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January 2012

Cassie’s Column – January 2012

Happy new year from myself, Henry Poppy David and Ronnie!

Poppy in the paddock 

David enjoys a drive out

Gosh it’s windy, but least we aren’t snowed in! I have just finished the horses and could barely walk back across the yard.

Olympic News!
My first thing to report is that I have been offered the opportunity to work as part of the vet team for London 2012! I will be working as a cross-country vet assistant and as you can imagine, I’m really excited! It was a tough interview process and I’m very lucky to have been selected from so many applicants! Wow!

Although 2012 did not start off too great for me after standing on a five inch nail – ouch! According to the vet I’m 8/10 lame – it’s very sore! But the Olympics news made it all better

What have the horses been up to?

Get well soon Poppy
Poppy unfortunately had a set back and became very sore in her back and so she had to be re-treated. She has also had shockwave therapy and physiotherapy. I’m hoping to start riding her again mid-January. I’m really missing riding her and hope she gets better soon.

Henry-before-he-had-to-retireWelcome to 2012 Henry!

Henry has now become fully retired as he started to show signs of arthritis and also muscle weakness. Although he’s no longer being ridden, he’s still galloping around the field and he even jumped the field fence in the wind last week! So I’m not worried about him at all. I gave him lots of treats to celebrate making it into another new year, and he got to enjoy yet another firework display from the top of our hill.

Dressage Driving?!
David and I have started having driving lessons working on his dressage and he is loving it! He’s doing so well with his laminitis and Cushings and is feeling very good.

Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO)
I have to be really careful with David during the winter as he also suffers from RAO which can be aggravated when horses are stabled more such as during winter.

RAO which was previously known as COPD stands for recurrent airway obstruction. It is an allergic respiratory disease in which horses are allergic to spores and allergens in their environment, with straw and hay being a particularly common trigger.

It’s quite common in horses when they get older with around 30% of horses over the age of thirteen being affected. The symptoms include nasal discharge, cough, mucus, and often an increased respiratory rate and breathing effort.

There are many ways of treating this disease, but as it is caused by the environment – prevention is better than cure. Good quality, dust-free forage such as Horsehage can help prevent this condition. Other husbandry changes, such as making sure your bedding and stable environment is dust-free with good ventilation also aid in prevention. It’s best to check with your vet if you are suspicious.

Ronnie-is-coming-along-wellHorsehage caters for everyone

Often people worry that ‘haylage’ can be unsuitable for certain types of horses or ponies, in particular those suffering with laminitis. HorseHage offers a range of forage to cater for these needs, and after years of feeding it to an ex-racehorse and a laminitic – I can almost guarantee its suitability! Many people do not realise that both the High Fibre and Timothy varieties are suitable for laminitics, and HorseHage actually has a lower sugar content than hay!

Ronnie is loving his new home, but will be leaving us for a short while to go and have some schooling. As we don’t have a schooling area for the winter, and also with my exams coming up, we all felt it best that his work is continued elsewhere to keep him on the right track. I’m looking forward to seeing him under a professional rider as he’s such a promising horse! I’ll definitely miss him, and look forward to welcoming him back next month. I’ll be sure to visit him while he is away, although he’s only going a couple of miles down the road!

That’s it for now, I’m still so excited about the Olympics although it was hard breaking it to the horses that neither of them will be attending with me (maybe this is why Poppy has gone on strike?)

All the best for 2012!
Cassie and my four windswept horsey friends!