Me and Starbuck and my Daddy
Well the last month or so has been pretty hectic for me and I haven't posted in a while - this is in part because I haven't been riding much, but also because my parents came to visit! :D :D :D We had a really good time and I was so happy to be able to share a little part of my life with them, as well as pretty much pretend to be a tourist for two whole weeks. So I guess it's all for the best that Starbuck wasn't quite up to snuff during their visit - that way she got a nice long rest and I was able to focus on spending time with my folks without worrying about not riding. Let me rewind a little:
Shortly after my last post a month ago, Starbuck started to do her not-extending-her-right-hind-well thing enough that I could feel it at a trot, so I only rode her at a walk for a couple of days working on lots of stretching and extension (leg yielding, shoulder-in, walking over cavaletti and through tire obstacles and whatnot) hoping she just needed some rest. But she didn't get better so I called in my vet, who recommended a massage session. Out came Pascual to give her a massage, who said she definitely had some lower back pain and showed me some massage techniques to use in the future. The first few days after the massage she was visibly sore and didn't want to trot at all, but the first day my parents got here and came out to see her she was apparently feeling much better since she bucked and farted her way around the roundpen at an all-out gallop when I asked her for canter - the expression "full of beans" comes to mind.
So there I was, all optimistic that I might be able to ride her and show off in front of my parents, when the next day I came out and saw that she hadn't finished her breakfast and seemed kind of down. So I took out my trusty thermometer and sure enough, she had a light fever. Panic ensued, since I was going to the other side of the island and knew I wouldn't be back for a few days. But my vet calmed me down (it's SO nice to have a vet who always answers your calls on Sundays without any complaints) and after giving her some bran mash with EQZone (Spain's answer to bute), clearing the rest of her breakfast and her hay out of her paddock and asking Marina to not give her anything more than a little bran mash for dinner and re-check her temperature in the evening I was able to leave without feeling too bad.
When I finally was able to come back to see her after a few days, she hadn't had any more fever issues (I got a friend to check her temperature every day while I was gone) but she still had some residual leg-extending stuff, which I had hoped would clear up. She was still a little gimpy a few days later after my parents left, so I asked my vet, who told me to give her another week of longeing with as much extension as possible to see if she improved or not. The first few days were pretty un-promising but finally on Saturday she really started to move well and by yesterday she was nearly back to normal - she would put in a gimpy stride every now and then but when you asked her to extend she did it well.
To celebrate, since it had been a month since I last rode her and I've been seriously jonesing for some Starbuck, I saddled her up and rode her at a walk to cool her down from her longe session. Man did that feel good! :D Marina's suggestion (with vet's blessing) is to intersperse light riding (mostly walk, some trot) with longe work in the deep sand at the end of the arena and over cavalleti and tire obstacles to work on extension and picking her legs up.
In other news I will participate in my first show jumping contest on October 5 - not with Starbuck since I don't want to push her recovery, but with Marina's feisty little pony Vent. And if all goes well, Starbuck will have her show jumping debut a month later at the beginning of November. Keep your fingers crossed for us!