Monday, April 14, 2014
Rocky's Progress - Teething Problems
5:44 pm gmt
For 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.
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.
© Rita Kochmarjova - Fotolia.com)
Monday, April 7, 2014
Rocky's time has come
12:01 pm gmt
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
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.
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