What an absolutely gorgeous place! I drove with my friend Edee Lee and her mom Sue Slocum. We arrived on Tuesday and checked in. We then went and unloaded the horses, bedded their stalls and got them water and hay. After unloading all the gear we took the horses to the vets to do our "in barns". The vets went over all of our paperwork and we check out ok! I was so excited to go out and see the XC course and look at the steeplechase.
Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty warm and I was really glad that I had body clipped Hannah the week before. On Tuesday, Edee and I hacked around our phase A & C and checked out Phase B, the steeplechase from our horses backs. It was great to get out and ride around the track.
Wednesday was our first jog. I got ready for my first official jog! I wore khakis and a brown blazer with my brown cowboy boots. Hannah was sparkling, I braided her and put on her bridle. We walked down to the jog warm up and practiced jogging a few times. She felt great! We were called to jog and the announcer announced "Liz Lund and Lady Hannah B-ACCEPTED" Yes! We past our first test of the weekend!
Now it was time to focus on the next test, our dressage. I rode on Thursday morning so I had Friday to hack before XC on Sat. It started to pour on Weds afternoon and through the night. KY had already received a lot of rain so it definitely didn't help the footing. They decided to change the format slightly and eliminate phase B & C. We would only do the first phase A and of course, the cross country phase D. Since we didn't have the steeplechase to warm up for jumping we were given some warm up fences. Oh well, not to worry we still had to go dressage!
Thursday morning we arrived to the stable early and fed the horses. Once they were done eating we took them out for a walk. As soon as I took Hannah out of her stall to groom her and take her for a walk, I noticed her right hind looked like an elephant leg. Cellulitis. Argh...here is a type up from Wikipedia.com about Cellulitis in horses...
Cellulitis in horses
Horses may acquire cellulitis, usually secondary to wound (which can be extremely small and superficial) or to a deep-tissue infection, such as an abscess or infected bone, tendon sheath, or joint. Cellulitis from a superficial wound will usually create less lameness (grade 1-2 out of 5) than that caused by septic arthritis (grade 4-5 lameness). The horse will exhibit inflammatory edema, producing a hot, painful swelling. this swelling differs from stocking up in that the horse will not display symmetrical swelling in 2 or four legs, but only in one leg.
This swelling begins near the source of infection, but will eventually continue downward the leg. In some cases, the swelling will also travel upward. Treatment includes cleaning the wound and caring for it properly, the administration of NSAIDs, such as phenylbutazone, cold hosing, applying a sweat wrap or a poultice, and mild exercise. Veterinarians may also prescribe antibiotics. Recovery is usually quick and the prognosis is very good if the cellulitis is secondary to skin infection.
Friday I took her out for a hack, still a little stiff but worked out of it.
Saturday morning, now is the time of truth! I took her out, there was a little swelling, but not as bad as the days before. I kept hind boots off of her because I didn't want to irritate the leg any more. I tacked her up and hand walked her for a long time before mounting. I got on about 10 minutes prior to my start time at Phase A. I walked down to the start box and with the count down trotted off onto Phase A with a sound horse. We trotted and trotted and trotted along phase A until we reached the finish and headed up to the warm up arena to jump a few fences. She felt great and we were ready to hit the course!
The course was amazing! Wonderfully decorated and boy was it LONG! The CCIs are known to be longer and more difficult. It was a little over 7 minutes, most courses run 4-5 minutes. We had been conditioning accordingly though. After our warm up we hit the course and flew around! It felt wonderful, it was a VERY tough course but I rode very well and Hannah responded perfectly. We were flying and it felt great! We jumped clean and only had 1.6 time penalties. It felt great! After crossing the finish line I dismounted and untacked and we had to get okayed by the vets to head back to the barn. Her TPR (temperature, pulse and respiration) were taken right after we came in and again 10 minutes later to make sure it came back to normal. We were given the okay to head back to the barn, but the vet's said she looked a little stiff behind and to keep an eye on her so she wouldn't "tye up", also known as Azoturia. I knew it was just from the Cellulitis though so now it was my main concern to prevent further swelling due to the stress from the XC.
She was iced and her leg was dried to keep it from being irritated. I did everything I could to try and keep the swelling down but it wouldn't. In the description above it says it clears up quickly, but when you're at a horse show it doesn't come quick enough. Sunday we had to get ready for our jog. I got up early Sunday and hacked her, she was a little stiff, and a little stiff is enough for the vets to notice in the jog. I walked and walked and walked her again until we had to head down to jog. I didn't have too good of a feeling about this as I could just tell she looked a little off. It was our turn to jog..."Liz Lund and Lady Hannah B-Please go to the Hold Box"...uh oh! This meant we would present our horse to a vet and if we choose, return to jog for a second time either to be accepted or rejected.
I presented her to a great vet from Hagyard's, he was absolutely wonderful! He recognized right away that it was Cellulitis and not anything really serious, but that she wouldn't jog sound enough to pass her jog and recommended we withdraw which I took his advice and withdrew. It was the right choice to make as if she wasn't using her leg fully then something terrible could happen.
I still enjoyed watching all the other stadium rides that day. Edee and I packed up the trailer and got ready for the long drive home.
It was a fun weekend and I was glad to be able to get through most of it, now my goal is to COMPLETE a CCI* before they completely eliminate the long format.