Tuesday, 26 July 2011

End of days....

Well that's it I have lost my fabulous horse of a lifetime. Modetia didn't make it in her struggle with laminitis, having looked like all was going well she suddenly looked pottery again over the weekend and new x-rays yesterday showed that her pedal bones had rotated to within a couple of millimetres from the soles of her feet. The minute the x-ray flashed onto the screen I stopped listening to the vets talking and it all became background noise as I looked at my beautiful horse and knew that we had reached the end of the line. The vets took an x-ray of the other foot but it was immaterial I knew that I had lost my horse and that is  truly awful feeling.
In top form at Blair Castle.

I have had Modetia since she was a fiery five year old and she was looking at me now a beautiful 17 year old. I never thought that I would be lucky enough to own a horse like her - she made me feel more alive every time that I rode her - she loved her showjumping - never refusing any reasonable question and generously helping me out with her scope when I put her into a less than perfect spot in front of a fence. Her forte was 'clapping her hands' - when she was feeling really good she used to take great joyous leaps into the air and bound along for a few strides. These bounds were never difficult to sit on rather you just felt sheer joir de vive welling up through her and it always made me smile. Apart from when she decided a crowded collecting ring was the place for this party piece! She also used to spin 360 degrees quick as a whippet and when she was a youngster and I wasn't paying attention she landed me on my ample derriere more times than I care to remember. But she was brave as a lion over a fence and I will never forget the feeling of power and confidence she gave me.
Could I please come out out of this horrible weather I am not meant to be an eskimo.
For all her sharpness she loved attention and one unforgettable memory is the sight of her happily enjoying the attention of four small five year old children all diligently brushing different bits of her. She wasn't a fan of bad weather and if she heard rain on the roof in the morning would just keep her head down when the other horses were getting put out hoping that no one would notice she was still  in. She also bred me two stunning foals although I suspected she didn't enjoy being a broodmare as much as being ridden and so in her later years she returned to work and thoroughly enjoyed looking after two friends of mine over fences. I also still enjoyed riding her as even in her late teens, although the spin was slower she still enjoyed clapping her hands together on a sunny day.
Modetia as a teenager enjoying turning a hoof to something different with Ferne.
All these things and much more will leave an ache in me for a long time. She was such a healthy horse all her life that it never occurred to me she wouldn't be an old lady pottering around the farm for years to come and goodness me I will miss her. Part of joy for me in having horses is developing that deep relationship with them that means they become a huge part of your everyday  life.
So as the vet and I walked her down the field today to her end of days it was, as it always is, a mixture of gut wrenching sadness at the death of a beloved horse and relief that you know you can end their pain.
Life was for living for Modetia - and that's how I will remember her.
Thanks to some good friends
My thanks to my friends on the yard who helped make her last few box rest weeks more comfortable with their care and grooming sessions for her, and to my super vet Ainslie Smith of Eden Vet Practice in Cupar who gave her the utmost care and attention.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A lapsed member of Horse Collectors Anonymous..

So that's it I am a fully paid up member of HCA (Horse Collector's Anonymous). I had to join because having got my horse numbers down from 11 to 4 I got the shakes - there was no cure to be found - and yes you guessed it I collected a horse. My husband looked up from his rugby review smiled sadly as you do at the afflicted and urged me to go to attend a meeting as soon as possible. He reasoned that I could then confess to the assembled circle that it's been two years since I last collected a horse. The other members would understand the willpower that takes, they would smile, nod knowingly and congratulate me on lasting so long and urge me to keep the faith. I would draw strength from them and their stories and leave the meeting refreshed in my resolve to keep my horse numbers going down and not up. But I never got to that meeting (I think I went to a show instead) and that's when I lapsed - I couldn't resist and so there's a new chestnut face in the field.

No not the one in the video above that would really be something as that's Jazz, the numero uno dressage stallion in the world, but it is a daughter of his. Tara arrived all the way from Wiltshire a week or so ago. It was no good I just couldn't resist getting a project to work on but I didn't want a youngster, I already have one of those to bring on, so Tara is an 11 year old 16.1hh KWPN mare by  Jazz out of a mare by Weltmyer. Her blue blood breeding shows - she is a good looking red head who definitely resembling her famous dad.

Tara settling in and yes that really is blue sky in Scotland this summer!
Vital statistics
So the downside - well it's not really a downside but I did say she was a project. Tara has pretty much been a broodmare all her life apart from a couple of months ridden work - when she proved to be hotter than a red hot chili pepper. At this point you may be thinking I should have attended that meeting and stuck to my no collecting resolve rather than getting a fizzy chestnut mare. But she moves, she really moves, she floats like a butterfly and I hope that after a while she won't sting like a bee. I am hoping that the chill out factor that kicks in with horses like this when they live here will work once more. So the plan is to let her settle in for a few weeks during which time I will gently lunge her to start giving her stronger muscualture and then I'll gradually reback her and, with no deadline to stick to, bring her into work slowly. So far she has settled in really well and is already great buddies with my young mare Amelie.

Tara settling in.

So there you have it my new addition a project with no pressure on either me or the horse - she will either be a good-un or not there are no huge expectations.

The news - some good some sad
The good news is that Modetia is continuing to recover from her laminitis - I still have to have her re X-rayed but she it moving freely now and is even giving the odd buck in her box - which is great to see. She is coping very well with her box rest but is getting thoroughly teed off with her diet of ancient soaked hay and oat straw, especially as everyone else is now on this years sweet smelling hay. I would love to be able to explain to her that as the old addage goes, I have to be cruel to be kind, especially as she has taken to mugging anyone who goes past with a haynet.
Bob - he will be missed by everyone on the yard.
The sad news is that the lovely big gentle giant of a shire Bob sadly had to be put down last week. He never recovered from the kick to his hock. An infection set into the joint - never easy in a horse and in the end his owner Pam who battled with it for several weeks made the tough decision to end his pain. A really sad day for her and everyone on the yard he will be missed.

Delivery to HCA
In the meantime my lovely husband though has determined to deliver me to the next meeting of HCA himself he is taking no more chances that I may lapse again!
Happy riding!