1st phase of the competition on Saturday we had a ball. Having not competed since May due to other commitments, and quite frankly also due to being quite disillusioned with what endurance has become here in Spain, we had been very much looking forward to the Ronda competition - Great circuit, great organisers, great friends.
The Susk and I were back on the game, totally in tune, loving the circuit - true Endurance, with twist and turns, rises and falls, and fabulous scenery to boot - we were at ease as we crossed the finish line first, ´just´ on the minimum permitted time, dismounted, took off her saddle and walked straight into the vet gate. All solid. Start prepping for the 2nd phase and I just know she isn´t right. Pulse fine but respiration elevated, so I called the vet over to check her out.
No impaction but high motility, I told the vet about the eaten bedding, and he confirmed my suspicions that she could be on the point of colicking. He gave her the A-OK, but I think partly because he knows me and that I would make the right decision. That decision being to retire EV Suska from the competition.
With the current crazy cold, but cold nights and too-hot days the horses are all a little discumbooberated at best. Throw in the mix a food they are not used to (yes, even a hay), and trouble will find you.
Could she have completed the next two phases? Physically and mentally she was most definitely prepared for it. On the trot out in the preliminary control and the control after the 1st phase The Susk happily moved out, ears pricked and forward. She chose the pace on the circuit, always doing her thing of letting off steam the first 3 or 4 kilometers and then coming back to me and listening to my advise as I look at the road ahead. Yes, she most likely could have completed, and in very good form. But I am never going to risk her health, or worse still her life, for a rosette.
I am very cross with myself for not removing the bedding. I made noises about it and didn´t follow through because, again, I was accused of being unnecessarily vigilant. People say I´m a nightmare when it comes to wanting things “just so” in regard to my horses, but now you know why. Do not settle for just so. Do what you think fit.
The White Bullet is now fully recovered and back in action. No harm no foul.