A Fractured Jaw

20 Apr

I`d like to share a recent experience of a fellow livery, in the hope that it will make us all aware of fractures and their treatment.

On Wednesday morning, this livery was rung by her field friend. Well, not her personal field friend, but the owner of the horse who shared the field with her horse. You can see why I just said field friend, can`t you? Back to the story; the field friend said that the horse, for this purpose named X, had a wound on his cheek.

As a dedicated mother, and knowing that the field friend wouldn`t have called about any old cut, this livery went up to see X. She brought him in to clean what looked like a puncture wound. However, the wound was quite deep, and X was refusing to eat and drink, so the vet was called.

After a long wait for our busy vet, during which time the field was thoroughly checked for protrusions, the wound was inspected and cleaned out. The vet was worried that the wound was not the full story, so wanted to X-Ray. Whether this was because he thought there was something inside I don`t know, but the X-Ray showed a hairline fracture and comminuted fracture of the mandible. X was given powerful analgesia and antibiotics via IV, and the vet said he would be back the following day. X was to be stabled that night, and offered a variety of foods and water in his stable, in the hope that he would eat a bit. Buckets were arranged with tempting chaff, mix, or a soaked feed. The water drinker was turned off, and a bucket provided so that his water intake could be monitored.

The vets prognosis would depend, ultimately, on whether X would be able to eat and drink. The vet suggested that the injuries were sustained as a result from a kick from another horse, which opens a whole new can of worms. I`l get the can opener out for tomorrow`s post …

On Thursday X was taken out of his stable and taken for walks, as he tends to get very stressed in his stable. To everyone`s relief X managed to eat, drink, poo, and pee. He was happily grazing on the long lush grass at the edge of the tracks! When the vet arrived that evening he was very pleased with X`s progress, and they decided that surgery was not necessary.

X has a long road to recovery, which won`t be easy, and the prognosis depends on his determination and will to survive. The vet gave X more pain relief on Thursday and he is to have more twice daily until the vet`s next visit on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, to best care for X, a small paddock with long, fresh grass was found. Because he dislikes living it, the vet thought that field rest would be best for him, particularly as he is grazing comfortably. X needs to live on his own, for safety and to reduce the risk of further injury, and will probably live on his own for the rest of his life. The vet will make regular visits and assess the level of pain X is in, and how to medicate him. Further X-Rays will be done in a couple of months and depending on his level of comfort, his dedicated mother will be able to start riding him. Thankfully it`s spring now and grass is plentiful so he has the best, and most easily eaten, food available. As he recovers other feeds will be introduced to see how he copes with it.

Fingers crossed that X makes a full recovery, he`s in the best hands and will be given five star care.


Word of The Day

20 Apr

Ragwort – Ragwort is a member of the daisy family and is so called because of their ragged leaves and are all poisonous to horses causing liver damage. There are four types
Marsh (Senecio aquaticus) is found in damp pasture, especially on peaty soil.
Hoary (S.erucifolius) is found on lime rich soils especially clay, in lowland areas of England and Wales. It can be identified by its hairy leaves and stems and grows between 30cm-120cm (1ft-4ft).
Oxford (S.aqualidus) is becoming common especially around towns. It grows 22cm-37cm (9ins. -15ins.) and its flowers brighten the corner of a building plot. It was introduced to Oxford from southern Italy and was first noticed spreading elsewhere in 1794. This ragwort begins to bloom in May.
Common (S. Jacobaea) – grows throughout the British Isles, growing on waste ground, roadsides and neglected pasture.


Hip Replacements

19 Apr



Word of The Day

19 Apr

Patella (stifle joint) – The same as our knee. It is a hinge joint that acts in one direction without sideways movement. It is pulley (fulcrum) bone, over which the tendons and ligaments gain leverage.


Word of The Day

19 Apr

pathogen – This is a disease producing micro-organism

Introducing Apollo!

18 Apr

It’s been a bit of a hectic week really, what with the kids being on holiday and buying a horse. Yes, that’s right, you heard correctly. I bought a horse. Another one.

I’d like you all to meet Apollo.


He’s a 15.1hh rangy four year old skewbald gelding, of Welsh, Thoroughbred, and Hairy descent. He will be a project for me over the next year to bring on and school.

