Thursday, 24 October 2013

No news is good news.. A huge update

It has been a long time since I updated the blog - I am so sorry! You can be assured that no news is good news and we have been busy doing exciting things as well as more dull things like moving house and working.
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Posing at RRR13
At my last update we were on the verge of going to have our x-rays re-done and I was a bit scared... OK, a lot scared. I still have the fear of going lame in the back of my mind and I was terrified that the x-rays would show further degeneration. 

We arrived at my vets bright and early and my vet, Chris Tufnell, had a good look at Buddy’s feet and watched him move.  He was showing as 1/10 lame on a circle on the hard in the car park but his feet were going through a wonky phase (typically) so I wasn’t concerned but, most importantly, Chris wasn’t bothered by it at all and was really pleased with how his feet looked and at his improvement.

I think I have spoken about Chris before but I am so very lucky to have him as my vet. He is so incredibly supportive and shows such an interest in what Nic is doing and they still speak regularly which is great. Anyhoo.. there were other vets from the practise there, as well as some visiting vets, and Chris showed Buddy off to them all. The best bit of all was when we spoke to a highly acclaimed racing vet and he looked vaguely interested but then he saw Buddy, the warmblood, stomp off barefoot over Chris’ stone drive (which is more like Brighton Beach than Rockley tracks) and his eyebrows shot up his forehead and he seemed far more interested!!

But I guess you all want to know how we got on... well, for me, I set my own expectation that best case scenario was that there was to be no change to our pictures from last year.  At that point we had been home just over 6 months and without shoes for 9 so an expectation for huge changes would have been unrealistic. However... there were changes – good ones!! It was clear that there was bone re developing on the navicular bone and the pedal oestitis is improving. Don’t get me wrong, the changes are TINY but bone is the last thing to change so this gives me a huge amount of hope for the future. I am planning to get them done again in two years purely for my own interest and it will be great for the Rockley project.
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View of pedal bone - Sept 12 & Aug 13 comparison
After that I was on a bit of a high and we have continued jumping although we haven’t had our competition debut yet as I was on a competing ban until we moved. We are in now so I’m pleased to report there will be competition reports heading onto the blog very soon.
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View of LF Navicular bone - Sept 12 & Aug 13 comparison
The other most exciting thing that has happened was the Rockley Rehab Reunion. I have been aiming for this since I saw the video this time last year when I was spending evenings sobbing into my pony’s mane, wishing for a resolution and the video gave me some hope that it *might* not be the end of the road. Things have obviously improved hugely since those October nights and we were there with bells on! I was helping to organise it so was slightly anxious whether everything would come together but I needn’t have worried and it was fabulous.
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Buddy thinking he knows better doing a bounce in a one stride double
Buddy thought it was THE BEST THING he has ever done in his life and was rather wild for the whole weekend but it was oddly rather nice to have him feeling well and so very happy although I’ve told him he will have no excuse next year! As well as it being lots of fun (a couple of us regressed to 12 year old girls cantering everywhere we went) it was great to meet other rehabs, share experiences and see how amazing all the ponies are at all different stages of their rehab. 
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Buddy's first jump out of water - lack of scope is not an issue we have!
If you haven’t seen the videos via the Rockley blog then I highly recommend that you have a look. The slo mo footage has had around 10,000 views, is being talked about worldwide and is fascinating viewing. The horses on the video are all rehabs bar one and range from just completing their 12 week programme to being a few years in. The coloured cob galloping up the hill went home in April/May time and was 100% sound the next day.  Its emotional viewing so get the tissues at the ready! The round up video shows a bit more of what we got up to and shows Buddy having a naughty ohmygodimsoooooexcited moment.

RRR2013 from Nic Barker on Vimeo.

I came away with a feeling of having been involved in something really special and it helped remove a block I’ve been having about Buddy’s capability. I still worry about him going lame, I’m getting better but it is always there, and to see him coping with everything when I just let him get on with it just helped me to remove that mental block. There was a great guy there too who came all the way from Northumberland and was meant to stay just for Saturday but ended up staying for the filming and he confirmed Buddy has ‘perfect feet for him’ which made me grin a lot. I met some great people, laughed til my belly hurt and was inspired by each and every owner and their horses. 
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New friends Bailey, Felix, Chester, Buddy and Rolo at RRR13
I cannot wait for RRR14 – we are moving location to Boomerang – and we will be having an open day on the Saturday so do get in touch if you would like to attend.

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