Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

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

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Not as sound as a brass bell

Wolfie is lame.  He got cast in his stable last Tuesday, there was no-one else at the stables at the time, but I managed to get him back over but as he was standing up he slipped and his off right hind leg went right under him and hit the floor.  I give Wolfie a massive bed as the floor in his stable is like an ice rink, but obviously he's still able to reach the floor and this is what happens.  I've now invested in rubber matting (something I should have done ages ago), so hopefully it will be here before the weekend.  There was nothing to see on his leg and he walked out alright so I turned him out for the night.  Wednesday he seemed ok, but on Thursday I popped him on the lunge and within 2 strides of trot it was clear that he was unlevel behind.  I couldn't tell exactly which leg it was, but given the events of Tuesday I thought it was probably his right hind.  I kept him in on Thursday night and the vet came out on Friday.  I was totally dreading the vet coming.  After his virus last year, Wolfie has been horrendous with the vet and he's never had a full lameness work up before with the vet picking up his feet etc.  I was imagining all sorts of scenarios involving Wolfie and the vet in an open space and me clinging onto the leadrope.  Surprisingly, Wolfie was an absolute star.  He seemed to thoroughly enjoy trotting up and down and wasn't overly concerned about the vet picking his feet up.  I suppose it makes a nice change from having needles jabbed in you.  A flexion test confirmed it was the right hind.  He also reacted in his foot to the hoof testers on that leg, but nothing really significant.  To be honest I think he was just wanting to put his foot down, but the vet removed his shoe anyway, just to check.  There was nothing to see.  Given what had happened, the vet thinks it's likely that it's some sort of soft tissue injury higher up the leg.  He was to be box rested until today when he got his shoe back on.  This was mainly due to how water logged and boggy the fields have been with the torrential rain.  So he's been in, I poulticed his foot for a couple of days seeing as the shoe was off, but nothing showed.  He's on a course of Danilon for 10 days.  He got his shoe back on today and he was to get turned out.  He's been very good being box rested, but by today he had evidently had more than enough and was getting dangerous leading him out and he had started manically box walking and trying to climb the door.  I would have liked to have turned him out in a small fenced off area so he couldn't mess around, but there was nowhere else for him to go.  I made sure he was really hungry before I turned him out and let him across the field over to the other horses, I held onto him while he grazed and then tried to take his headcollar off hoping that he wouldn't notice and would just continue grazing.  Famous last words as he whizzed past me like a rocket.  Actually for Wolfie it wasn't too bad, I've seen him a lot worse and that's when he hasn't been on box rest.  I like how the other horses just completely ignore him as if it's just not happening.  I'm glad though as if they'd joined in that might have set him right off.  He quickly got his head down to eat.  He was out for a few hours today and he's back in the stable overnight. He'll go out around lunch time tomorrow and I'll just build his turn out up again till I try him out overnight. Just need to see how it goes, but hopefully he's just given himself a twist and it will settle itself with time and a bit of rest.  Horses eh.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble a car, and one nut to scatter it all over the road - Author Unknown

Kelly Marks recently posted a photograph on her facebook page which says 'Ruby's dead, why? Because someone couldn't wait one more second to get home'.  Next to the words is a picture of beautiful horse Ruby lying dead on the road partially covered by rugs and jackets having been hit by a vehicle towing a trailer.  It's a graphic picture and not for the faint hearted, but one that every road user should see.  Although maybe the damage that was caused to the vehicle that hit Ruby would hit home more with some drivers who have absolutely no consideration for horses on the road.  This is a subject which is very close to my heart.  I ride along a short distance of road because I have to.  Every time I do it, I feel as though I am taking mine and Wolfie's life in my hands.  Why?  Because of drivers.  I am corteous at all times to drivers, I never ride on the road in anything that I consider to be adverse weather conditions, both me and Wolfie wear so much hi viz that we can probably be seen from google earth.  I thank drivers for slowing down, if I don't, it's because I am not in a position at that moment to take my hand off the rein, but I do try to acknowledge them.  I am on the road for a short amount of time to get to a track, I am not out for a jolly deliberately trying to be an obstacle in peoples way or an inconvenience.  My biggest bug bear though is when I do request a driver to do something ie slow down and they completely ignore it.  Do they not understand the highway code or do they not reliase quite what will happen if my horse lands on top of their car.  The other day for example, Wolfie and I were hacking along the road, there were a bunch of balloons tied to the fence next to the road side.  A car was coming up behind us, I asked the driver to slow down incase Wolfie moved out passing the balloons which were bobbing around in the wind.  The driver didn't even brake, overtook us at speed on a blind corner.  I have spent a lot of time preparing Wolfie for the road and trying to ensure that he is as safe as can be expected with traffic.  He is in actual fact very good with traffic, but he doesn't see many bunches of balloons tied to fences so that may have been something he reacted to.  It makes me really angry when drivers don't treat him with a little respect and do  as the back of my jacket asks 'please pass wide and slow'.  I have emailed and written to the council on many occasions regarding the speed of drivers and the complete disregard for horses on the road and the lack of awareness, they tell me they will raise it at the next meeting. Ruby's owner has started a campaign to try and create awareness to drivers and has started some e-petitions wanting a compulsory section in the driving test about passing animals on the road, a TV advert for horse awareness / hand signals and to make more off road riding available to riders.




If you are a rider, or a cyclist, or an animal lover or a driver or all of these, please take the time to sign the petitions, for Ruby and all the other horses out there.  And please, if you are driving past a horse on the road, please pass wide and slow, it is a really kind and considerate thing to do and is very much appreciated.

Monday, 4 June 2012

I'm learning to use my video camera.  View the world from Wolfie's back.  Now I can capture Wolfie's very expressive ears on video too.  This is us just returning from a hack up the forrestry the other day.  He loves to sample the different trees and bushes, all the different things to eat he doesn't have access to in the field.