Latest update from Roo Fox Eventing!
“So it’s been a manic couple of weeks. My wonderful groom managed to gain a spiral fracture in both her tibia and fibia and now has a metal contraption around her leg. So I’ve been on my own with 18 horses!
We went off to West Wilts with 7 horses over the weekend before last. It was a great but incredibly tiring weekend. Everyone did a great dressage test, with I think only one horse out of the twenties. Everyone went clear XC (yay, finally!). However, my SJ was rubbish. Whether it was because of the weather or too many horses or too tired, who knows. Only managed one clear on the fantastic Fulvaro, who ended up second. In the rather short double I sat a little still on The Otter, who then thought perhaps he was meant to stop, though I was pleased because he jumped all the fences clear. My wonderful mare and stallion both had a fence down. Batman and Silva unfortunately got the worst of the weather and had a few. Viccie Parfitt’s lovely horse Guernsey Bob, unfortunately felt very under par on the day. We have put him on Global Herbs Restore and he is so much happier in himself, he went off to do the 10mile Blenheim fun ride this weekend.
With no break on the following Monday I had to get Tigga (my top horse) and my two other horses out swimming and galloping. Tigga swims to help his legs, as well as being on Global Herbs Tendoneaze, which is helping a lot. The swimming helps improve his fitness without putting strain on his legs. Watt and Froggie are doing 10mins galloping which will increase to 14 before we leave to Romania.
With dressage lessons on Wednesday with Nereide Goodman and then galloping for all the top three on Friday, as well as getting 4 ready for Munstead, I was ready for bed by 8pm!
Saturday dawned and with a 5am start and we set off with gritted teeth, ready for a challenging day. We had very little time between horses; in fact we started at 9am and finished all four horses’ 3 phases by 2pm. Luckily I had a massive load of help from my poor 68yr old mother, my sister and owner Jon Stone.
I thought my horses did the best dressage tests of the season and they are all feeling really fabulous on GlobalVite, so it was a bit of a shock to find myself sitting well into the 30’s. The show jumping was a tricky track with lots of turning back on yourself and very spooky fillers and then very plain fences. The Otter and I had a slight disagreement about speed – I think he may be getting the idea about eventing and we did crash through 3 jumps! I think because he is an ex show jumper he finds 100 a bit boring. Friendly Game, Viccie’s stallion, and Georgia Maher’s Fulvaro both took out the planks. I think I got too close on one and then too far away on another – I guess that’s SJ! My and Ruth Wollerton’s mare Faye did a super clear round and for a horse that was weak and has only been jumping a short while we were thrilled.
The XC was a funny little track that went around the edge of two fields with a combination of quite old school jumps and new huge jumps. To me the distances seemed to be more suited to ponies, which meant my rather larger horses had to either take off half a stride early or shuffle in a very short stride and then had to twist their bodies to get their legs out of the way. There also wasn’t a lot of galloping stretches which meant it was hard to find a good rhythm, though they had been lenient with the time. I went off on The Otter first, who was actually very clever at dealing with the tricky distances and even jumped the two fences I thought he may not. One was a rolltop with a hedge behind, into a dark very narrow gap, quite steeply down and then up again to two bounce steps up to an offset rail at 1 1/2 strides. The other was a step down into water – this is the sort of fence we don’t usually see until Intermediate, though they are coming back into fashion. There was an alternative but I think it’s really good if you’re not in contention to try and educate the horses by taking all the direct routes. The Otter was doing very well and I was pleased with him, having been cross after our SJ. He had a run out at the corner, but in fairness to the horse, you did a 180 degree turn and I pushed him for a longer stride and the shadow from the tree caught his attention. We did jump it a second time, and he did jump the rest of the round beautifully but a little disappointed to end his season not on a good run.
I then took Fulvaro who tried hard considering he is also still quite week and struggles to shorten or lengthen his canter. They gave him a stop at the step into water, but he barely hesitated and I was still pleased with him.
Friendly Game (Donkey) and Faye did stonking clear rounds and I was chuffed to bits with them. I did take Faye slowly as she is still learning but having had blips with Donks earlier was very pleased. Though I’m very sad that that is their season over and although I never want the eventing to stop, in a way I’m am a bit relieved as without a groom, I am struggling a little!
On Sunday I took Froggie to do the unaffiliated at West Wilts. He has been on Airway Plus and well, he only went and won it, so very pleased with him and that product!
So now we are down to the last few weeks before we head off to Romania to do a long format 1, 2 and 3*. All the horses need to keep their fitness up and I have to plan the journey, pack all the things they may need and get health papers for the horses, to make sure they are ok to travel!”