Monday 28 July 2008

Way to go Kelly and Dex!

...who went competing on Sunday in their first one day event since Dex got home :-)

They did a good dressage test, were clear SJ and then blasted round the cross country, in prime position...Kelly said that Dex was moving beautifully, even though the ground was like concrete, but then they were really unlucky and missed one of the XC jumps, which meant elimination :-( Kelly reckons they would have won otherwise, but she hasn't told Dex yet - he still thinks they went clear :-)

They are eventing again in a few weeks, and he is off competing in BSJA before then - not bad for a horse who was lame and destined for a bullet in February!

Little Hector, the new orange boy, is doing well, and is now one of the gang. He already has a much better band of new hoof wall, which is both better quality and a tighter angle than his old hoof capsule.

When he arrived we videoed him landing very toe first, and then we filmed him again two weeks later. Amazingly, he was already landing much better, and actually beginning to engage the back of the foot.

Hector has done little work yet, but as long as the promised thunderstorms hold off for a few hours more, I am hoping to ride him today...

Sunday 20 July 2008

Last word for today goes to the horses...

While Bob Bowker was here, of course I introduced him to the horses :-) After all, it was his original article, published back in the late 90s, which was the inspiration behind me taking Ghost's shoes off, when he was lame and diagnosed with navicular in 2002. Bob's research was also the driving force behind us laying down pea gravel as a rehabilitation surface, which has been fantastic for many horses over the years.

We X-rayed Ghost again, a few weeks ago, in May, to see how his good diet and barefoot lifestyle has affected his hooves internally, and it was great to hear Bob confirm what a great back of the foot Ghost has, with strong coffin and navicular bones, which now show no evidence of the damage which was there in 2002 :-)

Of course Ghost is as sound as a pound, and although a bit chubby at the moment, should have many years of life and work left ;-)

Puppy dogs

as if the conference wasn't enough, we have had new puppy dogs arriving here, whom we are walking for the EFH. As part of the house renovation, we were throwing out an old sofa bed, but it didn't quite make it to the skip...

Lots to catch up on...

What an amazing week, with Dr Bob Bowker speaking to a packed UKNHCP conference as the high point!

We spent 3 days at Langford, and all felt that our brains were full by the time we left :-)

I got home on Friday night, and Sarah Braithwaite was travelling on with Bob to the next leg of his UK "tour", in Wales.

Sunday 13 July 2008

UKNHCP conference

... is starting this week, so chances are I won't be blogging till next weekend, but there will be a full update and hopefully pics then!

Thursday 10 July 2008

Hoof and pony shots

Pics of the whole pone, and his hooves :-)
First photo is of him before he was trimmed - his front shoes were taken off for the X-rays - but as you can see his feet were pretty long, and he was landing toe first, of course. I have some high res. digital footage, but haven't had the chance to edit that to upload on here yet.

The back of his foot is weak, but as he is young and has probably not been shod for too long, he should build it up fairly quickly.

His previous vet said that he was pottery, and showing bilateral shortness in his stride which improved when the navicular bursa was nerve-blocked, which is a fairly familiar story.

The vet said that he diagnosed the horse as having navicular, on the basis of the nerve-block and X-rays, and then he gave me a fantastic piece of advice:

"Remedial shoeing with eggbars shoes and rolled toes is an absolute must" ;-)

Actually, the last thing this horse needs is for the back of his foot to be weakened even further by being shut down with a bar shoe.

Instead, we reckon that with some time out of shoes and on a supportive surface, he will quickly start to land heel first and engage and strengthen the back of his foot.

Already, now that he is out of shoes and flying around on the pea gravel, he looks far from pottery - in fact he has fantastic movement. If he carries on improving this quickly he will be in work at the weekend!

Wednesday 9 July 2008

New navicular rehab horse

One goes out, one comes in :-)

As Dex has now gone home, the god of barefoot obviously decided we needed to keep going with the orange navicular theme!

New boy has come from Exmoor, via journalist Cindy Cowling who did the Exmoor magazine article (thanks again, Cindy!), and he is a 6 yr old ISH by Ricardo Z, and he will be a very nice competition horse if we can get him back on track.

The photos are of him a few months ago, of course, but he has settled in well and we hope it won't be long before we can post new action shots of him! Feet pics will also go up on the website when I get the chance, of course :-)

Monday 7 July 2008

Rained off!

What a grim weekend - we were planning on building some more XC jumps but it has rained non stop for the last few days...So our steps and drop fence are on hold...

Also on hold is our haymaking - there is no sign of a break in the weather for this week...Maybe this is the way summer will be from now on?!

Anyway, here is a photo from last weekend, which was much sunnier and altogether lovely :-) Dex looking as if a hunter trial is rather beneath him, but he looks the part, anyway!

Friday 4 July 2008


Had to post this - Andy had the camera out and took this great shot of Felix flying - almost literally - up the road :-)

MRI results

Well, we finally got Dexter's MRI results back and Kelly kindly posted them through to me.

The cool news is that the MRI showed up a healed lesion on the digital deep flexor tendon, which should mean his problems are now behind him, as long as he keeps on landing heel first :-)

The report said that he had poor hoof conformation - but then again they haven't seen how fast his hooves are changing :-) Think they will say he has really rather awesome hoof conformation in another few months ;-)

Way to go Dex!

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Squatting again!

Still no connection at home, so back at our kind neighbour's house :-)

Dex, Felix and Con all went well at the weekend, with Con lots and lots braver, and really having quite a lot of fun in between the odd scary fence which he couldn't cope with ;-) We were eliminated, as there was a particularly scary combo at fence 6, which was a real challenge to get past (!) but that didn't matter, and we had a lovely time bimbling round the course after that and jumping all the other fences!

He feels (and looks, according to Kelly) as if he is jumping much more fluently so it was a good day out.

Felix was on guided missile mode, but again due to stupid pilot error locked onto the wrong one or a range of 3 skinnies, and so we had a run out before I aimed him a bit better second time round. All my fault, as we had a very short approach round a sharp corner and in the time we had I just wasn't clear enough...Doh!

Dex was superstar, and was clear SJ and XC, and looked terribly professional, as always :-) Think Kelly had a fun time too ;-)

Sadly no nice pics of Con or Dex, not sure why, but one of the pocket rocket to be going on with. He was jumping the 3ft 3 course, but it never looks as big in the pics(!)