Sunday 26 April 2020

Dash's delayed update

Dash has now been here for 5 weeks - we should have posted an update last week but somehow the time got away from me and I forgot it was already 4 weeks, for which I apologise. She started landing better a couple of weeks ago and so since then we have steadily increased her work levels and introduced more challenging surfaces. 
Her feet have responded, as you can see, by starting to grow in a (hopefully stronger) hoof. She had come out of shoes only a few weeks before coming to us (as you can see from the nail holes in the upper photo) and as a result her hoof wall was weak but the nail holes are nearly gone 5 weeks later. 
Her frog is starting to become stronger and although her heels still look under-run on the photos above, from below you can see they are actually improving though her feet are still flat. I would not expect her concavity to improve until she has grown in a whole new hoof capsule.

On her right foot we have the same pattern, and I like the more balanced hairline as well. 

The development in the back of her foot is a good sign but this is still a weak foot, of course. A horse like this would often be described as flat-footed but the important thing to realise is that flat feet don't have to stay that way - they can grow better. 

Looking at her digital cushion there is the beginnings of better structure, an encouraging sign, though lots still to do.
Dash's footage is here, and its nice to see that not only has her landing changed from flat to heel first but her stride length and confidence have also improved:

Monday 13 April 2020

Henry is not on holiday

It may be a bank holiday but of course everything here carries on as normal - there are still horses to feed and exercise and so for us a bank holiday is just another day, but who can complain when the sun is shining, the birds are singing and all the rehab horses are making great progress?

Today's blog features Henry, who like Dash arrived 3 weeks ago. He has not got quite such a good landing as she has but, like her, he has improved. His photos above show him on arrival (top) and yesterday (below).  I've posted his RF photos further down but hasn't included laterals as TBH the feather does not make it worthwhile at the moment. 

Dash has gone from flat to heel first in 3 weeks, Henry has gone from toe first to flat/intermittently heel first, so has made broadly the same amount of progress from a slightly worse starting point. 

His footage is here:

He has been working in the school up til now but we will introduce short amounts of roadwork this week and see how he gets on.

Sunday 12 April 2020

Easter and Dash's update

Dash has now been here for 3 weeks and so far has been working in the school; I felt she had made progress though and we filmed her again yesterday to find that her landing has improved, which is great to see.

Her medio-lateral balance is still not great on her left front but its early days and the beginnings of a heel first landing are the most important step as that means we can start to introduce work on harder surfaces which should help her improve more rapidly.

We got so excited by her better landing that we forgot to take photos  - in fact we are overdue on photos for Guinness and Wilberry as well so we will rectify that during the week.

Happy Easter everyone, hope the sun is shining on you as much as it is here, and that you are able to get outside and enjoy it for a short while at least.

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Lockdown, pandemic projects and carrying on

Life at Rockley continues pretty much as normal, although it's odd not to be leaving the farm except to get feed and supplies.

We had planned to get the fencing (where we'd planted the new trees) done this spring and despite the pandemic, the good weather and the fact that Andy is at home meant we were able to finish that this weekend.


Spring is definitely springing here, and despite everything its a wonderful time of year. We know we are incredibly fortunate to be able to be outside on the farm and we thank our lucky stars every day.

For the horses and the dogs of course everything is carrying on as before and they like us are glad to be out of a long wet winter.

Following on from Guinness' update last week I am really pleased that Wilberry, who arrived at the same time, has also made progress - his footage is here: He is not yet as confident as Guinness but its a good start.

Finally, for anyone who missed it, we also had lockdown haircuts at the weekend, slightly nerve-wracking but the results were better than expected...

I'll be posting more updates on the rehab horses and new lockdown clips this week - in the meantime stay safe all.

Sunday 5 April 2020

Rehab horse updates: Guinness

Regular bog readers may remember that Guinness arrived appropriately enough on St Patrick's day - which seems a lifetime ago given all that has happened since.

Fortunately we have been able to carry on at Rockley with our normal routine which has been a lifesaver. The downside is that unlike lots of people, we've not had any chance to read more books or watch more films but the upside has been the gorgeous dry, sunny weather which arrived with the lockdown and has enabled us to get on with loads of jobs around the farm. 

I've also resurrected my sourdough baking skills, with help from our brilliant neighbours, and we're also making sure the horses are all exercised as usual so there is plenty to do. 

I'll be posting more Lockdown clips soon but first wanted to share Guinness' updated footage with you, as we are really excited with how his landings have changed over the last 3 weeks - what a difference!

More to follow (including the shock feature: "Lockdown Haircuts" - coming this weekend to an isolated spot near you courtesy of the horse clippers...)