Owning horses for the first time is not without its trials and tribulations and if you have been following my stories on the various elements you will have come to appreciate that now.
I am pleased to have met and required the services of the following horse experts:
Horse Intelligence (Animal Psychology) – Liz Pitman
Michelle (Mish) Brooker – Physiotherapist
Amanda Stone – Horse Dentist
Sue White – Saddler
Matt Fawcett – Farrier
Liz was recommended to us when we thought it would be good to have a professional opinion and hints and tips in controlling Oscar’s manners when he was led out on his own without Jubilee or left on his own.
After an hour’s session, improvement was already visible and the simple techniques of showing control on a lead reign were easy to follow so we could continue our own schooling after Liz had left.
Liz pointed out how a simple can filled with anything that can rattle can make a horse do as they should and a voice is sometimes as good as a physical control.
So if your horse is playing up do not always head for the whip or the harder hand - if in doubt call in the expert!
We had not owned Jubilee for long and whilst out on a hack with Oscar and Amber (me running along behind) Jubilee came to a point where she simply refused to go no further and made many attempts to dismount my wife and had a worrying look of fright in her eyes.
After about 20 minutes with traffic queuing from both directions of the country road it was decided that it was best to dismount and walk Jubilee back as at that time we assumed she was frightened of something we could not see or hear.
When back at the entrance of our stables Sharon (my wife) tried to mount again but again Jubilee would move nowhere.
Jubilee was left to rest for a few days and then Sharon tried again but after just 50 feet or so Jubilee reared again and she obtained a look of fright in her eyes.
I remembered the wonderful ABRS Conference I attended some months earlier and they had a session on riding problems with a horse and that often they can be back-related.
Sharon therefore dismounted and walked Jubilee and she was fine once more and then when she was untacked Sharon ran her hand down her spine only to see the shudder of movement and rearing.
This is when another friend recommended Mish Brooker as a therapist who had successes on her horses where others had not.
Mish was great and taught Sharon and I simple exercises for all the horses to keep them nimble and especially for Jubilee where she had agreed back muscles had no doubt been pulled due to previous slipping on the road. (Note: this is now where the Farrier and Saddle Fitter will be called into play).
Mish massaged Jubilee on the very first session and then left us with instructions (including the use of two hot water bottles) to keep Jubilee improving.
Over the next month Mish returned twice to keep check of progress and now Jubilee is back to her old self.
So if your horse is playing up do not always head for the whip or the harder squeeze or kick – see how he/she behaves when not with saddle or rider and then if in doubt call in the expert.
We were not really too sure if the horses had been visited by the dentist recently and as new owners purchasing new equipment and tack and wanting to know all was ok, we called in the expert.
Now, who would want to do this job! Amanda Stone would and she was great.
Oscar was looked at first and she discovered he still had his two wolf teeth and with a knock with a “pile driver” and a pull they were out. These can interfere with the bit and hence cause difficulty on a left or right reign.
Lo and behold we mentioned that Amber had difficulty on her right reign and when Amanda checked her (although 12 years old) still had one of her wolf teeth on the side that would affect her right reign.
So with another “pile driver” and a pull, a much larger wolf tooth is extracted and Amber has been much better on all reigns ever since.
Jubilee was not so happy about her teeth being rasped/looked at but we think that was because of her bad back so Amanda is to visit again when the vet is around so a mild sedative can be given.
So, good teeth can help a good ride as well as make the horse more comfortable generally, so if in doubt call in the expert.
With the issues we had with Jubilee we wanted to ensure that she had a well-fitted saddle to reduce any risk of further back problems.
Welcome to another delightful lady and previous contact of Sharon’s, Sue White from Fusion Saddles in Mayland.
Sue was great and provides a mobile service enabling a number of saddles to be tested without having to load the horses up and take them to be fitted.
A perfect fit was found and it was very reasonable at £750.00 and Jubilee seems to feel very comfortable now.
Again, another expert helping towards a good ride and comfort for the horse at the same time.
So, if in doubt call in the expert!
We have finally worked our way down from the head to the feet!!
As Jubilee had slipped on the road it was time to have all the horses checked and for new shoes to be fitted for Jubilee with road nails.
Matt Fawcett was our contact this time having been recommended by Sue White (the saddler) and, in what was a not a long time at all, three horses were wearing brand new shoes and had nice tidy hooves.
Matt also returned later when we advised that one of Amber’s hooves had cracked in two places and gave great advice in putting on human hand cream to help soften them up and that all was fine and would grow back as usual.
So, thanks too all these experts we have ensured our horses are in the best condition we can for them and us to enjoy riding.
Calling in the experts early could save money and more importantly a lot of discomfort for your horses.
Most of our experts should have profile pages on The Equine Club so find out more about them now by using FIND MEMBERS and searching for their name. If you cannot find them let me know and I will add them.