How depressing - we moved the horses to their winter fields today. Its depressing because it doesnt' seem like 2 minutes ago we were moving them to their summer fields - summer in the North East seems to be getting shorter and shorter (and wetter and wetter!).
We have also started using the haylage we have made now as quite a few liveries are now in for winter, and it is lovely stuff - the horses seem to be enjoying it a lot! We don't put haylage into the fields yet, as there is still plenty of grass, but come October, it will be time to get the feeders out to the fields again and then the huge task of supplying hay to all the fields starts - we'll be a bit sick of the sight of the tractor by the end of it!
The new riding prices were also implemented in September, and that all seems to go smoothly - hopefully all our members understand that we need to put a price increase in every couple of years to ensure that the club remains solvent and that we can afford to get the best equipment for everyone and afford to give our staff good training - we still think its very good value for money, and it would seem the BHS would agree as we were recently graded as "highly commended" in our inspection.
Some bad news on the horse front this month though - Timone started to go lame in front around 3 weeks ago, so we booked in in for an examination by the vet. The vet did nerve blocks on his right fore - nerve blocks are where the vet anaesthitises specific areas of the leg in order to diagnose where the lameness is coming from. Timone blocked out to his foot, and then when lunged looked a little unlevel on his left fore. The end result was that we booked him in for x-rays of both front legs to investigate the cause of his lameness. He was x-rayed last week and the x-rays confirmed our suspicions that he had low ringbone. Ringbone is athritis in the joint and in low ringbone cases it is athritis of the coffin joint, which is inside the hoof. Timone had a fairly hard jumping career in Europe before he came to join us and has worked really well with us in the school, so at 15 its no surprise that he has developed some type of athritis.
The prognosis is not brilliant for ringbone - the vet has injected the joint with steroids and he will be ridden in a few weeks to assess his soundness. We're hoping that the medication will make him sound enough that he can work through the winter, then be retired in the Spring and probably put to sleep at the end of next summer as we're not willing to keep going with him if he can't be made comfortable in the field. Hopefully the medication will work, as we don't want him to retire over the winter - we'd rather he could retire and enjoy a nice summer out at grass as a reward for his hard work.
Right, think thats all the updates for just now!