Guest Blog: Rosco In Stitches As Walter Goes Double Clear

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Horse Gate

Three days before Rosco was due to have his vet and physio assessment (and hopefully get the all clear to start his ridden work following his hip fracture), disaster struck! I was leading Rosco out of the field when he spooked and decided to jump over a metal gate... There was blood everywhere and injuries to both legs. I quickly calmed him down and called out an emergency vet. Upon investigation, the vet said that most of the wounds were superficial, but he did have a deep cut down the outside of his leg that required 6 stitches. As a precaution, we took some X-rays which showed nothing of concern so we bandaged him up and we are now having to limit turnout to allow the wound to heal - unfortunately all the rehab and muscle build up has had to stop.

After several checkups from our vet 3 weeks after the accident,  he was a bit concerned that Rosco was still tender to touch, so he suggested we X-ray again “just to rule things out”. After several inconclusive X-rays with adjustments to get better angles, the vet thinks he is showing indications of a fractured splint bone, but more concerning a hairline fracture of his cannon bone.  Apparently fractures can be more visible after a few weeks, so he is now on very restricted rest for another 3 to 4 weeks, followed by more X-rays - he’ll be glowing in the dark soon! We are hoping he will make a full recovery, but it will just take time.

I had to call the NFU insurance again! This will be the 3rd claim this year, but they have been fantastic and it’s reassuring to have them supporting Rosco.  Rosco seems to find things to hurt himself on, so after 20 plus years with no issues  we’ve got rid of the metal gates and replaced them with new wooden ones.

We’ve been trying to keep Rosco occupied by getting him licks and other toys but he’s found out that he can get more flavour out if he opens his mouth really wide and chews on the lickit instead - the trouble is, he can polish a likit off in literally hours.

Likit

On a more positive note, the British Eventing (BE) Season has started and I decided to take Walter to Aske near Richmond last week. We had an early start time so we were up at 4am to get him ready, leaving me enough time to walk the cross country course.  Our dressage was reasonable, although Walter does seem a bit tense in competitions.  The show jumping was up to height, but the ground was very good and being one of the first to jump it hadn’t cut up - we had a really good solid confident clear round.

Walter Eventing

Aske cross country is always challenging although I think they took some of the harder jumps out this year,  as it was effectively the first event of the season for most people!  I’ve kept Walter busy right through lockdown so he was reasonably fit, but Aske is a hilly course and requires a very fit horse.  It was good to see some other competitors and officials who I’ve got to know, but with strict social distancing they were definitely kept at horses length!

Going round the cross country was really strange with no commentators as you often hear your horse name mentioned over the loud speaker, again probably due to social distancing restrictions.

Walter, as usual, set off quickly out of the start box and settled into a nice rhythm. There were two fences that I needed to be more mindful of, these were a very wide table jump (more of an issue for the rider than the horse), also a tricky rustic corner straight after a parallel log. Walter took on both these without any issues and went on to do a really confident clear, just slightly off the pace getting 2 time penalties and finishing in 7th place. I was so pleased with his performance to say it was his first outing. Hopefully he’ll get a bit fitter and I’ll be able to improve on our dressage scores over what’s left of the season.