I got Packenham (Paddy for short) - an ex point-to-pointer in May of 2012, after having a break from riding of about 20 years. There have been some ups and downs (mostly downs) over the past 18 months & this is our journey together from Paddy being a racehorse to hopefully eventually a riding horse!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Paddy's eventful homecoming!!

This weekend was the weekend for picking Paddy up from Rockley. I had decided to use my own box, rather than hire one as it has always been very reliable, so Gillian and I set off in plenty of time, trundling down the A14, making sure that we could have plenty of stops to give the box a rest - she is an old girl after all!

Managed to get as far a Kettering, when she over heated - cue steam pouring out of the sides and me panicking that we were just about to blow up!! Called the rescue people who came along and after checking it said that it was because we were low on water, but did not recommend driving it all the way to Devon. Obviously it had not occurred to me that the water needed topping up!!
Had to do an about turn and head back to Cambridge, on the way Gillian managed to find a horse box to hire, but we could not pick it up until later. Got home, dropped the horse box off at the farm, went home & had a drink, then went and picked Gillian up again and set off to pick up the hire box. It was very small, but the horse part was ok. Eventually got to Devon at midnight after a mammoth journey and both of us fell into bed. Next morning after breakfast we set off to Rockley to collect Paddy, who was in the stable when we arrived. He had been out all night and felt it was time for a snooze...

He was not impressed at having his sleep disturbed and oh boy did he let his feelings be known over the next couple of hours!!
He came in from the field this morning hopping lame, which Nic thinks is an abscess so will need to try to draw this out.
Collected all his bits & pieces together and got him ready to travel - then went to put him on the box - he was having none of it, absolutely refused to have anything to do with the box at all, bearing in mind that I have never had a problem loading him, this was quite a shock - 2 1/2 hours it took us to load him - or rather took Gillian & Nic as by this time I was having a complete meltdown in the. corner. 
 He did eventually load & once on, off we set. He was as good as gold to travel and seemed to be pleased to get home.

Having done all my research and spoken to a number of vets, Paddy is booked in for his kissing spine surgery on Friday, so I am not looking forward to trying to get him on the box again, but Gillian said
that I can take Lordy as a companion to make things easier.....fingers crossed!!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Visit to Paddy

I went to see Paddy at Rockley this weekend and on the way I was listening to Simon Mayo & sent in a text - they actually mentioned it!!
Arrived in Devon Friday evening, so went to see him on Saturday and he was looking very chilled out - he is starting to put on some weight but I don't think I will see much change until I can get his back sorted out.
The options are leaving it as it is & just do hacking & low level dressage on him, or get him operated on which will mean a lengthy period of rehab, but the potential to be able to do more as he will have a flexible back again and will be able to build up muscle properly......lots to think about!!

Anyhow, Nic let me ride on of their horses and lead paddy, which was a first for me as I had never led paddy off another horse & the last time I rode & led was when my brother was still on the lead rein, which was a LONG time ago!!

They were all as good as gold & paddy behaved as if he had been doing this all his life - think it helped that the weather was lovely!

After riding I spent some time grooming him and generally cosseting him so he remembered who I am, then returned to the B&B, got changed and headed out for some dinner. 
On the Sunday I went back again to see him and again gave him a groom and lots of cuddles and then turned him out with the others, where he was very happy to munch haylage with Beanie, Julie's horse.

After this I headed home to Cambridge, very sad to leave him & wondering what the future holds for him, knowing that I have some research on kissing spines to do and some big decisions to make!!

Friday, 3 May 2013

More bad news...

I have been discussing the issue of Paddy's weight with Nic, because despite being fed lots of muscle building food, he is not putting on much weight and muscle - now he's never been a fat horse, and has never been particularly well muscled over his back, although when he was in consistent work before he went lame he did have a reasonable amount of topline. We decided that it would be a good idea to get the vet out with a view to scoping him for ulcers, although he has never shown any symptoms of ulcers up to now.

Any way, the vet cam out with her senior partner & they took one look at Paddy and said that they did not think that he had ulcers, and that it was his back that was the problem, so arranged to come back and x-ray his back, which they have now done and here are the results;

Basically they show that he has severe kissing spines and is totally inflexible along the part of the spine that runs underneath the saddle. The vet said that the fact that he does not currently appear to be in much pain suggests that he has had this injury for some time, but he would have been in quite alot of pain in the past.

The vet said that she didn't think it would be worth operating on him, and that he would not be able to jump again, he might be able to do some low level dressage, or just be a hack.

This is devastating news, after all the problems with his feet, to find out that things are even worse than I thought they were. I am going to have to find out about kissing spines and look at what the options are before I make any decisions.

