In between seeing other people’s horses, I had to find time to see my own and continue his recovery work.  As written before, he was as good as can be expected the first day.  The second took us all by surprise.

Things started very well, Zue was much calmer to mount and walked in the school like he had not had any time off at all!  After 10 minutes of being nanny’d around, my helper stood by the gate whilst we attempted to complete two laps of the school on our own.  ¾ of the way round our second lap, he launched into one without any warning what so ever!  When he came back to earth and I stopped laughing, he launched into another attempt to loosen his rein to effect his infamous capriole movement.  Luckily I was riding him in draw reins so that he could not get his head up enough so after putting in a very swift spin he just managed to bounce all over the place!  After the 2nd attempt, he stood rigid ready to explode again, I had to call my friend over as there was no way I was able to put my leg on and ask him to step forward! 

The next few days saw us being nanny’d the whole time again, luckily without any repeat airs above the ground.

After that the freezing weather hit and has hampered our progress. 

Here is a video of a horse doing both levade and capriole for you to enjoy. 

Another busy week had meeting old and new clients.  I had two very interesting horses with interesting injuries that are not unheard of but not common either

The first underwent surgery for a damaged manica flexoria.  In English, this is a tubular sheath on the bottom of the fetlock region, through which the tendons of the deep digital flexor muscle pass. The surgery involved removing the damaged manica flexora.
 In the process of this surgery, the horse was put under general anesthetic and moved around by his feet to and from the operating theatre resulting in very sore shoulders, back and pelvis.  Imagine weighing 10 times what you do and then being held upside down by your ankles for a bit.  He is now walking out much more comfortable and with a 70% chance of returning to previous levels of work, I wish him all the best.

The second is a wonderful horse that had a very bad trailer accident 2 years ago resulting in the displacement of flexor tendon off the point of the hock.  It generally takes a good 2 years for the tendon to re-attach itself to the hock, normally in a different position, leaving the horse with an abnormal gait.  I have known two previous horses with this type of injury, both polo ponies.  One returned to match fitness, the other was unfortunately not given enough time to recover suffering further repairable damage.  
When I first treated Bailey end of last year, he was very stiff and blocked through his back, and built up so unevenly, even ignoring his abnormal gait, he was walking in a banana shape.  I suspected that his liver and kidney may also not be functioning correctly due to how blocked his back was and suggested his owner call in Equine Iridologist and Zoo pharmacologist Catherine Edwards.  Bailey underwent herbal treatments for liver and kidney detox.  Poor lad then had a host of issues, none of which related to his injury.

So back this year to follow up treatment and what a difference!  If was my hope to just loosen off his back so that he can be more comfortable and return to walk hacking.  He has surpassed my expectations and is much more looser and suppler than I had dreamed he could be and is happily hacking out, and wanting to trot and canter! Way to go Bailey.  Here’s hoping he has a couple more years of fun times ahead.
Yeah!  After months off and quite a while on complete box rest, our vet wanted me to get on and ride Zue in walk so that he would be more controlled than in hand walking - he hoped anyway.  Pleased to report we managed 10 minutes! 

Zue kept all four feet on the ground and me on his back, could not have asked for much more than that really.  He was very fresh when I got on him, almost piaffed the 10 steps from the mounting block to the arena.  He went into the arena and was about to explode.  Whilst he was trying to decided which way to spin or just simply go up, I called a friend over to walk next to us.  With both of us talking to him we managed to get him round the arena safely.  I could not put my legs on him at all for the first 8 minutes of that!

Was just settling when a big white horse from the DIY yard other side of the farm headed down toward the school - now white horses are Zue's favourite - I think it has something to do with shades of grey (no not the book!) ie he can see them better.  His eyes did pop out of his head and his whole body went tense, I managed to call out and ask if they could please come back in 5 minutes.  Luckily the rider understood and disappeared behind the stables for a little jaunt out of sight.

All good fun.  Onwards and upwards.  Tomorrow will try for 15 minutes.

Had a busy day of new clients today, which is always good.... 

One lady brought a new pony for her daughter about 5 weeks ago, congratulations I hear you say.  The previous owners had it for 2 years, good, however, when they dropped the horse off, they unloaded horse, tack and rugs, and before my client could offer them a cup of tea or coffee they had gone!  They can now no longer be contacted by telephone and the livery yard she came from is also not returning her calls.  Very strange! The horse seems lovelly though, so time will tell...

Another that sticks in my mind today is an amazing little horse that survived grass sickness nearly 2 years ago. She is a credit to her own strong will to survive and her owners love, determination and diligence, it is remarkable that this little horse is still alive.  What I saw today I can only assume was the after effects of this dibiliating disease.  She was so very tight through her whole and entire body.  When I finished working on her, I got such a huge sense of relief from her that it made me emotional!  Dont worry, I hid it from both horse and owner :-)  To read more about grass sickness see here...
Happy New Year everyone!  I want to say a big thank you to you all for allowing me to work on your horses last year, it is always a privilege that you trust me with your prized possession, and humbling that they let me treat them!  I have met some wonderful people and equines and hope have made the lives of many much happier and healthier.

So with holidays now over, time to get on board and start with winter fitness and training regimes so we can get out there in the summer and strut our stuff - be it around the park for a hack, or round Badminton.

The most exciting news from me is that I start riding my own horse at the end of this week!  As some of you may know, my own horse has been off for the past 6 months with lameness. I intend to write a weekly blog about how I bring him back into work, schooling and hopefully competition.  Many people are unsure about how to bring a horse back into work after extended time off, and whilst everyone and every horse is different, I will write about my experience.  It would be nice to have some discussion on how you manage to get on your horse after a prolonged time off, tips etc. 

So, first discussion – what tips do you give me for getting on and staying on?  To be honest, I am not really worried about day 1, or day 2… but by day 3 he would have woken up!

No equine therapy is a substitute for veterinary attention. All work carried out is in accordance with the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, which states that veterinary consent must be approved before working on any animal.

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