Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pet status application pending

This friendly chap is a Standardbred called Sontiago. He is known to his friends, for some inexplicable reason, as "Mods". He is a retired racing trotter and is therefore broken to harness, but is also an "Open" riding horse having that rare attribute in harness racers - the ability to canter. He's only 10 years old. A whippersnapper by Celestequest standards, and mostly ridden now in the combined disciplines of hacking, dressage and a little light showjumping.

He was a topic of conversation with the lady who owns the barn where the bees currently live. She also owns him. The bees are on their way to our place when they settle down and pad out their frames more. Sontiago does not need to pad out his. It's padded to the point where he almost has no withers. The abundant winter and lush spring have been kind to him. Nearly killing him with kindness really. If Sontiago is allowed to continue gaining weight he will have health issues not unlike obese humans but with the added complication of possible founder, a disease of the feet in hoofed animals. Horses with uncontrolled founder - technically called laminitis - may get so bad that the pedal bone rotates inside the hoof and may even reach the sole. Not only is this very, very bad but it's very, very painful. It's also irreversible so horses at risk of founder need to keep to their slimming diets with mild exercise and no extra binging or they may end up with a one-way trip to the great pasture in the sky earlier than nature intended.

The lovely lady who owns him currently also owns 16 other horses and agists several more for various people so Sontiago has been taken off pasture and put in a yard to save him. She is looking to find him a good home. She offered him to me for the price of a cup of tea after his free delivery. I have known this dear lady for many years but even so this is an incredibly generous offer. The jury is out on accepting it. There are only two of us to make decisions here and one of them doesn't think it's viable. Sontiago thinks it's a good idea, but he doesn't have a vote. Yet.