Updated: Jul 11, 2020
Welcome to this months addition of EquiNation equines. This month I am just going to give you an update on the non ridden things we have been doing because as you are mostly likely aware there is most places are in "lock Down" at the moment so it is difficult to go and ride.
Champion- 11 Year Old, Oldenburg, Gelding, Chestnut, (still thinks he's 4) Super brave, incredible scope and excellent schooling/flatwork, Jumping record 1.75m or 1.50m course.
James VDB- 6 Year Old, KWPN, Gelding, Bay, (he doesn't realise he's only 6) He is incredibly sensitive but very brave, very chilled on the flat, but pretty fiery to jump. Jumping record 1.35m Young horse classes.
So in Dubai we were in a complete lockdown for over month, due to the Covid -19, we were not allowed to go and see the horses, or travel to the stables, riding was definitely not allowed as the stable were completely isolated, even to check on their horse we had to rely only on the grooms. Luckily we are very privileged in Dubai with all stables having 24 hour grooms on site, which means at least the horses were used to their regular carer and the only thing that changed for them was being ridden. During this time the horses were kept as active as possible by going into the paddocks, on the walker and getting lunged. Champion and James go in the paddock and on the walker everyday. They go out into the sand paddocks every morning before it gets to hot near midday, as now the temperatures are starting to reach up to 40 Degrees in the day. Unfortunately they cannot go out in the evening as there is a limited number of paddocks and all horses have to have a turn, they do instead go in the grass paddock for half an hour, or on the walker, however we like to limit the time on the walker as walking around in circles in pretty boring, almost as boring as standing in a stable, but it is essential for horses to move, to increase blood supply to their hooves and reduce the risk of diseases like laminitis and thrush. James and Champion also get lunged 3 times a week for about 20 minutes in order to burn off some energy and keep up a little bit of fitness. Lunging in small circle is not idea for horses to do a lot as it puts a lot of strain on the inside legs of the horse, and can lead to a repetitive strain injury.
Since about a week ago the lockdown has been eased in Dubai and so we are allowed to visit and ride our horses, providing we wear a mask and have out temperature checked at the gate. That being said I have decided not to start riding my horses just yet, I will let them continue their holiday until the end of the month when I will then start to walk and hack them before building up their workload, as its not coming into the Dubai summer where it gets incredibly hot and humid (up to 50 degrees in the day), now is not the ideal time to be bringing horses back into work and would usually be the time we will wind down their workload, ready for a light easy summer. James and Champion will not be brought back into full work until the end of August/ beginning of September so for now I am just hand walking, grazing and long reining them as well as their time in the paddock, walker and lunging.
This week James also had a visit from Graeme the horse dentist as part of his 6 monthly service, all our horses have 6 monthy visits from the dentist to ensure no problems arise. (To help you recognize the signs your horse needs to see a dentist visit our Take 5 Things series on Signs your horse need to the the Dentist (Blog). That being said James was not impressed and was very weary of Graema, he was not naughty at all and Graeme was able to give James' teeth a polish up without any problems but you could tell it was not an experience James enjoyed, despite having had it done many times in his life.
Champion has also cause himself a little injury, he has somehow managed to rub a bald patch into the top of his tail, it's nothing bad, only there is no hair! Hope that grows back before the competition season, or I'll be getting him a wig :)
Well that's our update for this month, pretty boring due to this horrible virus. We hope you are staying safe.