1. Horses with kissing spine being misunderstood
A rider who was told for years her horse had training or behavioural issues later found out her Irish cob, Arthur, had kissing spine and major foot imbalance. She is now trying to help others “hear what their horses are telling them”. Rachael Smith bought Arthur, her first horse, as a five-year-old in 2017. Four years later he was diagnosed with a number of issues and with treatment has become a different horse. Rachael now believes Arthur may have had kissing spine before she bought him. Her aim is to share what she has learned over the past four years in the of helping other riders and horses. The story backs up what good trainers, behaviourists and vets are always saying, to rule out any underlying health conditions before pushing on with your training – and highlights the problem that this is not always happening.
2. A school teacher learning to ride racehorses aged 49
A primary school teacher is realising his childhood dream of learning to ride after contacting Britain’s winning-most Flat trainer Mark Johnston on a whim. Paresh Patel, who had never ridden a horse before August 2020, emailed Mark last year during the Qatar Goodwood Festival expressing his interest in riding and exploring a career change into racing. Mark replied immediately, keen to support Paresh in realising this ambition. He has been making the weekly six-hour round trip to Middleham for lessons whenever possible, and is now riding out alongside work riders on morning exercise. “I hope that my story will encourage people who may feel they’re unable to take part in racing to take the first step in getting involved in the sport and make a dream a reality,” said Paresh. Here’s to following dreams – and helping people fulfil them.
3. A video of a grey pony being poorly treated
The Hunting Office and the Cottesmore have condemned the behaviour of a rider who appears to kick at a pony in a video filmed by hunt saboteurs and shared on social media. The video shows a grey pony get free at the bottom of a lorry ramp and trot into the road, where he is caught, before someone else takes the pony’s rope and appears to kick at its chest. Those who filmed the incident said the rider was out with the Cottesmore, a spokesman for which said: “The Cottesmore hunt does not condone this type of behaviour under any circumstances and we will be reminding all of our supporters that this will not be tolerated.”
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