Horsey 2020 review

SOS

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1 February 2016
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803
2020 has been an utter sh*t show and I understand many New Years resolutions and plans were put on hold so we won’t even go there.

But what basic timeline did your horsey year have and was this was you expected?

-I started with 2 horses and a pony.
-The pony made an amazing U turn at the beginning of the year after suddenly going poor last December.
-I decided to sell one horse and give up my hopes of eventing for a few years, so I could save up for a house.
-I then subsequently bought another horse (oops! But he is a dream hunter I had ridden for several years and never imagined would be sold).
-The day before lockdown I sold two horses: unexpectedly one that was out on loan and the one for sale.
-In July we said goodbye to my first pony, as he again took a turn and we knew it was his time. I’m so blessed that easing of restrictions allowed me to be with him and my lovely vet. It was as perfect as could be.
-Restrictions eased, our hunting season began after a summer of hacking with friends.
-Opening meet dream horse broke but will be back next season.

I thought perhaps by the end of this year I would just have the one horse out on loan, and not have the monthly financial impact of a horse. An unexpected but COVID-forced change to a more permanent job role made it possible to have another, and actually I would of struggled without him over summer. We also both moved to a new area!

I never thought I’d temporarily own four this year! I planned to PTS my old boy at the end of summer so it was not a surprise. I never thought I’d get the chance to buy my dream horse. I also really hoped that I wouldn’t end the year with any broken horses but hey-ho.

All I want for next year is for dream horse to come right so we can go have fun again.

SOS X
 

Mule

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27 October 2016
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7,012
Started the year with the beast barefoot to improve his hooves. The farrier and I were hoping it would be permanent but he wasn't comfortable and we couldn't get suitable boots. The shoes went back on in either March or April (I can't remember which). As he had been out of work for 5 months, I brought him back slowly. Then he was diagnosed with asthma :rolleyes: He got a steroid injection and was doing very well, untill it wore off, then he got very bad again. He had lots of investigations done and is now on a maintenance dose of steroids, He is doing very well on those. We had a few months of riding after he got better. We did lots of hacking and improved our dressage. Then he had to have his shoes taken off last month as he needs his yearly break from them :rolleyes: He had a run of bad luck during the year (health wise). In addidtion to asthma, he also had colic, choke and stood on a nail :eek: We were in and out to the vets like yoyos. His steroids are expensive too :(

I have recently been doing group lessons using hired horses. That's been lots of fun as I'm purposely riding horses that are as different to the beast as I can find. The beast is bombproof so i've been riding reactive types, worriers and youngsters. So I'm going to keep doing that until I bring the beast back to work. It's really helping my riding.
 

Trinket12

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20 December 2017
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320
Location
Vancouver, Canada
Started the year with barn lockdown due to Equine herpes. Then just as we were getting back into work, she went lame (check ligament) and then COVID lockdown hit.

But even though it’s been a rough year, my riding has improved a lot since we got back into full work in August. I spent the forced time off watching horse YouTube videos and listening to podcasts. All helped me work on the practical side, but the biggest thing was improving my mindset.

Since I’ve been able to not let the anxiety take hold in a lesson, the outcome has been so much better. Better position, canter has improved a lot as has my jumping (still don’t like doing canter poles though 🤷‍♀️)

Who knows what next year will bring, I’m not setting any goals or expectations. If I can keep up the mindset shift, I’ll be happy with that.
 

Sussexbythesea

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2 July 2009
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6,120
At the beginning of the year I was having the big ginge schooled once a week as he was being a knob in they school. The lockdown came and that stopped. I’ve spent the year happy hacking and thoroughly enjoyed it. Big ginge wasn’t really a happy hacker when I got him but he’s really improved and he’s become a lot less stuffy especially in canter which I hope might transfer back well to the school when I can be bothered. I had planned to try to get some transport together but I can’t see a way of affording it and then doing stuff on top. So lockdown didn’t really affect that.

My 25yr old has started to need more attention to his diet to keep his weight on but apart from a mild colic episode and a scope for a snotty nose he’s (touch wood) doing well being hacked regularly and loving it. Every day I have with him is cherished.

Next year will be much the same unless finances change.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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28 February 2011
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12,119
2020 has been a truly crap year horse wise.

