Thursday, 31 May 2012

Stressage and the koff

Dressage is undoubtably an art.
It is also just the basic training for horse and rider.

Therefore, if I ride my horse, I should be able to do dressage.

Well, yes, in theory. But not if your horse develops a slight, but persistant, cough.


Max gets a holiday every year while I am insanely busy with my job. He goes to my coach's place which has the most awesome hills, and he gets to hang out with the Big Horses and also his BFF Dinky. This year, I thought of a Brilliant Plan and convinced Coach that she should ride Max in the Winter Dressage series. He needs to get out and do some stuff (you know, like actually canter and work properly) and she needs to get her competition brain in gear so she can take her warmbloods out competing.

But good ol' Goober starts to cough. And cough. And has a bit of a runny nose, but not really snotty. None of the other horses has any sign of a cough, but maybe it was already brewing and the stress of moving brought it on. He was still perky enough, and eating well (as usual), so it didn't seem worth calling the vet out. We just made sure he was warm, added a few herbs to his "feed" [chaff + minerals, ha! but it is in a feed bin like everyone else's, so must be feed, eh?] and waited.

That was six weeks, and two scratchings from the dressage series ago. He still has the "koff" although it doesn't sound as bad now. I put him out on the lunge on Saturday, and he coughed twice when starting, nearly pulled my arm off cantering around like an idiot, and coughed once more on the other rein. Hmmmmmm.

The grazing owner has heard him cough in the paddock too. I still don't think the vet will be able to do anything but it is starting to drive me cray-cray. We are entered for dressage on June 10th and I haven't ridden him for two and a half months. Might be interesting!