Along for the Ride – WEG Prep – August 26th

by Robyn Schiller

Robyn is the wife of horse (and people) trainer Warwick Schiller. She invites you to join her as she journeys through her life as trainer’s wife, mother, businesswoman and nationally competitive rider.

It’s Sunday and we are anticipating the arrival of Bekah from Texas.  She is coming as an “intern” to learn from Warwick while he is here and hold down the fort when we go on 3 trips – WEG in September, New Zealand in October and Massachusetts in November.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous – it’s always a bit of a risk inviting someone into your home when you don’t really know them!  I’m sure it will be fine but the anticipation causes a bit of unrest!

Oscar got another easy day – I just put him on the Eurocizer since I have a lot of work to catch up on after being gone for 4 days.  We are in the middle of a big overhaul to both the main website and video site, so I’ve got to get stuck into that. Petey & Sherlock had a bit of an easy day as well.

I thought I’d mention another hurdle that we encountered on this WEG journey so you don’t think it’s all just roses, unicorns and fairy dust.

Not surprising that it has to do with Bella again (seems to be a theme, hmmmmm).  I mentioned before that she was sore in the front feet when we first got her, so we have played around with her shoeing, injected her and are always cognizant of her movement.  When we were in Arizona, the first week of our big 5 week tour trip, she seemed really good.  I built up her stopping stamina and actually had a high point during one of our early morning schooling sessions:

Casey Deary is one of the best reining trainers that there is out there, he’s earned over a million dollars in winnings and wins the biggest events.  He is a really, really great guy…super funny and can do a pretty good Australian accent to boot!  Well, I was stopping Bella one morning and he happened to be at the end where I had just executed a most awesome slide on Miss Bella, who is a pretty bada$$ stopper!  After watching said stop, Casey asked me “what is that one?” Now, to many, that might not seem like much, but when one of the best trainers asks what horse you are riding after a big time stop, you feel pretty good.  I think I fumbled around with my words a bit because it caught me so off guard.  I usually try to have a good quip ready to fire back at Casey because usually it is a funny thing that he says.  He was not being funny this time and it made my day (maybe my week, honestly).

Anyway, when it was time for the vet inspection (aka “the jog”) for the CRI3* I was most worried about her front feet, because that is all we’ve had issues with.  I got Oscar done and he passed with flying colors, but Miss Bella got pulled aside for further inspection.  I thought they’d come over and start checking her front feet, but they were checking her stifle.  The vet went to touch it and she nearly kicked him!  Oh no!  I’d been so concerned about the front that I hadn’t even thought about the hind end.  They had me do the trot again and told me that we were “provisionally passed” but if when I warmed her up, she felt off in any way, that I should not compete on her.

Because there were only 6 in the class, and I went first on Oscar, my plan was to warm Bella up first and put her away and then get on Oscar, warm him up and show.  Then I would get Bella back out, jog around and show her.  When I warmed Bella up, she seemed fine, the vet and judge gave her the thumbs up (I had put some poultice on her stifle between the jog and the warm up).  I put her away and went about my planned warm up with Oscar and then showed him.   I received a 70.5 on Oscar which was a second qualifying score above 70, so there was exactly ZERO reason to get Bella back out and show her.  I decided to scratch her from the competition and get some Bute into her as soon as I could.

We decided from that point on that we would concentrate on getting Bella in foal to Petey’s daddy.  His name is Dun Gotta Gun and he stands in Texas, right down the road from where we were going to stay before the next show.  We made plans to drop her off there and get ‘er done!   It didn’t exactly work that way, but that is for another time (and she is in foal now).

This week will be a bit frantic, lots of things to organize – truck and trailer services, body worker here, horseshoeing, vet here to shockwave Petey, Aussies arriving from Australia and New Zealand and we have to pack up the truck and trailer and horses and get them on the road.

I’m not sure I’ll post everyday – we’ll see how it goes.  Perhaps if something really out of the ordinary happens I’ll blog about it, but the plan is to keep fitness up rather than train a whole bunch.  Warwick will be working with the other horses with Bekah so she can step in while we are gone – I think he has plans to video a lot so you’ll get to see some new footage on the subscription on Ringer and Murray and he’s going to finish up the sidepassing up to the fence “trick” with Oscar.

Thanks for reading.