In Feb I lost an unborn foal at 9months. It was the only foal The Wee Coloured Job sired and it was a chestnut filly. The mare had aborted once before, in her only other pregnancy 6 years prior, so she won't ever be put in foal again. She barely survived this. The first abortion was due to an infection this second one was for absolutely no reason other than the mares body rejected it.

At the end of March I lost my beautiful big Hocamaffe. Jeff had had 12 years of happy retirement with me from racing. When I held onto his head 16 odd years ago at Huntingdon when he was seriously injured promising to look after him to the very end I thought it would be 10mins later not 16 years. I wouldn't change those 16 years for the world and I would never break that promise to him.

In May I lost my lovely old grey Shetland, Flint. He was 30yo and looked amazing
He choked and the vets couldn't fix it - they made it worse. I seriously regret taking him there and wish I had carried on down to the Dick vet where I have no doubt I would still have him now.

Pip's had her foal but he was born a dummy. Only a mild one and no offence but a 12 hour shetland foal is not worth the £3k plus vets fees they wanted to charge to even have a look at him. They wouldn't come out - said we had to take the mare and foal in to them and leave them there for a minimum of 3 days at a cost of £950-1100 a day not including drugs. He wasn't comatose on the floor, he could get up, down, fall over, stottr about, feed when he was taught how to every time he woke up and so no vet saw him. It was day I would say he was fully 100% with it and a normal foal. And now, 6 months down the line he is a bit of a disapointment in all honesty. Given his parents he should be a strapping great big lad, broad, thick legged and a proper big shetland. Instead he is small and quite mediocre. Don't get me wrong he is a total sweetheart with a huge character and he will make someone a fantastic pony in a few years but he is a far, far cry from what we expected of that pairing.

I did get on the Welsh Cob for a bit in summer but then it just got too wet to carry on as I have no where to ride but the fields they live in. He is 11yo, about to turn 12 and is as green as the day he was backed as a 5yo because I haven't had the time to do anything with him until this year (2 jobs and far too many animals didn't make it easy to give him the time and work he needed)

Gray is now fully retired due to melonomas. He is getting more and they are the ones I can see. So whilst he is still being an absolute moron that looks fantastic he will be sticking around as a very very pretty field bum.

2 of my Shetland geldings have gone out on loan. No point in them bumming round here doing nothing when they could go off and do a job.

The rest are doing nothing because there is nothing to do. No shows to go to and none looking likely on the horizon any time soon because of their nature. A few shows did go ahead run by people who ignored all government rules and guidelines but there was no way in hell I was going to go to them! The one that did run locally to me that was well within the guidelines I was working that day.

Racing wise it has been very weird with no crowds, no owners etc at the races. Don't get me wrong not having to queue to get in and out has been absolute bliss but there has been no atmosphere what so ever!

One of my work horses broke on Jan 3rd and so was retired from racing. He went to a lovely home up north but sadly died a few months later for absolutely no reason what so ever (no pm but bloods taken etc.) So that well and truly sucked. I know he wasn't mine but he had been my wee pocket rocket for 4 years and had been placed at all the festivals he went to. He was a proper little super star.

Here's hoping 2021 will return to some sort of nornality.
 

millikins

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7 March 2011
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2,778
Mixed bag for me.
Feb, my beloved little driving mare went down with lami for the 3rd time, no obvious trigger her x rays were never terrible but we couldn't get her pain under proper long term control so in Sept I said goodbye.
March, the connie (21) went "off" ridden, I'd even decided I was brave enough to do a hunter trial on him, he's fast and strong, daughter's ex PC pony. Not bad enough for a vet call out in lockdown so I've walked miles with him on long reins before working out it's the saddle. He's now happy in his old one, only one he's ever really liked and it wasn't even bought for him. So I'll now be in the daft situation of paying a saddler to repair all the bits that are falling off a saddle probably worth £80.
Daughter had a horrible fall when the Dales mare put her foot in a hole and fell. Badly broken collar bone and at least 3 months off so decided to put the mare in foal, all seems to be going well on that front.
Bought the 2 Shetlands in Nov, didn't really want both but it sealed the deal on the more desirable one. But the BOGOF is an absolute superstar, incredibly easy and likeable pony. The one I wanted is prettier but has a lot of attitude.
I finally made up my mind to sell the Land Rover, then we had lockdown so no one can view it :( I really didn't want it to spend another winter sat outside with little use.
And of course it's all such hard work with no shows to aim for but I feel quietly optimistic for 2021.
 

