Eventer Caitlin Romeo and her horse Spirit of the Outback will be giving us feedback about the Ice Vibe, the circulation therapy boot by Horseware Ireland. The Ice Vibe combines cold therapy with vibration in order to reduce soreness and swelling in the leg. Hometown rider Caitlin has been competing Jake at the Intermediate level and Advanced level. The incredible stress on the horse at this level requires a lot of care and attention. At Strafford Saddlery, we have cheered Caitlin on as she pursued her dream and we thought the Ice Vibe might help Jake repair and prepare to compete at this very demanding level. Through a series of blogs we will monitor the effects of the Ice Vibe.
Caitlin Romeo grew up right down the road from Strafford Saddlery in Sharon, Vermont. She graduated from Vermont Technical College with a degree in Business Administration and after working with area event trainers through her school years, she had the knowledge and training to pursue her dream of riding at the highest level of the sport. She is now training out of Southern Pines, NC.
Among the horses in her stable is Spirit of the Outback. Spirit of the Outback (Jake) is a 17.3hh 1999 IDxTB gelding who has competed through the Advanced level. Jake and I have represented Area 1 at the 2008 NAJYRC at the CCI** level. Competing at this level is not without damage. In 2008, following the young rider Championships in Colorado, Jake had a core lesion all the way down in his superficial right flexor tendon, while rehabbing from his bowed tendon Jake also had an OCD chip removed from his left hock.
Jake came back from the tendon and the surgery and spent some time doing jumpers, and then he and Caitlin resumed eventing with great success. Winners of the 2007 Bromont Todd Sandler Challenge CIC** and fourth at the 2007 Fair Hill CIC**, Caitlin took Jake one event at a time and set goals according to how well he performed. Jake's had multiple horse trial wins at the Intermediate level with the most current one at the 2013 February Pine Top HT in GA, they were on track to qualify for a Three-star. In order to qualify for a CCI*** and the pair needed one CIC3* and one CCI2*. So next stop was Plantation Horse Trials.
We all know the precarious nature of horses and horse sports and unfortunately at 2013 Plantation CIC*** Jake and Caitlin had sustained a fall at the water complex on cross country resulting in Jake becoming sore where his right cannon bone and knee cap meet.
"We had drained Jakes knee and then injected it hoping to keep the fluid down but unfortunately that did not work. We have tried icing and poulticing his knee which has not brought down any swelling," says Caitlin. But he was sound and continued to go well under saddle.
Jake passed the vet check for Fair Hill, a qualifier for the Three Star. In a field of sixty- six, Jake and Caitlin held their ownwith a dressage test score of 50.5 which put the pair in 18th place. A strong performer on cross-country, the pair took to a very challenging couse in which less than half the division went clean. Unfortunately the pair had a stop, but completed the course. He came off the course sound but it turned out he had sustained major trauma to his right superficial tendon with the core lesion extending up towards his carpal canal on Cross Country but did not show any signs of injury until resting in his stall.
Jakes knee still remains large even more so now because he has a standing wrap on that leg for the tendon so it's holding all the fluid in his knee.
So now the rehabilitation begins for Jake. Caitlin will use the Ice Vibe and we will see what it will do and how it will help in Jakes rehabilitation. My goals for Jake are to get him fully rehabbed and sound for a Young Rider to be able to gain experience at the lower levels of eventing or jumpers.