The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

12.9.2022: Hilary, Max, and Zen

A Guest Blog by Hilary Moses


I’d been looking forward to starting to compete Zen with his

Prelim music, so the first weekend in June saw us off to do just that. Dressage to music is my big love, and a lot of work (on and off Zen) has gone into making his Prelim test right. When so much has gone into it, it can be disappointing when you don’t win – and we didn’t. We were third, which was a great result, but it was a bit of a reality check for me, having set my expectations so high. However, I really enjoyed riding the test and Zen tried as hard as he could, so I was able to put it behind me and look forward to the next one.

The second weekend saw another DTM competition, where we were fourth. There was some strong competition that day, so I wasn’t too disappointed, and the test didn’t go as well as the previous weekend. These two competitions gave us high enough scores for an area festival in August, which I’m very proud of. I also love riding the test, it’s the only time I actually smile while doing dressage, I’m usually concentrating too much!

There was also some shopping to be done in June, as it’s my birthday month. I decided to change my competition colours to blue and rose gold. I bought a blue jacket and a blue hat with rose gold trim. Zen was treated to a blue bling browband and my friend bought me a rose gold stock pin. We look super smart now!

Max and Zen were both due for teeth checks, and I’m glad this was done before the area 5 qualifiers, as Zen is still young (5) and his teeth are growing and changing. He did have some hooks which needed rasping, but then he was given the all clear. So, the following weekend we were off to Moreton Morrell for two days of competitions. The DTM on the Saturday was the one I’d set my sights on so many months ago, but of course, it was just another day at the office for Zen. He felt a bit lethargic and distracted, and this showed in the test. He wasn’t listening to me and tried to canter three times on a trot circle. Of course, it could have been tension in me that caused the problem, but it wasn’t a great test, and we finished tenth. Again, no disgrace at an area competition, and I had to refocus quickly as we were back the next day to do an Intro qualifier. This went much better, and we were individually fourth, with the team coming third. Not good enough for nationals, but we found out later that the team had been given a wild card, so we ARE off to the nationals at the beginning of September. What a superstar pony! I haven’t even owned him for a year, and yet here we are, off to a BD area festival and a BRC national championships!

The first three weeks of June had been super busy, so Zen had a quiet week and then an introduction to a new discipline, cross-country. I hired the field at the riding club, with its brand-new course of tiny cross-country fences, and we had a go. Zen was a bit worried about his surroundings for some reason, but he wasn’t worried about the jumps, and we made a good start, so hopefully we can build on this.

As for Max, he is looking so well now and often canters down the field to meet me. He’s looking much brighter and is enjoying his hacking. His dental check didn’t go as well as Zens’ and he will have to be checked every three months as a gap has developed between two of his teeth. This can cause problems and will need a close eye kept on it. Food can become lodged in the gap, causing gum disease, but there are things which the vets can do to help alleviate the problem. July will bring another challenge for Zen, it’s a good job he enjoys his work!

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity, and compassion

September 12, 2022
Sue Palmer