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!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Weekly round up.

Paddy has been mostly a good boy this week - walking him has been a little interesting at times as he has been full of himself  - he will be ok for the most part, then will have a numpty fit at anything just as an excuse - doesn't fill me with confidence about getting on him, though made sure I was wearing my brave pants on Friday Saturday and today, and luckily he behaved himself. Walked him to start off with, then got on him, walked round the barns again, then took him in the school to do some trot work after this I took him for a walk either along the drive or the track on his own. Surprisingly he did not nap on the way out which was great.

His work in trot feels good and it was because of this I contacted a classical instructor to try to arrange a lesson for when I am on annual leave in February as I hope he will be ready by then, plus it will give me 2 weeks to give him some consistent work.

Out for a hack on Saturday;

Schooling on Sunday;

Thinking of 2014......

Was looking at horse dates and got into dreaming about what I would like to do with Paddy over the coming year, ended up on the British Eventing website checking out the BE 80T classes. There's a BE80 at Keysoe in May, and I would love to be able to do it on Paddy, but when I was thinking about it I felt myself getting anxious. The thought of jumping fills me with dread, despite the fact that I have ridden up to intermediate in eventing and done lots of affiliated show jumping and dressage, however this was 20+ years ago and since getting paddy have only jumped him 3 times and that was 15 months ago. So I decided to remind myself  of the jumping that I have done on Paddy;


I bought Paddy to event and sadly though I have owned Paddy for 2 years in April I have only actually been able to ride him for about 6 months, due to all his foot and back problems so I range from optimism to despair frequently.... I have had my hopes dashed so many times over the past year that I keep dreaming plans for him, but then end up stopping myself from having these dreams. Think I need to give myself a good kick up the backside!!

I gave myself a talking to and have decided to at least plan a lesson on him and then go from there......hopefully onwards and upwards!!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Paddy's weight......or lack of it!!

Thought I would post about the difficulties that I have had trying to get paddy to an acceptable weight.

When I first bought him he was underweight and had very little top line, as was clearly told to me by Jenny Pitman, who said he was nearly a welfare case!! She said this about 3 months after I had bought him, and at this point he was actually looking better than he had. I subsequently changed his feed and this, combined with proper work resulted in him looking a lot better, with more top line, however when he went lame in November 2012, his feed was cut, he could not work, and so all his weight and muscle dropped off.

He went to Rockley in march of 2013 and Nic was feeding him plenty of muscle & weight gaining feed, plus ad lib hay, but he was'nt putting on weight at the rate you would have expected, and it was at this point that we decided to scope for ulcers. The vets looked at him & said they did not think he had ulcers, but thought he had a problem with his back & so x rayed him & found he had kissing spine, which meant that he was not able to move his back & therefore not able to build up muscle along his topline.

Since he had operation on his back, his weight and muscle has gradually increased. This I think has been due to him still getting plenty of feed and all the walking in hand that I have been doing.

I currently feed him: 1 scoop oats, 1 scoop cool stance copra, 3cups micronised linseed, salt, magnesium & pro hoof. This is split into 3 feeds per day & seems to be having the desired effect.

He's gone from this in June 2013

To this in December 2013

Side ways view taken in June 2013 whilst still at Rockley 

And in December 2013

What a difference!!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Paddy feeling fresh

So I rode Paddy in his new saddle for the second time since I got it and on the whole he was just about contained. Started off walking him in hand and he was ok, but was looking for any exclude to shy and prat about. Did 10 circuits of the barns with him in the chambon and his Pilates band on and I think he only actually managed to complete about 3 without throwing a hissy fit. By the end he was much calmer so decided to get on. Did a couple more circuits ridden, then took him into the field and rode him round there. I have to say it was like sitting on a time bomb that could go off at any moment. Tried a little trot - he was not showing any signs of soreness,  however he was still explosive and put in an almighty buck!!

I can honestly say that I am not enjoying the idea of riding at the moment - I think Paddy is quite fit and is feeling very well, but unfortunately I can't do much more than walk and a little trot for a while, so there is no way of knocking the wind out of his sails, plus he is getting a fair amount of feed, which he needs in order to maintain his weight. All this combined with the awful weather we are having at the moment means that any consistent work is out of the window. It is times like these that I dream of indoor schools!!

I have a couple of weeks annual leave to take, so am planning on having 2 weeks off at the end of January and beginning of February so I can do some consistent work on him & maybe hire an indoor school or at least a school with fences round then so that I feel safer when I am on him. Plus it will give me the opportunity to get him out & about without the pressure of competition.

The other thing I am going to try out are different calmers. Paddy already gets magnesium in his feed, so any that are magnesium based will be useless, so I am looking at alternatives.

A friend recommended Pro Kalm, which can be used on an as & when basis or as a regular

I bought a trial pack of this which I will try to see if it makes any difference, but want to wait until I can ride him again as the weather this weekend looks like it is horrid again.

Another calmer I might try if the above does not work is a herbal blend

This is one that is fed regularly, rather than on an as & when basis. 
And the last one if all the above don't work is cool calm and collected, which is based on chelated calcium. 
Again this is meant to be fed regularly, and initially you give a loading dose over 5 weeks, then a maintenance dose thereafter.
All of them work out to be a similar cost per day, so it will be interesting to see if any of them actually work on Paddy