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I have always wanted a horse but was never allowed when I was a child so having Lady is like a dream come true for me, not that it's all been easy and it definitely was not love at first sight.

When I first met Lady I wasn't sure about her.  I thought we were not compatible but her previous owner very kindly said I could loan her for the time being to see how I got on.  I had Lady on loan for about three months and during that time got to know her a bit better and managed to become more confident in myself around her, so when her owner again asked if I would like to buy her I said that I would love to.  Since then the more time I spent with Lady the more I began to understand her and the closer we have become.

I started Lady's barefoot journey in the August.  I researched a good podiatrist who said that Lady needed to lose a lot of weight, which as well as being better for her general health would also help her feet.  I got advice from her vet also and. along with exercise and restricted grazing. Lady lost some of her excess weight.

Then, in November, Lady caught strangles; from where still remains a mystery as none of the other horses at the field caught it.  There followed six weeks of being stabled and cared for.  It was a really stressful time to see her so ill as well as having unhelpful comments saying that I had caused the strangles by putting Lady on a diet.  However most people were kind and really did help out with looking after her.  Following this I did some more research about her diet and took on board a nutritionist to work out Lady's dietary needs over the winter.

Lady May

Lady May

I still knew that I wanted something more from my understanding of Lady and was not sure how to communicate this to her.  This is when I started clicker training.  This has changed everything.  I now feel that the lines of communication are open between us and boy does Lady love to 'talk'.  She is really pleased to see me coming now every morning and her enthusiasm really is a joy to me.

However more bad news was to come.  Despite me following my vet and nutritionist's advice, someone obviously did not agree with Lady's diet and I was reported to the South Wales Horse Protection Society for not feeding my horse.  I was devastated to think that I could have done something to harm Lady, and worse, the lady from the SWHP agreed that Lady was too thin.  I called my vet who disagreed with this diagnosis and fat scored her 4.  Meanwhile the RSPCA also came out but they were unconcerned and in agreement with my vet.  The SWHP never came back to me, until finally I managed to get hold of someone who said they were not concerned about Lady.

So there has been highs and lows and I have learnt so much in my year of owning Lady (about horses and horsey people!).  Lady really is a great teacher and I hope we have many happy years to come.

 

Cath and Lady in South Wales

Cath and Lady in South Wales

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