Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

Wolfie the Wonder Horse!
Wolfie, 24/02/08

Friday, 10 February 2012

God forbid that I should go to any heaven where there are no horses. R.B. Cunningham-Graham

I have been giving a lot of thought recently to my horses and what would happen to them, should anything happen to me. It is something I'm ashamed to say, that I have never given much, if any consideration to before. I've always presumed, that it would be them to go first and it would be me here making decisions for them. I'm not being morose, I'm not planning on going anywhere, but I suppose it's something every responsible horse owner must prepare for. When I took each one of them, I have made them all the same two promises. That someone would always feed them and they would never suffer pain or neglect again at the hands of people. In an ideal world, I would like them to stay together and stay with my family, however, coming from a 'non-horsey' family that isn't really realistic and I never want them to be a burden on anyone either financially or with their time. My biggest worry is what would happen to my beautiful, talented, funny, sensitive, overly emotional Wolfie. He wouldn't be happy being retired off in a field, it would be a waste as he has too much to give. I think Wolfie would have to be sold, to go on and continue his education, hopefully to someone who would love him, understand him and continue with and finish his story. The money from the sale of Wolfie, all his belongings and the trailer would then be used to pay for the ponies keep at a retirement home or sanctuary where they would be safe and looked after for the rest of their days. Hopefully, it will just be words on paper.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

If the shoe fits.....

Despite the weather and everything that's been going on over the past week, I've managed to get Wolfie out for a short twenty minute ride almost every day. A week past Monday we set out along the back of the tracks behind the stables. There are a number of huge trees which have came down in the high winds and the last time Wolfie was up there they were all standing vertical not lying broken and twisted horizontally on the ground. We made it past the first one, walked / bounced down the track to the gate. We didn't go far, but on returning back to the stables, from whatever angle he was now seeing the tree, he couldn't pass it. It took us about 15 minutes to eventually walk past it. He backed up, took a few steps forward, backed up, tried to turn but the whole time I felt pretty much in control. Wolfie is reknown for his half rear spins and taking off in the opposite direction before you have time to even blink. He is ambidextrous enough to perform this manouvere to the left or the right so you don't even have the advantage that he has a preferred direction. He didn't do that and didn't feel like he was going to do it. We eventually walked past (that should be passaged past it) with him snorting and very tense but he walked the last 100 yards home fine. I was surprised, he can be a handful, sharp at the best of times, particularly the first few weeks back in work and the cold weather doesn't help, but this time he really listened and was trying. We have continued just walking along the tracks at night as the ground conditions are very hard and frozen.

Last Wednesday as I was mucking out, I spotted him in the 'duck pond'.

I brought him in later on and he was covered in thick mud.

I said to him he was lucky to still have all his shoes on wading about in there. Thursday I got to the stables and with the hard frost, Wolfie had lost a front shoe. He doesn't lose shoes often, I think 3 times in total. I told him I wasn't going out into the field to look for his shoe, twenty minutes later I was out in the field looking for the shoe. I didn't find it, but I hate the thought of the shoes lying in the field with the clenches still in. The farrier came up on Friday to fit another shoe as he's not due to be shod until the end of February. We discussed options again for a set of shoes at his next shoeing. I'm not happy with the fit of the shoes he has on. We took him out of the equilibrium shoes, even though I liked them as both me and the farrier felt they were too heavy a shoe for him. My farrier is very good and will discuss all options and listen to what I think. We had a look at several different types of shoe. There is a square toed shoe which you see more often now. I can't get my head around it. The hoof is round and I don't want Wolfie's feet rasped back to fit a square toed shoe, but could you leave the hoof as it is over the edge of the shoe? The farrier has ordered a set for him, which are actually racing plates, which should be here for him getting shod later on in the month, so we will see what they are like.

The weather has been icey fog, so we haven't ventured far.

Wolfie has been so good, even when the scarey back sheep with their horns and yellow eyes appeared through the fog. He just seems really happy to be back doing something again.

Yesterday, we did a little circuit around the hill. He had a couple of minor spooks, a couple of his infamous leaps in the air and was very much on his toes, but it was more keenness than anything.

The nights are starting to get longer, so hopefully I can keep him doing something until I am able to hack for longer at night. It's difficult trying to fit in mucking out and riding, but I really want him fit. I'm really pleased with his attitude and how he has handled things this week. Coming back into work, I normally have to remind him not to walk off at the mounting block, but not this time. He's been opening and shutting the gates like a pro - he really is very good at it. I'm pretty sure you could put a complete beginner on him and he would open and close the gate himself with the rider just having to open and close the catch. He's had no problem heading out on his own. It's always been important to me from early on with Wolfie that he is able to hack and go out on his own. It is counter-intuitive to horses to go anywhere on their own. Lone horses get killed by predators (or horse eating fallen trees). But he is very good about it. Don't get me wrong he loves hacking in company but he's equally comfortable going out on his own.