Monday, 30 April 2012


Apologies for missing last week, I was on holiday :o)

The day before I went, Merlin had an appointment with David Brown, an Equine Dental Technician.  One of the local vets had had a look at his teeth when he first arrived and couldn't see any major problems, but our vets will cheerfully admit that they're not specialists so I thought it would be a good idea to get the expert in.  Merlin actually behaved fairly well, he stood calmly enough while David scraped tartar off his front teeth, but once the gag went in and the rasping started, there was a lot of eye rolling and walking around his box.  David kept calmly putting him back in the corner and carrying on with the work and the whole thing was done in about 20 minutes.  There were some nasty sharp points to be removed right on the back molars and M spent the rest of the day poking his tongue round his mouth to try and work out what had changed.  David thought he'd probably never had a dentist visit (or at least not in the last 5 or 6 years, which would take us back to before he was imported from Hungary), so wants to see him again on his next trip north in the autumn to make sure there are no further problems.  After that we should only need a check up every 18 months until he gets to an age where teeth start falling out. 

Weight is currently on the bar between 464 and 458kg - and I've found another two grass lumps. 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Back up to 464kg, which is no bad thing considering the weather we've had this week!  Snow, hail, wind, bright sunshine, sometimes all of them within the space of a morning.  So he's been getting extra hay to try and keep the boiler stoked since he's now shed enough coat that he's mostly bay from his ears to his shoulders.

The grass lumps seem to have gone though.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Nearly there

Into the 458kg band this morning and I can definitely feel some ribs if I prod hard enough.  I think the 464kg band is going to be the one we try not to exceed over the summer - quite a challenge when he topped out at over 511kg last year! 

The sugars are definitely coming through strongly in the grass now; he's got a couple of scurfy lumps in the usual places and he's grouchy, though that might also be to do with the amount he's moulting at the moment.  The problem is that the sugar makes his skin sensitive and the moulting makes him itchy, so grooming him is a bit of a lottery - I either get a blissed out horse with a wobbly lower lip or one who whips round with his ears back and his teeth bared.  He's much better than last year though, when he was on a sugary feed as well.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Forgot to post last week, but he was on the border between 464kg and 470kg last week and is firmly in the 464kg band this week.  We're nearly there, I think.  His neck and shoulder are looking about right, the top of his back is about right, his ribs are still too well covered (though I can *just* feel them now if I have a good rummage!) and the top of his bum is firm, though there's still some flab further down on his thighs.  It looks like his 'good' weight is going to be around 450kg.

He's still a bit sensitive around his shoulders.  It's not all the time, but occasionally when I'm grooming him or even just stroking him and I touch the area around his shoulder blade (on both sides), he'll whip his head round with ears back and teeth bared.  Explains why he doesn't like being rugged anyway (he hasn't had one on this year so far), but I wonder what caused it (he's always done it)?  He's moving very well - comes bouncing up the field at trot or canter most meal times - so I don't think there's any underlying physical problem, but if I can find an equine physio who comes up here it might be worth getting him looked at I think.

In other news, Merlin is not the only one who's shrinking: I've lost 9lbs out of the stone I put on between the wedding last summer and Christmas :o)  Back down to 10st 0lbs, aiming to get to between 8st 7lbs and 9st 0lbs, which is at the lighter end of the healthy band for my height (5'5"), but I found an old photo of myself at that weight the other day and I really want to look that good again!