Hi Everyone on Horse Forum,
For years I have bumped into this site with various horse related curiosities and learned some invaluable information.
Now that I have dived back into horse ownership, I signed up and have become very fond of some of the Member's Journals.
And I guess, because I love the horse tribe vibe, I am now inviting myself to the party.
I hail from sunny South Africa.
My horse riding style is currently: Captain Plod.
Plod's name is currently Simba. (Any new name suggestions are welcome.) He was a gift horse, and one never looks a gift horse in the mouth... Not one to always leave things up to faith and karma, I did, and upon closer inspection, he is definitely into his 20's - I was told he was 13/14 years old)
He came into my life a year ago, and unfortunately/fortunately so did my second surprise pregnancy, as a result he has enjoyed a full year of being a paddock puff.
His previous owner's brief: He was used for general out rides, tested for endurance and didn't do well with it.(<-still not sure what "not doing well" with it means. A point and shoot kind of horse, fine with farrier, traffic, boxing. Apparently when he was in work he was shod on all 4.
He was in fact terrible with boxing. So that is something we will work on. It was sort of glazed over that he had a accident in a horse box and fell over. Common sense tells me he endured many treatments, injections and stitches to his ear and poll area. So understandably, this is why he is extremely head shy around his ears. Also, something I work on daily. Some days it's a non issue. Other times, if someone else tries to work with him, it's as if we have to start all over again.
Anyway. The poor dude landed up with me. Miss over enthusiastic
He is a pretty little thing at 14.2hh. Pure Boerperd. He has been branded. But without finding his papers I have not found another way to trace him. I do not find a "Simba" on the system.
He is lovely to plod around on. Terrific in traffic. Nice and forward but with a calm and sound mind. (I only had 4 rides on him before I was told not to ride in order to not lose my baby). He only spooked twice and the cute little side step was not an issue for me. After all, he moved 6hrs from the flats of the low veld into the lush, mountainous bush veld. Completely different from his home. Everything
My plan is to start working with him to get him fit and healthy enough to be my hacking buddy. But first, I want to ask your valued opinions on re-starting the oldies.
Is it poor judgement to bring a horse in his 20's back into work? Should I just retire him? Or is hacking in fact okay? When I was younger, if a horse was sound and willing, we did ride them in their early 20's. Then again, also have had to retire a 18 year old horse before. Now that I am older and wiser, I have become uncertain if this is kind to the horse. I understand this is horse specific. But, you know, he is healthy, the farrier and vet give the okay, he was in work before he had his year off and the few times I rode him he was all perked up and excited to go forth into the wilderness. So to speak.
I don't usually doubt myself when it comes to evaluating a horse's capabilities, and I do feel he could benefit from it as he does enjoy adventuring out when I hand walk him. BUTTTTTTT, now that I have become fond of him, I do want to do what's best for him.
The second item I would welcome advice on is this:
Both hind hooves are windswept. The farrier reckons it was due to poor trimming and with time (a year or so more, the hooves aught to correct themselves), he also thought they are "not too bad" and said that it would be perfectly fine to ride him as is, unshod, for hacking. Fine.
That said, I am wondering if it is not just a conformation fault, as from behind those hind legs look a bit bandy legged. They curve a bit inward towards themselves. Like this: ()
I have seen some horses ever so slightly built like this and they were sound and did many miles. But his seems a little "extra". (Or is this my paranoia
I don't find any information on this curving of the hind legs in horses, or anything to do with windswept hooves and conformation (help me find something, perhaps I google it wrong/or perhaps I don't ask the right questions here)
Is it the hoof that affects the limb? Or is it the limbs that affect the hooves? How would you know without access to his history to find out if he was born this way, or if it indeed was just poor farriery and horse shoes that created it? Everything is circumstantial and individual to each horse. I understand this. But why am I struggling to find more write ups on windswept hooves, why is it that it doesn't seem to be something many farriers have dealt with in my country? Has it been given a new term? Or is this just a temporary problem that can be iradicated through farriery?
Perhaps I am being impatient and overly cautious all at the same time. His legs still look bandy, even though the hooves are starting
to improve. The frogs still look pitched over to the right if facing the tail end of the horse.
(I know, upload photos...)
I will do so. Tonight I shall take some.
Anyway. Can't wait to share our adventures or mis-adventures of the horsey kind.