"As Dalkeith gets closer and closer, my #TendonTerror gets worse and worse"

Sarah and Woody work on their dressage and do their first cross country course since August 2017! Find out how they got on...

Sorry, can you tell I’m a wee bit excited???
Preparations are well underway, but as Dalkeith gets closer and closer my #TendonTerror gets worse and worse. Quick recap for those who are new to my blog – my main man Woody severely damaged his tendon in 2017 and we are now preparing for his return to eventing. #TendonTerror is when I get really paranoid that he is going to go lame again and excessively check his legs and stress and generally become intolerable to everyone around me.
I’ve been worse lately, which isn’t completely random, not only because of the looming BE entry and higher level of pressure on that leg, but because I’ve been having problems with mud fever and swollen legs. Woody’s skin has always been very pink, but apparently it is now extremely sensitive to any sort of rubbing, mud, cuts, scrapes – you get the idea.  Although the worst of the winter is past (fingers crossed) the slightest hint of mud and we are dealing with red raw skin, scabby wounds and puffy legs. Isn’t horse ownership just delightful? 
The vet has been and we did some blood tests to make sure there wasn’t something more sinister going on in his liver, as this could have affected his immune system, but thankfully that’s all okay. The next step is to administer a steroid injection to encourage the skin to recover some of its elasticity as it’s been swollen so many times it no longer recovers very well – kind of like an overused hair bobble which is overstretched and not very good at holding your hair in place. However, we have been told to keep working as normal as the swelling will disappear pretty quickly once we get moving. 
Anyway, enough doom and gloom. We’ve been out doing a bit of dressage and some cross country on grass and on an arena and everything appears to be going well. I STILL haven’t been show jumping anywhere other than the arena at home, however I have booked a jump lesson for next weekend. It was a real dilemma as to what height we were going to start at. Woody has jumped up to BE Novice, but it has been over a year and a half since he came out of the start box at a BE event (or any event for that matter), so after much deliberation I decided to play it extra safe and enter the BE90 to give us a real confidence round. I think he would have skipped around the 100 quite easily, but after such a long break I thought it would be kinder to him to make everything as easy as possible. 
We’ve got our first Hunter Trial post-injury this weekend, which I’m really excited about, and I think once we have that out the way my #TendonTerror should die down a bit. Cross country is our absolute favourite part of eventing, but it’s also that bit that I now worry about most because of the pressure galloping puts on their legs. My intention is to do a nice, steady, flowing round, although judging by recent energy levels I fear Woody may have other ideas! Better hold on tight…