Monthly Archives: September 2013

What price competition success?

How sad to see pictures on facebook of a horse ridden at Burghley Horse Trials in a hackamore which was fitted so low that it seemed to be restricting his nostrils. Was this a groom’s mistake or a deliberate misuse of equipment? Either way, it was allowed to compete. Where were the rigorous checks which we observed at the Olympics?

Now today, Horse and Hound leads with a story about drugs found in a leading endurance yard. Hats off to the magazine for persisting in their reports on health and welfare!

This is top level cometition we are talking about here, so ignorance of best practice (or the rules) can be no excuse. There has been much talk of the Olympic legacy and the fact that more riders are inspired to compete than ever before. So isn’t it the duty of those at the high end of equestrian sport, to set a good example?

I was made to suffer once, and as a result, I can’t work. I was tethered by my back leg and now that leg doesn’t work well enough for me to be ridden or driven. I was never quite an Olympic prospect (except in my own head of course), but the law treats me just the same as it does a four star horse.

I hope that horse with the sore nose will be OK and his owner will not try that method again. And I hope those brave endurance horses will be OK too – it’s not their fault that we have set them times they can’t achieve.

Cruelty to horses is cruelty to horses. You people have a duty to treat us right – especially when we are your ticket to success!


Autumn leaves

Seems that lovely hot weather has gone away for good. I must get my woollies on ready for the cold and wet. My friend Hooligan has started to get fluffy, but he’s no good at real fur – has to have a rug when it gets to proper winter.Image

He is doing his best though – came in covered with mud this morning, which, to be fair, does help as an extra layer. I am a great believer in mud myself.

The thing about autumn is that it brings its own set of challenges. For me, it can be just as tricky as the Spring, because the grass keeps doing a bit of a growth spurt after a warmish day. So I am standing in the stable a lot at the moment, and I have my lovely heart bar shoes back on.


They keep me sound and make is possible for me to get more exercise. I feel for all laminitics everywhere and I hope you are getting the care you need.

My hard working friends

I have loads of friends! Some are people and some are ponies and horses and I have been gathering them ever since I came to live here. When I was an RSPCA pony, I made lots of friends in that Society and I am glad to say we keep in touch – and sometimes I am moved to stick up for my friends if I think they are being neglected.

A couple of weeks ago there was a big horse show called Equifest. It’s too far from here for me to go, but  a lot of my rescued friends go there and strut their stuff. Equifest is one of those shows which is ideal for the amateur showman; there are lots of qualifiers and lots of classes, so everyone gets busy and has a great day.

The RSPCA equine centres take some horses there to compete in the ‘Rescued horse or pony’ classes and they take some friends who are looking for homes as well. Last year, my old friend Sundae took the show by storm and won the ridden class – she is so cute – but this time she got a bit overexcited about meeting her public and flunked it! We all make mistakes Sundae!Image

Lisa and Mo and all the girls look after Sundae and the horses at Felledge Equine Centre. They work so hard and it’s not all beer and skittles! Sometimes a horse turns out to have a big problem and doesn’t make it. That is heartbreaking when you’ve done your best, lost sleep and tried everything. After a big show like Equifest, there is a lot of talk about the RSPCA as a whole, but little credit given to those who do the day-to-day stuff – and then give up loads of their spare time to fly the flag at the show.

Image Look at Chester and Diablo  – looking splendid from poor beginnings and also looking for new homes while they were at the show. Diablo found a home – so did Chester, but that fell through. He’s available again so here’s your chance! Catch up with him at


It wasn’t just a day for the new boys either. Moon is a stunning boy now –  we scarcely believe he’s the same pony who arrived as a woolly little orphan foal and had to be handreared (no sleep for Lisa again). He is now Clare’s pride and joy and competes in all disciplines.


Debbie adopted Molly from the centre, having watched her develop from a welfare case into a lovely child’s pony. Exhibiting her at Equifest was quite a project, but worth it at the end of the day. I was thrilled to see Clare and Debbie’s photos. They are just as good at producing their ‘hobby’ at they are at helping all those poor, impoverished horses which arrive at the centre in droves each year.


Well done to all my dedicated friends and their horses. I sometimes think you don’t get the credit you deserve!