Bernster

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14 August 2011
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6,558
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London
What a year huh. I like the idea of a timeline but am sorry to read that not only has COVID and lock down hit but that folks have had to deal with other sad events too. I really hope things improve!

Jan didn’t start well although we did have a good day out hunting but finnegan got cellulitis a few days after (not sure if connected) which took a few weeks and vet visits to clear. Thankfully not had another bout since then 🤞.

Moved yards in March time although that did not work out, then lock down came with all the disruption that that brought. That yard was very strict so I didn’t do much for a while.

Then some investigations for finnegan which took a few months to sort through, but nothing found other than his melanoma bothering him a bit so I made some adjustments to his tack and ridden work to keep him comfortable and hopefully ticking along for a good while yet.

Partly that and partly COVID madness got me thinking about a 2nd horse and, as luck would have it, the stars aligned, and my horsey network (via Aus!) connected me to Penny, who I got on lwvtb in Oct. moved to a new yard shortly after which seems to be a good move which is a huge relief.

COVID etc has meant limited outings etc but I’ve been able to train at home for a lot of the year, not that it’s helped me much as don’t feel like I’ve progressed tbh. But I’m enjoying spending time with both horses, and they involve different things riding wise which is proving challenging but in a good way.

As the days get brighter, the weather improves and hopefully an effective vaccine gets rolled out, I really hope for better times for everyone!
 

Rosietaz

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7 December 2017
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895
2020:
I got back into riding properly after letting my previous job overtake my life for the past 3 years (I did pootle about but nowhere near as much as I should have!) I realised how shit I’ve become in the meantime so spent/spending a lot of time working on that 🤣 (note to self, I really need to work on my own fitness!)
Managed to get my youngster out to a couple of inhand shows, and he did fairly well in the second one (I’m very happy considering he’d just gone through a skinny gangly stage! And he has manners to die for). I’m getting to that point where I feel more relaxed going into the ring now which is nice!
Went to a favourite sponsored ride of mine, boy was abit hot and extremely strong but managed to jump the hedges of doom that I’ve been chickening out of forever.

BUT, this year I’ve had a few less good horsey “firsts”.
First colic. First laser treatment (wart removed from his mouth). First emergency call out after horse ate something silly which cut the laser wound (so much blood).
First time dealing with staples. (Cut his fetlock whilst adventuring through a hedge!)
Got to say I’m getting pretty good at bandaging (below is my “sunset Ombré masterpiece) ! I was hoping he’d be back out by now but after a setback with the healing I don’t think I’ll be putting him back out for another week at least. He’s taking barn rest well though considering! Extremely pampered.
However, I’m very very grateful that they are all still here! (Even if they burn holes in my pockets! Do you think I can buy shares in the vets?).
Onwards and upwards!
 

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Kamikaze

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1 June 2007
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Done roughly nothing this year.

Started ok. Then I spent a few months in and out of hospital. Decided to take his shoes off while I was in and the start of covid. Didnt realise how sore he was in his feet till I got home. Shoes back on but took a while for the damage to grow out.

Spent a lovely summer and start of autumn hacking. Was perfect and such a good time just me and him having some lovely canters.

Did one dressage test at end of summer. Just for the day out. At a new venue and he was brilliant. No plans to get back competing but was just nice.

He then dumped me which was totally out of character. Dumped me again a couple of weeks later. Saddler picked up slight lameness. Vet same day and very slightly lame. Rest, got back on and he dumped me again. More investigations and bad arthritis in both hocks. Hocks treated but still not right. Currently 2.5 weeks in to ulcer treatment. However I’m not convinced we have found the full picture.

I have no idea what future holds. I desperately want to hack him again. But if I can’t I can’t. It would be nice though to have some time when we are both well at same time!
 

SpottyTB

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15 August 2010
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4,561
Location
Cornwall
Started the year with 3, hopefully ending the year with 3.

