Wow! How much has happened since i last posted of Lola's progress! When we last left off she's just been brought back into work after her leg injury. She was back in work for around a month before we had other issues arise- this time with her saddle. Being a sensitive kind of mare she reacts quickly to anything which is uncomfortable and this time it was her saddle. After two different saddlers came to check her, one of which said saddle was fine and 'the mare' was over-reacting(!) and the other who adjusted the flocking and said all would be fine she still wasn't right so a friend recommended the wonderful Jane Saunders of Equimix Saddlery, who i now cannot recommend highly enough. Unfortunately our old saddle REALLY didnt fit and was completely the wrong shape for Lola's ever developing physique so i brought a lovely new saddle for her from Jane, who spend what must have been a few hours trying all makes of saddle on her, seeing me ride in them, changing things around and generally being incredibly helpful. We settled on an Albion K2, it wasn't brand new but was in immaculate condition and i picked it up for a very good price- happy days! Jane is now on the list of one of my new favourite people :-)
Anyway, by the time saddle issues were resolved it was almost the end of eventing season so no outings last year but we did manage a trip to Kingswood Equestrian Centre at the end of September. My friends were competing so i hitched a lift on the lorry and took Lola to her first party!! I didnt enter her in any classes as i completely expected her to explode at the first time working away from home with lots of other horses around her but now i wished i had. She was so well behaved i wondered if someone stole my horse of the lorry and replaced her with a look alike. Thankfully my friends test was first thing so the warm up area was fairly quiet so we had a ride around in there, did a bit of schooling then wondered back to the lorry to go home. She got a little bit stressy when her friends left her to go and do their tests but nothing like i'd expected. Lola was in the good books for several days to come and we left looking forward to our next trip out....
(No ridden photos i'm afraid- friends all pre-occupied with their own tests, but we do have this cute photo of Lola & QB sharing their hay in the lorry park)
Sadly, this 'next trip out' still hasn't occured!! :-( Finances were very tight with Christmas rapidly approaching and Gem's weekly, then forghtnightly acupuncture sessions and then Lola comes down with the dreaded strangles :-( during mid- November. Just as everything was going the right way, we has started jumping and her schooling was going well she was out of action for another 11 weeks. Thankfully it seemed to be a mild case and no-one else on the yard came down with it. The odd thing was she never leaves the yard- not even to hack out. We went to Kingswood in September, so weeks before, and no-one else who came had it, we had no new horses on the yard she could have been in contact with so no one really knows where it came from. As i said, it was a mild case and she was fine in herself throughout. There was no temperature, she was eating, drinking and was quite bright but the swabs we sent from the 2 abscesses definitley came back positive for strangles. As she is awful with vets we decided not to go down the usual route of 3 clear nasal swabs before being announced clear and waited a few weeks longer and went for the guttural pouch wash, meaning only one sedation was necessary. Luckily the first one we did came back clear so after 10 weeks of box rest poor Lola was finally allowed back out into the field.
and finally, we're almost up to date! After coming back into work (again!) at the very end of january i booked a lesson with a new instructor so get us going along the right lines again, with the serious intention of actually getting some competitions in this year, I think eventing has been put on a back burner for at least the first half of the season as Lola is nowhere near fit or strong enough again at the moment so we will be concentrating on dressage and getting going again with jumping for now.