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Judith
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xx An update ,rather overdue
« Thread started on: Sep 17th, 2014, 9:42pm »

Its been some time since I ve written on the forum.
The first reason for this is that Wills became suddenly lame in August. Despite a short time off after initial vet examination , he was no better. He then went to the vet clinic for nerve blocks and xrays. These showed 'changes' in his upper hock bones. as the changes were not in the joint , there was no help in the form of injections etc . In fact nothing much we can do at all. we think nhe has cavorted in the field just one too many times , and damaged the bones. So, after three years of Charlie training him in dressage , up to training for Adve=anced medium , and medium dressage to music , with lots of lessons from Steph Cooper and Cathy Burrell, Wills is now in the field for six months. And of course Charlie has nothing to ride!
We have been doing bits with Ruby, and he had a final show at the end of August , where he was 2 nd twice[ and got rather bored !] We have been looking at new horses, as Ruby is 2 years off doing much work. I ll keep everyone posted as to future developments.
At the end of August we wentt o the World Equestrain Games. This slotted in both top top dressage and our love of the Normandy 'bocage',castles,cattle and chateaux. We were priviledged to se e Charlotte du Jardin win her 2 gold medals. There was no doubt that she was a worthy winner - Valegro is so relaxed yet foot perfect, absolutely stunning. I cannot describe the perfection of these dressage tests without using cliches - but they are beyond anyhting seen so far in competitive dressage, I would say. It makes the horrible 'teutonic' way of hanging hard on the mouth and much spurring , discomfort and tension tension in the horse , so obsolete. There were few horses that looked to have suffered rollkur , though VERY famous horse does show how he was trained. Once tired towards the end of the tests he fell further behind the vertical ,and broke in the neck. IMHO, rider should have been penalised much more severely.
The facilities at the Caen footy stadium where the dressage took place were also 'legendary'- but for negative reasons ! However, we learnt to be a bit more Gallic , so found it best to ignore rules - eg park wherever you like , ignore queues and make one of your own , and avoid toilets!!
We also went to Haras du Pin,the largest of the national studs, with working stallions from most French breeds, housed in the horse equivalent of versailles . This was the location for the WEG eventing. We went there 2 days after the fiasco of the Xcountry day [ when even being a bit gallic wouldnt have helped you in the 5 hr tailbacks ....]. After visiting the stud part [ , w ed been last yr and loved it, just to see inside the 18th c buildings , holding exhibitions as well as the working stallions ] and meeting UK people who told of the horror stories of the x c day , we walked the course. It was very easy to follow - the green snaking ribbon of land was the route the horses had taken. The dirtbrown rest of the course/land was where the public had trudged ankle deep in mud! The fences were either massive or very 'skinny' , and sometimes both!
A fianl WEG connection , on our last day , as we walked on 'Sword' beach near the ferry terminal [ Oestraham,Caen] we met a young WEG competitor - a Canadian vaulter named Brooke Boyd. That night she was due to perform- and we later learned she was 8th - the highest a Canadian vaulter has ever come in WEG .
Now that we ve been back nearly a fortnight, Charlie is picking up the reins of his teaching , and we have various thin gs to look forward to. One of these is the [alternative] dressage covention with Carl Hester in October. We hope to have aweekend clinic in beds. at some stage . And perhaps Charlie will find the right horse!
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