Sunday, 1 February 2009

Hector - wild and free (!)

All about Hector this week...First of all I took him back to see the vet who diagnosed him with navicular in July.

We are running a research project here on horses with navicular, deep flexor tendon lesions and caudal foot pain to try and demonstrate how they can improve aftr rehabilitation here. The project was inspired by Dexter, and was the brainchild of his vet, and we are now trying to document the progress of as many horses as we can.

Hector was an obvious choice, as he arrived just after Dex left, and his original vet kindly agreed to reassess him this week and do a lameness assessment on the same basis as the one he did in July, so that we had a good comparison.

The assessment involved a fairly tough lunging test - trotting a 5 metre circle on tarmac overlaid with grit, on both reins. When he first came here, he couldn't even lunge a 10 metre circle on sand without being unlevel, especially on the left rein, so it was good to see him going round confidently last week on a much more testing surface.

After performing so well on Thursday, it was only fair to take him hunting yesterday :-) Charlie was the master's horse again, and we all had a lovely day, right up until Hex and I managed to catch his bridle on an awkward gate-catch and the whole thing came to pieces...! We were still a good couple of miles from the trailer, ad it was getting dark, so there was nothing for it but to carry on, with Hex wearing the remains of his bridle as a fetching but completely useless necklace :-)

So the last couple of miles (3 open fields at canter, a mile or so of (admittedly country lanes) roadwork in the dusk then 2 more fields down steep slopes), we just went totally au naturel, relying on the fact that he is very good in traffic and that at least Charlie and the master knew where they were going

I must admit it wouldn't have worked so well at the beginning of the day, when Hex had much stronger opinions about where he should be going and at what speeds but as it was we both rather enjoyed ourselves :-)

What made me smile though was imaging what was going through the minds of the drivers who passed us..."No effing shoes, no effing bridle, riding along in the dark..."!!

No comments: