Then the setbacks began… when we did finally get to work in the school Rhaps was so crazed by the new surface he literally threw himself all over the place like a three year old. Not only did he seriously test my stick ability, he also seriously messed up his back, shoulders and neck! Gill Maybury to the rescue and a short break in our work schedule. I was getting a bit concerned at how little we had been schooling and how quickly Hartpury was creeping up on us! Setback 2… Randomly Rhaps picked up a screw in his frog. By lucky coincidence it did not go straight in and didn’t do any damage but a call out to the vet was still sensible, a poultice and another few days off. I felt that Rhaps was still not right – the hill work definitely shows up any tightness and/or soreness in his shoulders and on the day she was leaving for a holiday in Australia Gill came out again and treated him again! Special thanks to Gill for all her out of hour treatments! Few more days off but I blitzed him with the laser a couple of times a day, the magnetic rug and regular carrot stretching exercises.
I was getting concerned about Rhapsody’s lack of work and lack of fitness for Hartpury. Then inexplicably Rhaps just seemed to completely deflate. His energy levels hadn’t been great but now everything felt very laboured.. even hacking. Believing this was still a fitness issue I kept the sessions short, varied and regular. I was due to go to a local BD competition as a warm up for Hartpury and thought I would use that as a test. But I didn’t go – instead I called the vet to come and give Rhaps a check-up and blood test if necessary to find out what we were dealing with. Steve Brooks of GVG Equine came out – Rhaps was moving well – was even quite excited about being lunged in the car park – so no obvious signs of anything amiss.
Reluctantly I withdrew from Hartpury. There was no way I could take him with doubts about his health and he was seriously short of work by now!!
The blood tests showed a higher than normal white blood count so he may have been fighting off some infection or low grade virus that never showed any outward symptoms… we don’t really know for sure. Steve recommended a course of B12 supplement, continuing the work to further improve his fatness/fitness and see how we got on over the next couple of weeks.
To date Rhapsody is feeling better – thankfully getting some of his spark back even in this warm weather!! We don’t have anything we need to aim for in the immediate future so I will just gradually increase his workload back to peak fitness levels. And he is now feeling almost back to his usual self
But… with less than 50 days to the 2016 Paralympics… I am so excited to say that I will be going to Rio!! Sadly not to compete but to represent the VI National Paralympic Committee which we formed before London. The islands have a track athlete who was awarded a wild card and we will be there to support and cheer him on. Very pleased to be involved in another Paralympic Games albeit not as I had envisaged but this is an absolute privilege!! More details next month!! Wooo hooo.....