Monday, 22 November 2010

Barefoot experiment

No riding possible at all. We have snow 2ft. deep. Farrier came today and remarked that as Bella is only 3 yrs old and here feet have not yet been ruined by shoes, I should try barefoot. Now I have had many TB's before and know just how tender they are, even on grass, but in spite of my reservations, I have taken the shoes off, had a barefoot trim and she seems to be OK with it.
Apparently, everything else has to change too. In order to transition to barefoot, stabling is out. 24 hour/day turnout onto the arena and a concrete area is in with a field shelter for really bad weather. I have turned her out with 2 rugs on with a Welsh Section D gelding for company and they seem very happy with the arrangement.
In order to transition to the point where Bella can work on stoney tracks without shoes, she needs to be able to move constantly on different surfaces so that the hoof can 'move' and increase the blood supply needed for changes in the hoof to occur.

Friday, 12 November 2010

The saddle nightmare begins

Within a month of buying Bella, the Wintec saddle no longer fitted. It was now too narrow so I changed to an extra-wide tree arch which was better, but no matter who rode her, the saddle ALWAYS moved to the right.
I had a saddle fitter out who sold me a Barnsby extra wide, which fitted for a week, then that too started to move to the right. Back out with the saddler who sold me a Jeffries which was OK for 3 weeks, then it too started to move to the right. Bella had also started to trot in a diagonal fashion on three tracks when ridden. She would trot 'shoulder-in' for a few strides then 'shoulder-out' etc and had also started to put little bucks into the equation. Something was not right. The Vet checked her back, teeth, found nothing at all apart from the fact that she is slightly more muscled on the left shoulder than the right.
Time for the Roe Richardson 'Reactorpanel' - they fit anything don't they? - not Bella though! Try as he might by altering blocks etc. he could not stop the saddle moving to the right, even during lunging.
I decided to turn her away for a couple of weeks - then the snow fell.