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Hoofbeats - The Blog 

Welcome to our blog page, HOOFBEATS, where we talk about the countryside with a main emphasis on training and caring for horses and ponies. If you would like to contribute ideas and information about your own experiences, we would be delighted to hear them. Please email to editor@horseandponyinfo.com or post to our Facebook Page, Horse and Pony Info. If you're into Twitter, you can contact us @horse_ponyinfo.

IMPORTANT - The opinions expressed here are from personal experience and we strongly advise you to contact your veterinary surgeon or your riding instructor if you are seriously worried about your horse. Prompt action is important.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Rocky's Progress - Teething Problems

BlogPhotos/Horseteeth.jpgFor a few days, Rocky seemed like the perfect pony. We have been getting him ready for backing and he lunges well on both reins, drives on long reins around the arena and up and down the lane, and has even had a small journey in the horse trailer. 

He followed me up the back ramp and down the front ramp three times with little hesitation. I parked the car and trailer at the bottom of the lane to our yard, where he would see his friend in the field in front of him and where the hedge on either side would encourage him to up the ramp instead of around it.  All well. Good boy, Rocky!

Two days later, we took him one step further. Accompanied by an experienced pony who has travelled to shows in the trailer, Rocky went for a short drive. He was excited, perhaps a little unsettled but not phased. He was pleased to see me when I opened the jockey door but didn't bolt down the front ramp when it opened. Good boy, Rocky!

Alas, we have now hit a stumbling block. Rocky has developed a phobia about the bit in his mouth and clamps his jaw shut when the bridle approaches. This reluctance has now turned to downright obstinance, with rearing and kicking out with front legs. Something must be wrong and pain is always what we have to consider first. The dentist and vet are coming on Thursday and, in the meantime, we will leave his mouth alone. He will continue with loose lungeing and perhaps popping over cross poles.

New rules in Ireland now mean that an equine dentist cannot sedate a horse (or farrier, physiotherapist, etc) so the vet also needs to be present to administer an IV sedative. Hopefully this will make the procedure as painless as possible for the pony. I wouldn't fancy having a filling or a tooth out without an anaesthetic, would you?

We will see what the dentist says about his mouth. 

(Photo by © Rita Kochmarjova - Fotolia.com)

5:44 pm gmt 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rocky's time has come


I hope wherever you are in the world that you are enjoying your horses. In Ireland, we have at last seen the first signs of spring after an extremely wet winter. We have even tentatively taken off some of the winter rugs and replaced them with lighter ones, or none at all on sunnier days.  

Do you remember our Rocky? The foal who made his way into this world almost unannounced. He hid for months in his mother's womb before we began to get suspicious. A strong Connemara mare, she kept putting on weight even when her grass was reduced. The vet confirmed she was in foal and we had to make haste and prepare for baby's imminent arrival!

The mare belonged to a livery client and moved away but Rocky returned to us when he was five months old as his owners had nowhere to keep him. That was just over four years ago. I will tell you the story of his rather dramatic birth another day. Rocky certainly made sure that we would never forget the day he arrived and he has been busy attracting our attention ever since.

He was a late foal, born on 15th October, so we did a little work with him last summer and then turned him away. He has had a bridle and saddle on. He has been lightly lunged and has walked around the arena in long reins. He has even had the weight of our French students leaning on his back. 

Now he is about to go one step further and is back in the stable to be prepared for riding. Good luck, Rocky, I hope you enjoy it! We'll keep you posted on how he gets on. 


  Rocky as a yearling with blonde highlights             Rocky a little older 


12:01 pm gmt 

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Horses racing on a frozen lake in Switzerland
copyright: Gilles Oster - Fotolia.com


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