Victoria Bax does battle with foot abscesses this month!

We catch up with Nedz sponsored rider Victoria Bax to find out how the past month has gone! Sadly things haven't quite gone to plan with Salto and Crysto but with 2013 nearly over we hope that 2014 is Victoria's year!

"Sadly two days after Crysto's last dressage test where he went head to head with Salto for the first time, he came in lame from the field having been ridden earlier in the day where everything was fine.”

“He appeared to be in that much pain to me and I could visibly see his pulse shooting down his leg, that I called the vet immediately, fearing the worst. After the examination my vet declared that Crysto had an abscess in his near fore hoof. This was certainly not the news I wanted due to the fact the RoR dressage championships were now just 10 days away. I then had the lovely job of poulticing him twice a day to try to draw out the abscess.” 

“Sadly things didn't improve by the end of the week, so the vet returned with his portable X-ray machine just to be sure there was nothing else going on in the hoof. Fortunately nothing else untoward showed up other than the dark patch in the area where he suspected the abscess to be, so the poulticing continued. One morning the following week when I went to remove the poultice to put on another, I noticed a small graze to the bulb of his heal. I started to get all excited that this was the abscess coming out but then realised that the poultice had slipped down and figured that he had probably just trodden on himself during the night, so I re poulticed and thought nothing more of it. The vet was due to come that day anyway for another check up so I showed him what I had found. He examined the area around the bulb of the heel and the frog and cut a bit away, then hey presto and rather large hole became visible on the right hand side of the frog, the same side as the dark area had been on the X-ray. The vet advised that the abscess had made its way around the wall of the hoof and had managed to start to free itself out of the heel. I was told to continue to poultice the area for another week to be sure it drained properly. This was on the Thursday and the RoR championships were on the Sunday! I had hoped that we might just have enough time for things to improve over the next come of days and then begged my farrier to come out late on Friday to replace the shoe in the hope that he we be sound so I could still go to the Championships. Hour by hour I kept checking up on Crysto, hoping for improvement which he was showing but sadly late on the Saturday evening I had to make the decision that he was not going to be sound enough to warrant a 4 hour journey up to Leicestershire to compete. I was gutted.”

“Thankfully now, 4 weeks after coming in from the field lame, Crysto is feeling rather full of himself so much so that he has been rather naughty and no longer just wants to walk, so I figure he must be feeling a whole lot better which is good news as there is always another day or competition.”

ROR Warm up
“However, as if I hadn't had my fair share of bad luck this year, Salto who had also qualified for the RoR championships took Crysto's place in the last warm up outing before the championships. He produced a lovely Elementary test for 66.72% and finished second by a nose. However, having tacked him back up to ride the second test, he too was hopping lame! I obviously withdrew him but was totally baffled as not 45 minutes before he had produced a lovely test.”

“My immediate thoughts were that he had tied up as he was reluctant to move his back end. I decided to wait a little while before trying to load him and travel home, so in the meantime I called my vet as he would need to obtain some blood samples to confirm whether he tied up or not and in order to advise on a treatment/recovery plan.” “We eventually made it home and the vet arrived later that evening and took a blood sample and gave Salto an painkilling injection. The results came back a few days later confirming that he didn't tie up, but, my vet certainly confirmed that there was some muscles tension in his hamstrings that night.”

“So back my vet came again on the Monday to look at Salto as he was still very uncomfortable and holding his right hind as though it was broken. My vet watched me walk Salto out of the stable and said, his thoughts, believe it or not were an abscess! So he had a good search around in the right hind hoof and low and behold found an abscess in his hoof too, I just could not believe it!”

Abscess“How unlucky was I? I had two horses, both qualified for the RoR dressage Championships, one with a very, very good chance of winning looking at his recent run of 76% and 78% scores, both going down with abscess' within 5 days of each other! So yes you have guessed it, I now had two horses to poultice on a daily basis. To make things worse, Salto is rather tricky with his hind feet so it was not straightforward doing him but somehow I have managed.”

“Neither horse made it to the Championships in the end which was extremely gutting considering the year I have had and missing most of the eventing season with my top horse Crysto following our fall earlier this year! So this was the only thing I had to look forward to! I guess there is always next year!”

“In between all of this, I am pleased to say that my new stables have been installed along with my horse walker which I am extremely lucky to have. It is certainly going to make life so much easier when the weather is rotten and the fields are waterlogged. So far both Popps and Forrest have been on it. I am convinced Popps must have been on one before as she knew exactly what to do and kept right up at the front of her partition, whereas Forrest bless him had no idea and walked along daydreaming so got bopped up the backside by the gate behind him which obviously startled him causing him to shoot forward, so he is now a little weary of it. I guess it will take him a little longer to get used to it but it must be better than standing in his stable 24/7 during winter.”

Stables“I have also had a number of schooling liveries in for a week at a time which has been fun riding different horses, although it certainly makes you appreciate your own horses and how well schooled they are! I'm looking forward to getting back on all of my team after their breaks and their lameness when hopefully things can get back to normal again. I feel like I have withdrawal symptoms having not been out competing recently, but thankfully recently my trusty old lorry Larry, passed his plating test so I have wheels for another year, although we are desperately trying to fund a new lorry as Larry has down us proud for the last 17 years but he is very tired and worn out now and with the miles we travel regularly I feel that for safety's sake we need to find something a lot younger! So of anyone can help that would be amazing!”