Horses are certainly great levellers

 

We had a fabulous ride at Wirral. He stormed round with his Novice pal Razil (so we kept to novice speeds) and was a bit too fit really given his antics and airs above the ground at times!!  Both horses finished on a pulse of 44 and a time of 11kph which gave Raf a respectable Grade 3 and Razil a fab Grade 1 – the usual for him and the first with him for his new rider Annette (who has him on loan).  I was so pleased as it was Raf’s first ride for over 18 months.  Over the previous week he’d had a single cough as I started out on a ride, but I didn’t worry about it as I always give him a bowl of chaff or other fibre before riding – and when travelling he has a haynet, so I put it down to clearing his throat.  I gave him his customary 1 day for every 10km off plus 1 for travelling and he was fine when we went riding in the forest afterwards.  However, when I took him a ride from home he coughed every time I asked for trot. So, back home and vet called, who said he had effectively a pollen allergy which luckily has not reached his lungs but just his upper respiratory tract and should clear when the pollen goes, and no veterinary treatment needed.  It means that the 65K at Cirencester that I had been training so hard for had to be cancelled.  We had done 200K of hilly rides in June alone, building up week by week since April from an average of about 22K a week now to an average of about 45K a week.  He’s as fit as a flea but has a cough – so is struggling to breathe at anything other than a walk.  There are no more rides until September, so he is now starting on Hilton Herbs Freeway PLUS and having a few days off.  The vet said I could keep working him, but I will just tick him over slowly for a few weeks (cough depending) before getting back into training for an 80K at Pembrey where I hope to take us both to Advanced.  Fingers crossed nothing else happens to stop that…