So what on earth made me decide to make my life even more complicated? And why have I not mentioned it before.

It was the beginning of April when I first met Apollo, trying him out for a friend. Said friend decided he was too much of a project for her and no more was said. I liked Apollo very much; he was relaxed and laid back on the ground, with basic manners, and to ride was responsive but not silly. When I tried him he spooked at the fillers in the school. He stopped, and I let him look, before asking him to walk past them. He did this and the next time he passed them he paused to think before continuing past. I like this attitude, he’s not overly dramatic, and learns from his experiences.

So I began to hunt to an owner for Apollo, particularly one who would want my assistance in training him.

A friend of mine, who was about to lose her loan pony, took a liking to Apollo and we concocted a plan. Due to her young family, she was looking for a part share in a horse with a view to buying at a later date.


So this is how we ended up having a day trip to view Apollo and I ended up buying him. Three days later and he’s arrived.


Apollo travelled his two hour journey well, and came off the lorry calm. He took his new surroundings in and once in the stable he attacked his haylage. I left him for an hour to settle, before checking on him at lunch. By which point he’d tried to open the cupboard door, and knock over the shavings fork, as well as rearrange his bed.
We gave him a bit of attention, wormed him, and he enjoyed seeing the neighbours come and go, but got a bit worried when they left him all on his own.

This evening, once I’d finished work, I took him out for some grass and to take in the new sights. He didn’t seem fazed by anything which is great, and tomorrow I’ll take him into the lunge arena to let him have a bit of a play and test his lunging skills. Over the next week I’ll let him get used to his field and the routine, with a couple of lunge sessions, perhaps with the Pessoa to point him in the right direction. Yes Apollo, we stretch down! Then the following week the saddler is coming and we’re ready to rock!

Of course, Apollo will be a regular feature here so that everyone can follow his progress as he grows up.


P.S. Sorry about the quality of the photos, he was a right fidget when I took the camera out!


Word of The Day

18 Apr

Passport – Is a document necessary for the identification of horses, especially Thoroughbreds, in training to allow them to travel abroad. It contains a marking certificate, vaccination papers.

Organised Chaos

17 Apr

I wish I`d had a pedometer on these last two weeks. I`m not joking when I say I think I`ve walked a hundred miles …

As you probably know it`s been the Easter holidays and the sunny weather seems to have brought newbies out of the woodwork. Resulting in God knows how many laps of the school for me and my helpers. And then you factor in the numerous walks to and from the field getting in horses or ponies.

Take last Wednesday for example. In the morning we had five kids for a pony morning who had never ridden before, so we led them in the school for about forty five minutes, and then took them for a forty five minute walkabout. If I remember correctly we were short of leaders so when we trotted my helper and I had to go three times for each round of children. By the end of their stable management we both needed to put our feet up! But the day wasn`t over yet. After lunch we had two girls for a beginner lead rein lesson for an hour.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were very similar; lots of teaching and lots of walking and I think it took me all weekend to recover. Tuesday was a hectic pony day which frazzled my brain, and then Wednesday was some more beginners. My walking has culminated today with both an Easter Egg Hunt AND a two hour beginner lesson slash walkabout! Not to mention my usual three lessons before and after. Don`t forget the brain frazzling of organising multiple lessons and ponies, and to make adjustments when those extra clients pop up.

Two more days of the holidays and then I can get the yard back to normality. We`ve put things away in roughly the right places, but it`s like the old saying about sweeping things under the mat. The tack room looks tidy when you walk in, but upon inspection that pile of numnahs is rather hairy … and the bridles only hang on the right peg, with the reins hurriedly thrown over the peg, not looped through the throatlash.

And I`m dreading the moment when the man with size thirteen feet wants to borrow a pair of boots at the back of the Hat and Boot Room …

I expect the horses will enjoy next week recovering, and back into light work and field rest, whilst we can actually poo-pick their fields and tidy their manes and tails, before blitzing the yard and stables.


Word of The Day

17 Apr

Passage – A high school movement consisting of a very rhythmic, collected, elevated, cadenced trot in which there is pronounced engagement of the quarters an accentuated flexion of the knees and hocks. It is a graceful and elastic movement.

Image 16 Apr


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