At the beginning of 2020, I had two of my horses at a yard which I thought was going to be amazing but ended up being awful. I had a 2yo and a 7yo both cooped up with no turnout for weeks and weeks - despite my every effort to persuade the farmer to allow us extra grazing. I rode once a week if that, and basically offered to give my beautiful horse away to my instructor.

In March we made the decision to get out before too much damage was done (both to the horses and us). We moved 5 mins up the road and ever since I have been riding a minimum of 4 days a week, 6 in the summer. BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE.

In April my horse got an awful field injury where he removed the skin from the back of his knee. 16 weeks later, after two very close calls, I was back on board.

By the end of August we went to our first dressage competition, and I competed for the following 6 weekends at dressage, show jumping or Cross country. I managed to cram in loads and almost every time we came home with a frilly.

Since then we have been pretty much consistently hacking out and schooling at home 4/5 times a week.. only
Stopping for a few tummy flare ups and a swollen tendon!

What a year makes! Nearly losing my chap made me finally realise that I need to stop caring what people think and get him out there.

I am so proud of what we’ve achieved this year considering all the highs and lows. No idea what next year holds but maybe some BE.
 

catembi

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12 March 2005
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N Beds
Started the year with 4. Still have 4. Cody has PSSM type 1 and 2, n/p1, n/p3 & px/px & is now retired at 7 as he collapses without warning when ridden, last time 3.5 minutes in, in walk, & it was so fast that he landed on my leg & I was trapped. I was riding my 12hh NF companion mare that I backed myself (I am small & light), started taking her out n about to dressage & pole work clinics, taught her to jump, she went v spooky & reluctant to work & so I got her tested - n/p4 which is a tricky variant. Retired at 5. I did try riding my Shetland but she is simply tooooooo small, even for me. So it's back to Trev the doddery ex racer who had unsuccessful ks surgery in 2015. This year I got my second stable block, my arena & my hardstanding turnout, but all I am doing with my facilities is 20 minutes in walk a day with Trev as that's all he wants to do (if that), & my lorry only goes somewhere when it's being repaired. (Cody kindly grated his teeth on windscreen & bonnet.)

I am saving up for horse no 5 - aiming for spring 2021.
 

SEL

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25 February 2016
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Buckinghamshire
Hmmm 2020 started innocently enough with me telling my instructor I needed to have a break from lessons until March due to work and looking after my own horses. Still not picked up lessons again!

And then the vet bills started. 2 rounds of antibiotics for mud fever, then the Appy went off to hospital and had her SI injected. Kicked off rehab with fortnightly physio before lock down hit and it was about then I think she stuffed something in her foreleg but I was too focussed on hind end to spot it. Big boy was horrendously lame but vets were emergency only and it took a week for the abscess to blow taking off half his hoof.

Around April I offered to take on a 13h pony from a lady I knew who couldn't keep her but was struggling to sell in lockdown. Pony had been out with her foal and i thought it would be a quick project to fitten her up and find her a home.

The gods of vet bills thought otherwise. What I started thinking was just general unfitness turned into a vet investigation and finally a hobday operation and soft palate cauterization. Just finished box rest and sadly it looks like the cauterization hasn't worked.

So I started the year with 2 broken horses and finished with 3 😢 Plus more antibiotics for mud fever 😢😢
 

kathantoinette

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21 November 2011
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703
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East Yorkshire
Started 2020 admitting that fact that current horse was not going to be my dream maker. Started the dreaded task of horse hunting...found the one end of March but had to put the sale on hold until May due to Covid.
Sold original horse in June, hard but had to be done.
Currently having the time of my life with new horse, settled so well, do I g that we can in between lockdowns, can’t wait for 2021 dream making 😊
 

milliepops

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26 July 2008
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22,314
Hmmm 2020 started innocently enough with me telling my instructor I needed to have a break from lessons until March due to work and looking after my own horses. Still not picked up lessons again!

And then the vet bills started. 2 rounds of antibiotics for mud fever, then the Appy went off to hospital and had her SI injected. Kicked off rehab with fortnightly physio before lock down hit and it was about then I think she stuffed something in her foreleg but I was too focussed on hind end to spot it. Big boy was horrendously lame but vets were emergency only and it took a week for the abscess to blow taking off half his hoof.

