It’s been quite some time since my last post. I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus and am trying to find a new direction for this blog (details coming soon!) But in the meantime, here’s an update on Reef and I:
In January, I planned out our show season and was going to do one schooling show and two recognized. We have championships coming this November so I wanted to be decently prepared. Butttt, Reef had other plans for where my money was going to be spent. He had a really bad colic spell.
When Banamine and walking wasn’t doing the trick, the local vet was called out on emergency. She pumped his stomach multiple times, gave a rectal exam, and did the best she could to turn him around, but he still wasn’t better. By the time 10 pm rolled around and he was getting worse, we hauled him an hour away to the emergency equine facility in Baton Rouge, LA. We left the barn at 10 pm.
Once again, more stomach pumps, rectal exams, belly drips, etc. He stayed overnight on an IV drip and the vet could only conclude that this colic started from dehydration. He was right, because once that liquid was in him, his colic was gone. By 5 am I was back home, and by 10 am that same day we went to go pick him up. He was perfectly normal again.
While I was happy he was okay, (I definitely cried and fretted the worst) I watched as my show season went down the drain. I swear he knows when I plan on showing. *eye roll*
Next came March, where we did manage to afford a local schooling show. Apparently, the week before we went, someone told him there was a show coming up and he turned up lame. He stayed lame from the Sunday before the show, to the day before we hauled to it. I really thought I was going to have to scratch. Apparently, he was foot sore on three feet (no idea why because he was shod weeks before this happened) but he recouped just in time.
Not only did he recoup 100%, he also rocked it at the show…well for the most part. On Friday for our pre-show ride, we were both a mess. I had a drunk right arm, he was a bucking bronco, we were both stiff.
It was horrible.
For about an hour straight.
Finally, after about 45 minutes of frustration and some need of a Xanax, we had a somewhat decent few moments and called it quits. I wasn’t expecting much from this show.
The day of the show, however, was slightly better. The warm up was a mix of good boy and what the hell but when we trotted into the ring, he was actually quite nice. I managed to unhinge my right arm (thank you pre-show margarita!) and he seemed to finally understand that the dressage ring is part of his job.
Then came stadium, which has always been our bugaboo. He felt wiggly and spooky the whole time, but apparently it wasn’t noticeable to anyone else (or on video!) and we got through our ride with only one rail down.
Lastly, cross country. My favorite.
It had rained a bunch the night before and the footing is already sub-par at this venue, so adding water didn’t help matters. But we hadn’t gone cross country in quite some time and he needed to learn that conditions won’t always be perfect.
The warm up was terrifying (footing wise) but Reef wise it was brilliant. He was my fire breathing OTTB dragon when I needed him to be and then back to his relaxed self when I didn’t. It was as if he was conserving his energy for his job and he knew what was ahead. I love that he’s growing up!
We made it through the course just fine, though we definitely rode carefully. I had to trot in some sections for safety reasons and then make up for lost time in drier sections of the course. We did manage to make it under time by about 10 seconds and went double clear.
Just as an FYI, I’m not allowed to know my scores or placings during shows because it gets in my head and I panic for no reason. So, unbeknownst to me, I had been in second place after dressage and kept my position after stadium. Since I was told this after cross country was over, I just assumed everyone else had done just fine in cross country too and I remained in second.
After one phone call to my mother, the entire family knew within the hour that I was in second place and was sending me congratulatory texts.
BUT, it turns out that the girl ahead of me got just enough time penalties to put me in first place! AND, we also got the best OTTB score at the show. OH, and a trophy for best turnout (essentially cutest couple).
So, after a bad colic spell, followed week of being lame before a show, and a lot of stressing me out moments, Reef was a superstar horse who won all the things.