing to have a bath by pawing the ground, stamping on the hose, untying himself and pulling all of Patch’s rugs down and rolling on them!

He certainly isn’t a boring horse! Our next plans are a couple of BSJA shows before we jump on the intermediate team for the riding club in July.

 

Poppy’s just poppy…

Poppy

Poppy has been doing more hacking as normal – she really is a joy to take out! This month I found a magic potion for sweet itch – coconut oil. Poppy has a tendency to get sweet itch and rubs her mane and tail and the top of her hind quarters. After trying various lotions and potions this year I have been applying coconut oil to her mane and tail and the difference is amazing.  Her mane is much thicker now and starting to grow back!

 

What is sweet itch? 

Sweet itch is a condition where a horse is allergic to the saliva in certain biting midges, culicoides. Midges will bite most horses but only some are sensitive and allergic. Once bitten, an immune reaction is started at the skin of the horse which causes inflammation, soreness and swelling. Because of this the horse becomes very itchy and often horses will want to rub their manes and tails as a response to the irritation. This causes areas of hair loss but also can cause secondary infections and causes further inflammation in a self-perpetuating cycle.

Well that’s all for this month. I’m looking forward to updating all about how the boys got on at boot camp next time, but for now I’m going to try and stop thinking about the three amigos and relax on our holiday.

Bye for now

Cassie