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March 2017

Once again it has been a little while since I have updated. It’s been a manic couple of months with work, horses and everything in between. I am loving the challenge of running our own equine veterinary practice here at Lower House, even though I am permanently tired, a little stressed and a bit out of touch with competing the horses.

The practice has grown considerably since I last updated and we are getting busier every day. We have just finished a new building which will house our operating theatre – I am so excited about this!

The horses have kept surprisingly fit alongside everything else.

Patch

Patch

Patch is feeling great and is probably the soundest he’s ever been. I have managed to fit in a few dressage lessons and competitions in around work and a little bit of show jumping. He is certainly ready for the event season and I am dying to make my first entry. I am just waiting for slightly firmer ground for him to go, as this is what he prefers. We have had two great dressage results including a 68.5 in the Novice which I was thrilled by, followed by a not so great 54 in a different novice test where Patch was feeling a bit too well!

I am hoping to take him to Solihull as his first event, so fingers crossed we can get to this.

Rupert
Jumping fun with Rupert

Rupert was on good form jumping recently, and we had a couple of great training sessions with Geoff Billington in preparation for the Area 20 Intermediate team qualifiers. I was really looking forward to this, but on the day, it wasn’t meant to be. Rupert took a dislike to the mirrors in the arena and then to the first fence… and it then went rapidly downhill from there! I was a little gutted as he jumped so well there last year and our team finished fourth. It’s always a tough one when you feel you have really let your team down, but I am lucky that the other ladies were very supportive and understanding!

Rupert

Rupert will now carry on with some more training with the aim to start BSJA again in April. I am very lucky that the competition centre on site at our clinic is now a BSJA centre, so I can take the terrible twosome to work and hopefully jump in my lunch break!

Poppy
Poppy pretty much had the winter off and for the first time since 2005 she wasn’t clipped out for the winter. I felt that with her being 22-years-old this year and not in proper work, as well as with her being a Thoroughbred, that there was no need to clip her this time. She still had a cosy rug (or two!) on during the day and night as even with her woolly coat she still felt the cold a little.

Hacking with Poppy

I rode her on Sunday and she was like a spring chicken! I had a lovely hack out on her and I will start building up her fitness again now that the nights are lighter and there are more riding hours in the day.

I trotted her up for Simon to look at and lunged her before commencing ridden work again, as for some reason I expected her to be a little stiff. I was amazed that she looked so good and when riding her she felt fantastic. I really believe that Mollichaff Veteran chaff has played a huge part in this, as she hasn’t had any additional supplements over the winter and she does have arthritis in her hocks.
I’ve found Mollichaff Veteran to be a great feed and it can be used as a partial forage replacer. One of the advantages is that it’s easy to chew for old horses and those that are dentally-challenged. As you will know if you have been following my blogs for a while, it played a considerable role in maintaining our old horse, Henry, until he sadly passed away age 35. It is now proving to be a real help with Poppy too – her coat is gleaming, which is probably due to the linseed oil and she certainly doesn’t look 22. But best of all, after a winter of good feed and little work I was able to get on her and ride her away as if she had not been off work at all – showing that it is also suitable to feed thoroughbreds without giving them too much energy.

That’s it for now, I am going to follow this up over the next week with a little bit about my job and what it’s like to work in an equine practice which I hope some of you will find interesting!

Take care

Cassie