Many of you will have seen the pictures of my little grey boy Pea (EROX) all over my social media, I can’t help it he’s just so beautiful! With Cassini breeding lines and the most gorgeous temperament he is genuinely one of the most talented, honest, friendly horses I have ever come across! He isn’t however, without his quirks…

Pea is sharp, and I mean super sharp… if he can be terrified by a random blade of grass he will be, his own reflection quite possibly is the scariest thing he has ever seen and for goodness sake don’t move your reins once you’re on. But he also has lameness issues, issues that meant that I have been unbelievably lucky and ended up with him in my stables.

I fall for horses very quickly but normally not if they don’t belong to me. Pea was different. I first met him at Buckminster in 2014 as a 5 year old and fell head over heels in love with him. He was all bandaged up after his XC while having a free range graze (he doesn’t ever go too far!) and he just looked so lovely standing there having his tail bandage put on ready for the journey back up north without moving a muscle…  So when Jimmy (James Sommerville) called last year to ask if i’d consider taking him on I had to ask if he was sure eleventy billion times, would I consider it? I’d have chewed my own arm off to have Pea lameness or no lameness.

I’m not sure if you all know but I am a massive geek and love to learn so investigating Pea’s issues is almost as exciting for me as having him with me in the first place. Luckily he is the sort of horse who would come inside, sit on the sofa & watch Love Island with you if he could so getting him to co-operate during the investigations is easy! He loves the attention & he gets regular spa’s at the amazing Flawborough Equine out of it so he is one happy pony!

I brought Pea home in November last year and had a lovely no-pressure winter with him hunting, jumping, hacking, improving my flatwork and XC schooling with not a lame step in sight. Everything was going very well (too well obviously) until March when he just started to not feel quite right. There was nothing hugely obvious he was just a little bit “off”. I decided that the best way to go about things was by process of elimination so booked him into Oakham for some x-rays and a general once over. Vet, Rafael Domingo was brill. He gave Pea a very thorough examination prior to our x-rays and was as puzzled as we were. Typically wanting to please, Pea put in a textbook trot up and was super level on the lunge… into the X-rays we went.

The main motivation for the radiographs was to make sure Navicular wasn’t the issue and it wasn’t… He is conformationally pretty poor foot wise and the x-rays provided another surprise for the vets as we all thought his nearside fore was the issue (it wasn’t)…

Although there is nothing to suggest Navicular or any related issues, he does have the very early signs of arthritis in his off-side front foot so we had his coffin joints injected and he was good as new again. I even managed to get to an unaffiliated event at Norton Disney (which was pretty hard) and he didn’t show any signs of being sore afterwards, that was until the middle of May…

He’s been intermittently lame since then and as heart breaking as it is we’re going full steam ahead with the investigations. Having changed his shoeing to offer him more support without restricting the growth or spread of his hooves his recovery from any lameness seems to be much quicker. We are also super lucky to have the amazing Emma Hawthorne of Flawborough Equine Rehabilitation and Gilly Carter-Morgan of Equi-Therapy UK in our corner. He gets regular cold, salt-water spa’s at Flawborough and was thermal imaged by Emma a couple of weeks ago… These images have thrown up some really interesting results and have led us to decide that getting scans of BOTH of his front legs will give us more pieces of the puzzle so we’re all booked in for another amazing treatment with Gilly and scans by Home Farm Equine next Thursday… wish us luck!