An Update From Rachael Claridge

I have changed farrier this week because Mel has been 99.9% sound and I need him to be 101%!  The farrier hadn’t been trimming enough off of Mel’s near hind hoof which was an odd shape after an abscess in so he was dragging it…this was also the leg he broke so he’s lazier on it – but its all in his head so I needed a farrier who would assist Mel in getting over his mental block that there is something wrong when there isn’t!

The new farrier is older, breeds Arabs himself and also shoes for Mary King!  I’ve actually taken Mel’s shoes off for the moment so the horse can think about his foot fall, stand straight and balanced and then come back stronger – one step back to take two forward!  I’m also going to long-line him again and go back to basics.  I’ve put him in blinkers to get him to think forward and go straight and be more focused.  I am also struggling finding a saddle for him as he’s bulked up which is great because the poor man did loose condition after the box rest from his previous injuries.  My instructor gave us a flat work lesson last week and Niki was very excited about how well Mel looks and the promise he is showing – so I’ll keep up the good work as it were, and I’m confident he’ll get back up there after a few years of battling in his rehab – horses!!!

Charlie has had a lot of foot rebalancing done over the past 10 months by different farriers, and as Clive shoes like my farrier did in Cornwall we’re hopefully back on track there too – its a nightmare because ‘no foot’ really is ‘no horse’!

Charlie did so well at Boconnoc earlier this month, so hopefully with a quick 30km tomorrow he’ll be ready for an 80km atBarburyCastlein a fortnight as part of the Inter-Regional Championships.

Zenif my stallion is thankfully a Dad!  He has successfully got his first Arab mare pregnant, so I am thrilled, not to mention relieved.  He has had many enquiries for next year so that will be exciting too if they come to fruition!

I have started long-lining him and also leading him out everyday in traffic, past cows, horses, tractors etc – the scariest thing he saw was a bale of hay in a field…..need I say more!

Zenif really is very chilled out which is brilliant for a stallion and also an endurance horse. I’m sure he will be exactly like Mistrahl (his cousin) if not better!

He will be 4 at the end of August and is a little rump high so I’ll back him over the winter and get him out competing in the spring with EGB and the riding club.

We are thankfully being supported by our new farm managers; they are rearranging the horses at the farm so that we can fence a paddock specifically for Zenif.  So that will be a job for later next week once the materials have arrived.

Best wishes


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