Around April I offered to take on a 13h pony from a lady I knew who couldn't keep her but was struggling to sell in lockdown. Pony had been out with her foal and i thought it would be a quick project to fitten her up and find her a home.

The gods of vet bills thought otherwise. What I started thinking was just general unfitness turned into a vet investigation and finally a hobday operation and soft palate cauterization. Just finished box rest and sadly it looks like the cauterization hasn't worked.

So I started the year with 2 broken horses and finished with 3 😢 Plus more antibiotics for mud fever 😢😢
Liking in sympathy, SEL 😭
 

Winters100

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18 April 2015
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Started 2020 with 2 lovely horses and (hopefully) ending with 3. In between we have had 2 teeth removed from one, allergies showing up for another, and a chunk of time off due to covid restrictions, broken hand plus complications.... but they are all kind and wonderful, all back in work now, and rehab treatment on my hand has worked miracles, so we have a lot to be thankful for. I rode them all today and left the yard thinking how very lucky I am to have them. They are all quite different, from my schoolmistress who I bought 2 years ago to get my confidence back, to my speedier one who I bought for some fun once schoolmistress had replaced my confidence, to my lovely dependable 'new' boy who is brave as a lion when ridden but turns into a quivering wreck when the vet's car pulls up. I would not change anything about any of them, and all have a home for life with me. It has been a long haul to get my love of riding back, 2.5 years since I sold a super horse who was talented, wonderful, but just not for me, and I owe it all to my lovely mare who has not put a foot wrong in 2 years.
 

millikins

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7 March 2011
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2,778
Hmmm 2020 started innocently enough with me telling my instructor I needed to have a break from lessons until March due to work and looking after my own horses. Still not picked up lessons again!

And then the vet bills started. 2 rounds of antibiotics for mud fever, then the Appy went off to hospital and had her SI injected. Kicked off rehab with fortnightly physio before lock down hit and it was about then I think she stuffed something in her foreleg but I was too focussed on hind end to spot it. Big boy was horrendously lame but vets were emergency only and it took a week for the abscess to blow taking off half his hoof.

Around April I offered to take on a 13h pony from a lady I knew who couldn't keep her but was struggling to sell in lockdown. Pony had been out with her foal and i thought it would be a quick project to fitten her up and find her a home.

The gods of vet bills thought otherwise. What I started thinking was just general unfitness turned into a vet investigation and finally a hobday operation and soft palate cauterization. Just finished box rest and sadly it looks like the cauterization hasn't worked.

So I started the year with 2 broken horses and finished with 3 😢 Plus more antibiotics for mud fever 😢😢
That's rubbish SEL, hope 2021 gets better.
 

Winters100

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18 April 2015
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1,384
Started 2020 admitting that fact that current horse was not going to be my dream maker. Started the dreaded task of horse hunting...found the one end of March but had to put the sale on hold until May due to Covid.
Sold original horse in June, hard but had to be done.
Currently having the time of my life with new horse, settled so well, do I g that we can in between lockdowns, can’t wait for 2021 dream making 😊
Really lovely. It is very hard to admit that a horse is just not a good fit, and even harder to go through the process of selling and finding a replacement. Congratulations for facing it head on and doing what you needed to, and may you have many happy years ahead with your current horse.
 

exracehorse

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24 December 2011
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1,190
Ok. Started off with four. Lightly backed the ginger witch three year old in May during lockdown all by myself. Bought a trailer and actually done some summer fun things. Took Joker out to some long distance rides which were amazing. Done XC for the first time since I was 14. I’m 52. Had no money during lockdown as I’m a cleaner. But got a fab tan. Broke my hand in July. Badly. Friend passed away from cancer and I took her little elderly horse, who my daughter used to own many years ago. Fields flooded. Have no money as lost half my clients. Lost my mojo at riding. Feeling tired all the time.
 

Spotherisk

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15 September 2018
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Dartmoor, Devon
Started with three, finishing with two. Tinner was put down in February age 10, chronic issues. He didn’t travel and wouldn’t stable alone and with a move to house and land together we didn’t have a stable block or barn anyway - his lack of work and general health issues meant I would need help with him but we had a full vet check and was told he wouldn’t ever come sound enough to even hack around the block. I tougher it out for about another month, Tinner was trace clipped, naked with a muzzle in and still gained weight, then was getting abscesses. I was and still am absolutely broken over the whole thing.

