The Horse God decided to set us a test yesterday (unfortunately an expensive one for the owner of the car) to make sure that Nicola Chamberlain, a good friend of Sandra's and I could work together with Sandra before starting on a horse.
On the way into the yard, Nicola's car hit a nasty low wall at the side of the drive instantly splitting one of her tyres which went down with a bang and a very loud hiss. Taking it in turns on the jack, the wheel brace, and the instructions, we did a good job of finding the locking wheel nut and the special flange that covered the device to let the spare wheel down. There wasn't even much swearing!
In the event it was fantastic to have three well educated, realistic, horse people (Nicola is an Animal Behaviourist) all coming together to observe and then discuss Honey's disposition and expression. All three of us strongly suspect that there is a physical reason for Honey's behaviour and that it is not a behavioural issue. Identify the cause is like unravelling spaghetti since Sandra has already had the dentist, chartered physiotherapist, saddle fitter and vet to look at her and to treat her accordingly. The horse has had a gastroscope which was all clear and an internal examination of her ovaries which was all clear. She has been on Regumate for 14 days. The next line of enquiry will look at the possibility of hind gut ulcers. The trouble with any ulcers is that they can be a symptom of other underlying conditions.
Meanwhile Sandra is also having problems with a new saddle she has recently bought for Iona from a saddler who generally has a very good reputation. Ever since she has used it Iona has been restive at the mounting block, rushed forward when asked to go forwards, and to cap it all the saddle slips badly. Examining it Nicola and I were disappointed to see that it is set up to be always girthed from the point strap, something that should be avoided unless jumping, and tends to be used when a saddle doesn't fit properly. The points strap comes down at an angle from the point of the tree, generally made of hard metal.
If ever there was a need for the Horse God to intervene it would be here. Life always seems extremely unfair to me when an owner does everything she can for the good of her horses and then encounters so many setbacks, some of which are mightily expensive.
That look of consternation seems to have been my expression for the day but luckily we have a clear course of action for my blackberry-tongued friend. Théoden is off for his MRI on 7th October.
The final gift of the Horse God yesterday was this particularly spectacular toilet at one of the yards we went to. Nice toilets are a rarity.