After Rolex there has been some let down time in terms of Colombo and the feverish preparation for a four star, plus a lowering of the general agitation and suppressed excitement that the run up to Rolex generates throughout the whole team. Selena took a well earned week off, however she produced a bad cold the day after Rolex….timing is everything….and was pretty sick and exhausted for the drive home and most of her holiday. Pamela, Selena’s FEI groom/organiser/barn commandant, is taking a well earned week off now. Colombo however, is not in the least tired, and mentioned this morning when I brought him in from the paddock with his friend Peanuts, that he would like to go back to work, and if he doesn’t go back to some kind of work soon, he is going to let us know all about it!
He and some of his team members have to go to VIRGINIA to be shod by the team farrier – there are a whole bunch of things that the team ask you to do, and to be honest, you just answer ‘how high’. It’s all part and parcel of being part of a team, as opposed to competing as an individual. The team want all the Canadian horses to stay on a very strict program until the WEGs. Trailering some of them to VA to be shod this coming week is part of that program.
Having a four star horse in your barn is a HUGE responsibility and he takes up as much time as three one star horses. He is groomed and pampered and cooked in his electromagnetic blanket on a daily basis by a whole flock of minions…. well, four of us anyway. Every inch of him is checked and double checked for a scratch that might infect, or a tiny puncture that could cause trouble. He is groomed and because he has a predisposition to go bald at the drop of a hat (especially if he thinks something big might be coming up…. sigh), he also gets coat treatments and skin treatments massaged in… he lives the life of a permanent spa horse and thinks of himself as a super hero. Maybe Batman with Peanuts weighing in as a lowly subservient Robin, or perhaps a touch of the Johnny Depps with Peanuts in a supporting role…. a very small supporting role, because super heroes don’t need anyone else stealing their limelight.
Solo, however, is NOT on holiday. He is off to his first Intermediate horse trial this weekend…..eek! He and Selena piled into the trailer yesterday and drove to Wit’s End. They compete this morning (Saturday) and drive back this afternoon. This is our first one day horse trial this year. You become very accustomed to the American method of holding the majority of their horse trials over two or three days. It’s also the first horse trial in a long time that Selena has only had one horse to ride and finishing at one something, it will seem like a short day. If all goes well at his qualifying horse trials, we are hoping to run Solo at Bromont in the two star. I will go as his groom and I am looking forward to it….better not jinx myself in case he doesn’t qualify!
Next week I think Selena has three or four going to Will O Wind. It’s the first outing for all of them since their move back North. Since there was not a suitable event to run them at on the way home from Florida this year, they have had a long break since their last show. Because of that, we are not upgrading any of them at their first Canadian event as planned, but giving them another run at the level they have been competing at. Like everything else, showing is something they have to be fit and mentally prepared for. The first show back after a long break is not a good one to upgrade and ask new questions at, many people run a level lower for the first show back after a really long break, and that is a sensible and well organised decision to keep you and your horse safe. Bringing our horses into, and back into competition, smoothly, is really important if they are to end up having fun. The first show/first show back, has to be a bit more exciting and thus distracting than subsequent efforts, so it makes sense that the questions asked on the “first show back” should not be taxing.