First impressions of the show park were good ones. Nice infrastructure (read: Bathrooms). the turf fields looked amazing, and all the other rings, both warm up and show, were GGT footing.
The horses had hauled well and seemed perfectly happy with the weather and the energy of the facility.
Specifically, Windsor schooled beautifully. He looked stellar on the flat, and even better over fences. Soft, forward, light off the ground.... just lovely.
|Snooze in the evening Cali Sun.|
Halfway through his first round it was clear that something was off. He was sulking in the corners, swapped off his lead in a line and just looked stuck. I keep describing as a robot falling down a hill. But apparently that visual only works for me, because I get really odd blank stares from folks when I say that.
The second round was equally off and just a tad bizarre. Nothing looked "lame" per se, but Winds was not jumping like Winds - and certainly not like he was the day before on schooling day.
I got on a few minutes later for the Under Saddle, and expected him to feel much worse than he did. He felt stiff - but not egregiously so and he hacked well for me, reaching through the bridle and moving out when I asked...
When I got back to the barn I checked to see if he had been getting his Previcox. You may recall that I was first introduced to Previcox with Prairie to help support her back, and keep her happy and working well while we built her topline back up. Anyway, our sports medicine vet loves it as a happy, low impact NSAID during shows to keep the horses happy. It's less tough on their tummies than bute, it doesn't require a needle, and it'd legal.
All good things.
Anyway, I picked up his baggie of previcox and it was immediately clear he hadn't gotten any. I support Winds with 1/4 a tab a day at shows. I have no problem disclosing that since I support myself with considerably more advil on a daily basis to keep my knees functioning like knees... ;)
So, while all the panic-owner-alarm-bells were going off like crazy in my mind - I was significantly calmed by the fact that perhaps he was just stiff and sore from a long haul, a small portable stall and no turnout.
|(even his "stiff" is pretty decent)|
He jumped his last two rounds of the division, (snagging one first) as well as the USHJA Pre Green Challenge. Usually they announce the scores for that nice and loud, but I barely coaxed the gate attendant into telling me that Winds had a 77 and 80, which seemed unfortunately low for him, or at least, VERY beatable.
So I was shocked (but thrilled) when he won it. With $225 to the winner, it was a nice bump in the pocket to at least pay for (most) of his rounds.
So, to sum up - Nice facility. Great warm up. Crap first day. Better second day, and a little walking around money to help boost my spirits.
Next up - my Low AA's and the DERBY.