Tuesday, February 21, 2017

21st February, 2017 Eyes Wide Open

Friend and client Sarah B has been having a torrid time with her horse, Jazmine, who has been in at The Barn for a month, following a fairly innocuous bump on her eye...


Fortunately Sarah had the common sense to know that she should call the vet because in no time at all things became very serious. Jazmine had uveitis caused by an infection in her eye.


This required a mesh cover over her injured eye so that it wouldn't let in too much light and would protect the eye...


...with her other eye uncovered.


Most of her medicine has been delivered by a fixed catheter but occasionally it has blocked or she has knocked it off when rubbing. This has necessitated the drops being applied manually and over time she has become more and more stressed about this taking place. Not only that, but Sarah will need to be able to put the drops in herself when she eventually takes Jazmine home.


At this distance, and with clicker training just started, she will keep her eye open...


...but get any nearer and she slams it shut and moves her head around to avoid it being done...meaning that her eyelids have to be prised apart. On day two of clicker training we were able to make this a lot easier and with practise hope that she will accept it, even if she doesn't look forward to it.


Resting her had on Sarah's shoulder seems to give her some comfort too.


Just to add to Sarah's woes, Jazmine's recent gastroscope didn't look too pretty and once she has recovered from this set of treatment, the vets are going to investigate what might be behind this problem. Until she went on to box rest, Jazmine had been living out full time. The question is whether the painkillers and antibiotics for the current problem have brought about the reaction in her stomach. If not, what? Life is definitely not fair when someone as conscientious and hard working as Sarah has to face all these problems with her horse who is in the prime of her life, and looks fit and healthy in every other respect.


Pie seems to think that we can't see him...


...and although he looks like a chimney sweep, he's come through the winter well.


Monday, February 20, 2017

20th February, 2017 Fat Bottomed Girls...


The dog was squeaking with anticipation this morning before we set off, and so was I...


...Vitamin and Vervaine are both Percherons, belonging to the McDermott and Kershaw family...


...and with just two days to go before they set off for a ploughing event in Northern Ireland, we were taking them out for some of their regular exercise. Out of the garden gate...


...and up the track to Breamore Downs.


Lorraine wore a colour co-ordinated fleece and jacket in her role as co-groom...






On our way back...



...and a chat about the benefits of curly grey hair.


...and back to the yard to be with the spotty ponies.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

18th February, 2017 In Our Hay Day


We've got away lightly with our hay bill this winter, even with our grazing shared with half the deer population of the New Forest!

The wild ponies have only been coming back a few times over the last few weeks, and even then they aren't getting much.


We put hay out today simply to allow us to get the trailer in and out of the field without them raiding the fields.


Not just horses...some cows seem to think they need extra foliage and forage.

Friday, February 17, 2017

17th February, 2017 Having a Lie In



Henrietta is a clever little soul. She has worked out that if she goes under the gate she can steal Petra's food without being shoved off.


She's as keen as ever to get into the trailer - I'm just not so sure I want to be in there with her.


The outsiders came back today. I sat down in the sunshine with my back to a tree and watched them.


'Exmoor' who is not mine, has the very best ears...


...and honoured me by lying down close to me and falling asleep...


...she wasn't the only one. I don't have a name for this girls but she was soon snoring away too.


IF that is a foal in there, it is probably by Applewitch Diversity and likely to be a bright bay just like him or Nelly. I have been thinking of foal names which is pretty sad! I shall be keeping him or her whatever she has and they will live out their life on the Forest.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

16th February, 2017 Goodbye Sam


Interesting creatures about outside the fields when I arrived today...


...and then off to my last appointment with Sam. With half term next week, and his owner on holiday, we were due to stop this week anyway. Just time for a farewell kiss and a sploosh in the water splash with Lorraine who accompanied me today.


What a good Connemara pony, straight into the water, without batting an eyelid.


On the way back we watched them loading a few flowers at the flower farm.


Yvonne and Sammy also gave me a bouquet of flowers which were just like a ray of sunshine.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

15th February, 2017 Egypt Equine Aid

I have recently has my attention drawn to the amazing and critical work done by an organisation called, Egypt Equine Aid, which as its name suggests is based in Egypt. Although everything is far from perfect for horses in the UK, most horses have a very pleasant and easy life here. Beatrice Hearne, who lives in Devon, has very kindly sent me a guest blog telling us about the work of the organisation and her recent visit to Abusir with her daughter. Normally I support equine charities in the United Kingdom, and will be sending them the donations from my recent telephone clinics, but if you have any spare cash this month, please sent it to Egypt Equine Aid through their Facebook page: Egypt Equine Aid Facebook Page

Beatrice says:

We have supported Egypt Equine Aid for some time now, having been active in pony rescue on our small farm in Devon. When our daughter decided to have an animal welfare gap year before university, she included several weeks volunteering with EEA. It's a free vet clinic near Giza, offering veterinary treatment and respite care for working equines in the farming and tourist areas around the Great Pyramids. I decided to tag along with her for the first two weeks to check out where our monthly donations were going.


Life in Egypt is very tough for people and animals, more so since the revolution in 2011. The economy is weak and tourism dramatically reduced due to political unrest.
EEA was founded in July 2014 by an Australian couple in response to their own experience volunteering  for a local equine charity. The work of the small team falls into three main areas; in-patients in the clinic, capacity of about 30 at any one time; out-patients, meaning walk-in cases that can be treated and sent on their way; and education work in the Pyramid area for owners of the horses.

The clinic is a rented compound in Abu Dir, a peaceful oasis away from their harsh working lives in the hustle bustle of the area called Nazlet surrounding the Pyramids.


Horses and donkeys are used for pulling farmers' produce carts, for tourist carriages, and for tourist and owner rides on the desert. The issues arise because they are used for work from a very early age, often before they are even a year old, with little rest and poor feeding. They work on roads, busy with all kinds of motorised vehicles, in summer temperatures often over 40c, tied up on sidewalks for the night, poor food, and usually minimal veterinary care due to poverty and ignorance. Hence the need for EEA is great.


The Charity team encourage owners to bring their equines into the clinic for treatment and rest. The in-patient work is supported by a resident vet, often student vets, local grooms, and international volunteers, managed by co-founder Jill Barton.




The facilities include stables, open sand maneges (pens) a basic treatment area/wash room, and visitor accommodation. To date more than 2500 equines have been treated in the clinic, more than 300 as in-patients, for a range of problems including colic, wounds, abcesses, respiratory ailments, joint infections, worms, prolapses and poor shoeing all usually compounded by poor nutrition and terrible tack. The goal is to return them to pain free working lives with educated owners. Very occasionally patients are transferred to new owners if their working lives are over.  Four horses and a donkey recently started new lives as therapy equines for human patients at a hospital in Cairo.  The long term goal for EEA is to have a proper equine hospital serving the area.


More to follow about the out patients and the Pyramid horses
Bea Hearne  February 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

14th February, 2017 Donald, Duck


A lovely early morning date, not just with Amanda, but my Valentine, Donald. I can confirm that at no time did he trump...thank goodness.


We had a lovely drive around Standing Hat from Tilery Road, at Brockenhurst. Donald is pretty unfazed by anything including flying bicycles and dogs.


Amanda and I had quite a chat and decided that the reason why I needed to stop was because I am not a duck, things that bother me don't just run off my back.