For the time being Nic is going to continue exercising him by leading him off another horse.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Enjoying life at Rockley

Here's my boy, patiently waiting for his tea!!

Obviously enjoying life at Rockley!!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Paddy has attachment issues!!!

After a good nights sleep, we went back to Rockley to see Paddy, do the photos of his feet and to lunge him......well that was the plan anyway!!

Paddy was a good boy for his foot filming and photograph session, however when we took him out to the arena to be lunged he was a complete idiot - not helped by the weather, which was bitterly cold and howling a gale!!

He did his usual wall of death, the took a flying kick at Nic, then reared up - it was at this point that Nic decided that it probably wasn't the best time to be trying this, so took him in again and put his rug on to be turned out into the yard with Felix and Charlie, who are her horses and help to calm new horses.

Their calming influence did not work on Paddy at all and all he wanted was to be with his new best friend Rollo, and basically careered around until Rollo was fetched from the field to be with Paddy. As soon as Rollo was put in with Paddy he settled down - talk about making quick attachments!!

Unhappy Paddy!!
Paddy with his new best friend - happy now!!

Once Paddy had settled down, we said our goodbyes and set off again for home.....It will probably be a few weeks before I can get down to Devon to see him again - I will miss my boy, but am hopeful that this rehab will help his feet so that I will be able to ride him again.

Paddy goes to Rockley...

Well the time for Paddy's trip to Devon arrived, of course the weather in Cambridge & half way across the country was awful - snowing and really bad road conditions & I looked at the forecast for Devon & it was meant to torrential rain - can honestly say I was not looking forward to the drive at all.

I hired a horse box as I was worried that mine would not get us there without breaking down - a nifty little number that was pretty much brand spanking new....Paddy took one look at it and decided that he didn't like it!, after a little persuasion from Nicky (our yard owner) he went on & off we set.

I have to say that he travelled like a dream and the box was like a car to drive. Eventually arrived at Rockley in the afternoon having had to negotiate the smallest roads (not much more than a track) in the lorry - I'm just grateful we did not meet anything coming the other way!!

Once we had arrived, we popped Paddy into his stable and he very quickly settled down to eat, after making friends with his next door neighbour Rollo.

Once we had made sure that Paddy was settled, Gillian and I went off to our B&B to get changed & headed to the pub for a meal and a well deserved glass of wine!!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

5 week update

Paddy has now been barefoot for five weeks now & if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed the changes a hoof can make all on their own!!

The caudal area of his feet has already beefed up a bit and you can see the new angle of hoof growth just below the coronet & this is with only walking round his field for 5 weeks.

Paddy is off to Rockley in a weeks time and whilst I am so glad he's going, I am dreading the drive and will miss him loads. Gillian is coming with me so at least I won't have to drive all that way on my own.

Paddy's feet 5 weeks into barefoot.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Shoes off!!!!

The farrier came to take Paddy's shoes off today in preparation for going to Rockley in a few weeks time. The farrier did not do anything other than removing his shoes and filing round the edge to neaten them a little, he did not take anything off the feet as they will wear down when he starts moving on them.

Paddy's feet just after having his shoes removed.

Paddy's keeping an eye on what the farrier is up to!!!!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The return of the vet.....

The vet came this week to reassess Paddy. We couldn't lunge him because it was snowy everywhere, but did manage to trot him up & again he was a little better, though not sound.

I have done soooooo much reading over the past few weeks about navicular syndrome &barefoot rehab, that I am convinced that this is the way we ought to go with paddy, as remedial shoeing will act like a sticking plaster and he might be sound for a while, but it will do nothing to improve the structure of his foot. Neurectomy is a radical procedure which will affect him significantly, and there is a high chance that the nerve endings will grow back, plus once done, there is no going back.

I talked to the vet about him going barefoot and the fact that I had spoken to Nic Barker at Rockley farm, who thought  that Paddy would be a good candidate for barefoot rehab. I was very surprised that when I presented a very argument for trying barefoot, the vet did say it would be worth giving it a go. Managed to get vet to contact Nic to discuss it, and then Nic spoke to me and said that the vet was open to the idea......PHEW...... Thought I would have a fight on my hands!!!

So Paddy is off to Rockley towards the end of February to start his barefoot rehab....Whoop...Whoop!!

Now that the vet has been, I can arrange for the farrier to take off Paddy's shoes in preparation for going to Rockley.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Vet came back today

So the vet came to review Paddy today - trotted him up & he's less lame, but not sound, so wants Paddy to go back to the clinic so that he can have another injection into the navicular bursa. He will then reassess in 2 weeks time.

Meanwhile Paddy has settled in well and is enjoying life at the new yard. He has a new best friend - Murphy......2 Irish boys together!!