A Day in the Life of the Cotswold Horse Whisperers, 5

September 2009

We recently had our vet inspection for our Riding Schools Licence. It was one of those “summer” days we’ve been having recently, with torrential rain that started sometime in the middle of the night, and looked set in for the day. Everything looked tatty, and the horses were miserable. I was due to be alone for the day, too, with Marley, but the receptionist had assured me that I wouldn’t need any help, as the horses wouldn’t need trotting up or anything. In the event, Adam’s appointment was cancelled – due to the horrible weather – otherwise the difficult morning would have been impossible.

The vet arrived when the rain was coming down so hard that he didn’t even want to get out of his car, but when it had eased just a little bit we got started. It hadn’t occurred to me that he would want to inspect their eyes, so my plan of having all the horses he was checking conveniently in the yard was already scuppered, not least of all because they were all looking so bedraggled. He also wanted me to trot them up across the gravel yard but I kept to the rubber matting. They’ve all got pretty good feet, but it seemed like the better idea. At least he wasn’t fazed by the lack of shoes!

Cobweb, at 33 years old, had a little retinal scarring, but was passed fit for work, so he can continue to do his small bits of consultancy work on the clinics. Sensi also had a little scarring on one retina, and at 22 is also not a youngster, but was passed. It’s possible they have been exposed to the leptospirosis bacterium which can be present in any untreated water, and they drink from a stream here. Amber behaved like she had never been handled before, and quivered and shook when the vet inspected her, hardly giving the impression of a reliable school pony, in spite of the fact that she has proved to be fantastic when we occasionally use her on the clinics. Finn, the Exmoor, who I thought would be tricky, stood like a rock and behaved like a perfect child’s pony, although he’s usually only ever ridden by adults.

The vet then checked the tack, and although the semi-treed saddles we use don’t really respond to traditional testing for broken trees, he still did it on each of them. He checked all the reins and all the stirrups, and it took me a while to realise that he felt the need to check all of the stitching. It was at this point that I finally felt a little offended, at the suggestion that we might use faulty equipment! But the ordeal ended with no issues, and that’s it for another year.

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