I got a loan mare, she didn’t work out at all, my two geldings didn’t settle with her, I didn’t settle with her, she went home pretty quick. None of this was her fault at all.

so I have two now, Harley is 28 and retired,although I had a couple of short rides on him this summer which we both enjoyed, and his companion Smurf is six I think. They are paddock ornaments.

OH bought me vouchers for a riding school that I’ve been eyeing up, so I will start riding again and see if I enjoy it or not. I have a feeling that I might not ever have another riding horse and that’s okay, I might just enjoy my riding without the stress and strain of ownership, or I might be offered the perfect gelding tomorrow.
 

millikins

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7 March 2011
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Ok. Started off with four. Lightly backed the ginger witch three year old in May during lockdown all by myself. Bought a trailer and actually done some summer fun things. Took Joker out to some long distance rides which were amazing. Done XC for the first time since I was 14. I’m 52. Had no money during lockdown as I’m a cleaner. But got a fab tan. Broke my hand in July. Badly. Friend passed away from cancer and I took her little elderly horse, who my daughter used to own many years ago. Fields flooded. Have no money as lost half my clients. Lost my mojo at riding. Feeling tired all the time.
That sounds very tough, i hope things improve in 2021. I know it won't help much but it will get a little easier as the days get longer. Do you take vit D supplements? Deficiency in vit D can lead to fatigue, very common in this country and especially this time of year.
 

Abi90

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20 February 2007
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1,779
Started with one and finished with 1.5 although briefly it looked like it was going to be 0.

Started 2020 with Rosie acting out of character. Full work up found quite severe ringbone and vets were very skeptical but she was sound despite the x-rays. Second saddle fitter later and the behaviour stopped, so found the problem.

COVID ruined all plans so decided to put her in foal to a lovely showjumping stallion. That was emotional but got there in the end. She’s now halfway through cooking the foal.

Managed to get 4 months of riding done. Mastered hacking alone (me not the horse, she’s was always fine just a bit spooky), went XC for the first time and ended the year on our first competitive 90cm and placed. Ended the year with a horse that knows all the moves for elementary and can jump a metre course at home, all whilst pregnant with a dodgy foot.

My plans for next year are to get to 2 horses safely. Foal pics will be shared, of course, provided everything goes well
 

Lindylouanne

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2 November 2013
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On the edge of the Cotswolds
2020 has been the busiest year for getting out and about despite Covid although it hasn’t been without the usual ups and downs and vets bills.

DP as usual was a nightmare during the summer due to his EMS, not his fault but managing him on a horse sick field of short rye grass doesn’t help even with a muzzle. B started to slow down a bit, wasn’t laying down as much as he used to and was taking time to warm up so he had a full workup and hock arthritis was diagnosed. A course of Cartrophen later and physio and he has been fine until yesterday. He is now lame on his worse hind and I’m hoping it’s just a mud tweak so he is on box rest with daily in hand walks and will have a vet visit if it doesn’t come right.

Had some cracking rides during the summer though, we went to Adam Henson’s 3 times and with so few people about it was like riding on a private estate. A trip to the gallops which I was a bit apprehensive about as last outing ended up with me flying over the top of DP’s head due to some rather exuberant bucking. Thankfully he was perfectly behaved this time out and I really enjoyed it. A visit to Eastleach near Burford for a lovley self guided ride in the heart of the Cotswolds, DP went swimming and I took B to a XC clinic. I generally don’t jump anymore but felt the need to have a go and chose the coldest wettest day in November on a freshly fully clipped pony. All I will say is it was cold, fun and I didn’t fall off.

Highlight of my summer was having the lovely TFF visit for a weekend with the equally lovely B Fuzzy. We rode out on the afternoon they arrived and went to Adam Henson’s on the Saturday before they departed all to soon on the Sunday.

The year has ended with both ponies off the road as DP was very sore in the back and having had the physio to put it right I am now waiting for the saddler to visit in early January before getting back on board.
 
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