The Signs of Good Health

When I’m fit and well I’m a nosey sort of chap, my head’s always over the door and I can’t help but poke my nose into visitors and their pockets.
I’m so alert; my ears are pricked with big bright eyes free of discharge and never sticky or gloopy, but sometimes a little runny if I’ve been standing out in the wind.

I’m just about the right weight for my size. I have a good covering of flesh without being fat, which is really important if I’m to stay healthy.
My skin is supple and smooth, and when mum strokes me little ripples appear across me.
My coat gleams and shines – that is until I find a nice mucky puddle to have a good roll in!

I’m standing quite happily balanced on all 4 legs, but i do enjoy resting a back leg sometimes – usually pre-snooze, but never a foreleg.
My legs are always at their best when they are cool, free from heat, pain and swelling. That way mum knows that I’m sound, taking even and free stepa.
I have my feet checked over every morning and evening, to ensure that the hoof walls are cool – no hot spots or excessive cracks, and they’re always trimmed regularly.
My frogs are clean and dry without being wiffy or any black discharge.

I look forward to breakfast, i love my food and clear my bowl straight away, although my pal next door is really slow to finish his, but for him that’s normal as we’re all different.

I generally enjoy a poo after breakfast, when I’m stabled and munching hay my poo is yellow – brown, but after a munch on some grass it goes a dark green – brown, bizarre I know but mum tells me that’s normal.

I pass water around 4-6 times a day passing 5-15 litres in total.
I generally wait until I’m over deep bedding or a spot of lush grass as I’m not keen on it splashing back up at me.

My optimum temperature is 38’c
My pulse should be between 25-42 beats per minute unless that sexy filly from across the yard walks past and then it races!
My breathing races too but should be between 8-16 breaths per minute.

We are obviously all different and it’s important that the people who handle us on a regular basis get to know our own individual traits and habits.
For example the mare over the yard from me does pull some funny faces – ears back and all sorts! But apparently that’s normal for her.

Looking back on 2012 at College Farm.

Like everyone else we’ve had highs and lows in 2012. It’s been a fairly peaceful year and despite a few calamities, it’s been a very successful one! Markham Sultan (Pedro) and I have had a successful year competing at Prix St George, with lots if 1sts and a nice 3rd in the recent International Premier League show. We’re hoping to progress to Grand Prix towards the end of 2013 if all goes according to plan.

One of the highs of 2012, for everyone probably, has been the London Olympics. What a wonderful year for sport in general, but for British Dressage it has been spectacular! It’s been an amazing boost for our sport and when I say what I do, people now smile in recognition and say ‘yes, the dancing horses’!

We continue with our rescue work, this year we have rescued 4 ponies from a life of misery. They were all underweight and seriously neglected and are now blossoming, thanks to the help and support given by my many friends and long suffering family! Our hedgehog colony grows year by year, currently in residence in the kitchen is Mr. Pickles, Joe, my spaniel, found him earlier in the year and brought him into the kitchen! He was seriously underweight, weighing just 320 grams (they need to be around 450 grams to survive winter hibernation) he now weighs 425 grams, but he’ll stay with us for the winter and then we’ll release him into the garden along with the other 6 we released into the garden earlier this year!

Happy Christmas and a very happy new year to all my friends, colleagues and clients.

Vikki

Developing Lateral Work for the Coach & Rider

British Dressage Northern Region

Developing Lateral Work for the Coach & Rider
Jane Peberdy
Brooksby College, Brooksby, Melton Mowbry, LE14 2LJ
Thursday 17th January 2013
2pm – 4:30pm

About the training:

This will be an opportunity to observe Jane coaching riders through the variety of lateral movements required in the dressage arena. From Leg Yield, Shoulder in, Travers, Half Pass and Pirouettes. Participants will gain an understanding of the aims of each movement, how they should be executed and the effect of the rider.

This will be an interactive session open to all coaches and riders alike. Read more