This week we ran Starfoot at Uttoxeter, he jumped and travelled nicely all be it a bit all at sea around the soft bends and when the field came round him on the home bend, he curled up a bit. however once he realised that he wasn't going to choke, he ran on and galloped all the way to the line, showing the wind op was a success. Looking forwards we are hopeful that he should improve again to get back to his old form. However he has come back from the race with a small niggle of an old problem, which we are hoping will settle down with a week of easy work.
On the whole I was pleased with his fitness and recovery so I feel that when the ground comes we are heading in the right direction.
Yesterday we took Tuppance Coloured and Marmont to Lambourn again and Meg (Tuppance Coloured) schooled over the hurdles for the first time, she was amazing with no lead and never hesitated. What a genuine filly, again we need some rain for her but she is worth waiting for.
We also took Marmont for another school over the fences, he is entered at Huntingdon next week but if the ground is anything like Warwick was on Tuesday (too fast) he won't be going anywhere. However his jumping is improving every time and he really is a gutsy, tough little horse, James gets on really well with him and hopefully will ride him next week. Unfortunately being the genius I am with a camera, all I managed to film of Marms yesterday was the ground... So here is a pic to show how well he looks.
This week has found me having another learning/character building experience in the form of Sycamore seeds. On Friday Mr Fitzroy looked like he got a bit of set fast (tying up of the muscles and cramping after exercise) and as we are so hot on keeping the work behind the feed, not giving high starch diets and it was the end of a week of cantering, I knew there had to be another reason. Set fast is a Monday morning thing usually and most people say it happens when the horses have had a day off. So we put Mr F's episode down to a one off, next on the Saturday Patsy the Black sam seemed to tighten up in front on the way home but didn't have an episode as such, no sweating or setting in the muscles, happy to eat hay and very relaxed, then Jack the Malinas did exactly the same thing. By this point I was having a small turn thinking it was another virus, or maybe the change in Temperature...
Thank goodness Trevor was in looking at one on Tuesday, he unfortunately had lost a horse to sycamore poisoning and he pointed out how many of the seeds were lying around on the ground outside of the barn. Along the footpath we have 5 trees full of sycamores within the span of the barn, just by the walker. Trev was sure that some of the seeds could have blown into the stables in the storms last week and he thought some horses actually liked the taste, these three are stabled on the footpath side of the barn. The other thing we didn't think of, was we sweep the walker after using it but never sweep it first thing in the morning and the three who had the issue would be very prone to walking around the walker looking to hoover anything off the floor. We even found seeds in a couple of the empty boxes on the other side of the barn.
Last night Tim Thompson Jones of the HTJ centre for allergies, came to test the three we thought had been eating the odd seed and found all 3 were very reactive to sycamore seeds. So now they are on a vitamin supplement and milk thistle, hopefully all three will be fine in a couple of days, just need to get their bodies clear of the toxin.
Its amazing how we still don't know how many seeds or how few can cause a reaction and in field horses eating a lot, death and why horses eat them. I have learnt a valuable lesson, the seeds can get into the barn very easily so all the horses with top doors open are now on the other side of the barn, the walker gets swept in the mornings and we check the beds religiously. We are also pruning the trees. If its not one thing its another, we never stop learning! I may write a book, ghost writer needed...