Saturday 26 December 2015

Season's Greetings

As the sun comes up on the Newmarket heath it reminds me why I chose this life. Horse racing is not a job, it's a lifestyle. It is not a game you play once in a while: when you're in it, you're in it. And I love it!
On Christmas' Eve it feels like the world slows down just for a little bit and that is great, it brings back childhood memories. But by Boxing Day it's all systems go again.
As a trainer I focus and I think forward, ammunition for 2016 is key. First step, fill up every box at Saint Wendred's , that is my goal that I'm always working on whilst getting some runners ready to debut on the All - Weather.
At the same time getting the yearlings ready to slot into their 2 year-old regime. It's exciting. 
The unseasonably warm weather makes the high tech heated insoles from Santa unnecessary at the moment. Great!  The days are getting longer as well, kind of :) 

From our family to yours I wish all readers Peace & Prosperity  

Thursday 17 December 2015

Yearling season

Every new arrival at Saint Wendred's gets their teeth checked right away, regardless of age. This time of the year all trainers are busy getting "their babies" going and cantering on the heath.
So, before bitting a horse, it's best to get their teeth done. Youngsters often have sharp points needing to be smoothed, and wolf teeth that may need to be extracted. The key is that you don't want them associating anything unpleasant or painful with having a bit in their mouth. This is why I like to tick this box before we do any serious lunging and long lining with them. It just makes it so much easier in the long run to avoid creating a potential problem.
In the above picture you see one of "my" yearlings being examined after having been sedated (it makes everyone's life easier this way).
Below is a picture of the same filly, who arrived at Saint Wendred's straight from the field with marked buccal cuts. This is not an uncommon occurrence and shows how important it is to keep on to of racehorses teeth (any for that matter).

Friday 4 December 2015

Farrier Friday

Wow, the wonderful time of the year, turned into the manic time of the year, and, before you know it: no blogposts in November.... I'll have to work on that one!

The next few weeks I will be focusing on feet, because as most of you have probably heard the saying: "No hoof, No horse" there is nothing more true than that.

As a trainer and vet you need to really build a good relationship with your farrier. Things need to be  discussed for every individual. As Erasmus said a very long time ago: "Praestat cautela quam medela".

Foot balance is everything in the equine athlete. Sometimes it takes us months to get the feet "right" or as close as possible.
Every equestrian discipline has it's own specific challenges and it's always an ongoing process to keep on top of things, there are so many different factors (multifactorial) that play into it e.g. the weather, the surface, the genetic disposition, nutrition and the day to day care.
Below is a picture of different shoes used for racehorses, so plenty to talk about on the Friday to come :)

Last but not least, never hang a horse like on that board, the opening should be facing up!