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January 2020 Continued - Assessment, Imaging & Gait Analysis - Day 2

Today we headed off to visit the horses and ponies at Freshfields Rescue Sanctuary to see if we could put what we had discussed yesterday, into practice.

When we arrived we had a few minutes to chat to some of the horses out in one of the paddocks. At this point Charlene decided she wanted to take the beautiful big Suffolk X home and I could see my guys getting on well with the pretty grey Arab. After wondering on the technicality of getting these horses into cars to drive them many hours home we moved on down the yard to meet a very cute, cheeky group of Shetlands, a Welsh A and Exmoor pony.
Most of the ponies here are older and spend their days enjoying life out in the fields and so they have thick coats to cope with the Welsh winters and do not have the muscle tone that you might normally see so this had to be taken into account when condition scoring and why its also important to get your fingers right into their coat to see what's going on underneath.

Whilst assessing the ponies, one of the older horses out in the field had what was called one of his episodes, where he drops his head and can collapse. As it was important for the staff to bring him in we had a few moments to wait and the little herd of ponies were swapped for the four horses we had been making a fuss of earlier....and as they walked onto the yard it became apparent just how big the lad Charlene wanted to fit into her car is he just got taller and taller and his chest wider and wider the closer he got until in excess of 17hh of Suffolk X filled the gateway (good luck with squeezing him in the boot) 
We learnt his name is Django and he is with them as he has a back injury which has left him dangerous to ride as he currently is.

We also met Sorrel, the Arab I took a liking to and Jimmy, the old ex racer who was the one having the episode.

We all had the chance to assess each horse and with Richard's guidance on what to look for and either confirming or suggesting we look again, we started to put into practice the techniques we discussed yesterday.
With all of us generally agreeing on what we were seeing and feeling I think we must all be on the right track.

Afterwards, we headed back to the warmth of the log fire (by now we were absolutely freezing) and an afternoon of looking at radiographs and identifying abnormalities, such as laminitis, navicular, sidebone, fractures and keratomas.

I also had another moment of wow....that makes so much more sense!!... when Richard described the hoof capsule shifting, rather than the pedal bone in cases of laminitis (it shifts up with sinker and rotates away with rotation cases) of course, how can the pedal bone actually shift up or drop when it is attached to the rest of the leg. It is however sitting within the hoof capsule which is constantly growing with the capacity to change and adjust depending on the environment, nutrition etc which the horse is exposed to!!

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