Little Bear

My beautiful Little Bear joined Jasper & I at the beginning of October 2009. A delightful 15.2hh black and white warmblood. He’d had a difficult start in life and came to me for the opportunity for a new beginning.

I always felt it was destiny that brought us together, having responded to his ad on Project Horses (A site that encourages people to be honest if their horse has a few “issues” so that a knowledgeable appropriate home can be found). I was too late, he had already been seen & offered a new home, whilst disappointed (i’d always wanted a black & white horse, childhood dream!!) I put it down to it just wasn’t meant to be. However 2 weeks later I got a wonderful surprise, the people due to have him had changed their minds. So I arranged a viewing & of course fell in love at first sight.

I started him slowly with the help of a wonderful instructor I spent months working him from the ground, encouraging softness & lightness & correct use of his body. Eventually I took him to Ken Faulkner’s clinic where I started him properly under saddle under Ken’s expert eye & guidance. Everything went smoothly & we enjoyed a wonderful but tiring week learning together.

Things went a bit awry from there, due to no fault of his own, Bear had been kicked by another horse, which caused lameness issues, I made the decision to give him some time off from work, he lived out & I was happy with where our training had got to so I gave him the winter to digest everything he had learned, whilst I trained for my first marathon & a charity climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Come the spring I started to bring him back into work, when disaster struck, returning from Paris, having completed my marathon just 8 weeks after climbing Kili & having altitiude sickness, feeling utterly broken physically & mentally, I took one look at Bear & knew I had the early stages of laminitis on my hands. I don’t know who was limping more that day him or I.

It has been a long haul to recovery, although one that we have made, there were times when the vet’s weren’t convinced he would make it. He had his own quiet battle with this disease, My beautiful Jasper would stand guard at his stable door overnight and I’m sure offered his strength & guidance to our little bear. I have of course learned much about this disease, now second only to my vast knowledge of sarcoids. We have had wonderful help & support throughout from Chris Day, his homeopathic vet, Roger Hatch & his wonderful supplements, Dena with her herbs & oils, Tim Mockford with his wonderful trimming (& Bear says very lickable head!!), Gavin Scofield and Louise Ledwith. All of whom have made it possible for me to have a healthy horse once more.

Whilst he is healthy & sound again, his hooves must still recover & for that the only prescription is time, so whilst I am unable to ride him I have continued our groundwork & developed my love of Liberty work with him. I feel truly blessed every time he chooses to work with me, when he has the freedom of 4 acres to go & explore but he will remain at my side to work & play.