Kate and her 16 year old daughter Alice had been struggling with their 9 year old horse Carat for many years.
Alice is a very competent rider but Carat has been a perpetual challenge! Even when at times he was relatively ‘good’ he was never quite ‘right’.
When he was ‘bad’ he was extremely clingy with other horses and would explode kicking bucking and leaping. 'When he ‘winds up’ we cannot get him down again'.
He had no self-preservation in this state.
At times, the muscles of his lumbar area would spasm (more on the left than the right) and be very painful. Not surprisingly he would become unrideable.
On top of that after very hot weather and rain every night, his hind gut ulcers flared up and he had serious diarrhoea.
Yet his base personality was an easy going gentle horse and he had body work, saddle fit, teeth, everything always regularly done.
It came to a head back in January at the Pony Club camp when Carat, after being separated from his friends, became so frantic in his stall that he kicked the rails off the fence and we had to have them nailed back up.....
Alice was heart-broken because he was too dangerous for her to be able to participate.
“We are at our wits end with him and just simply don’t know what to do. He’s so talented and beautiful but not the way he is because he is dangerous. We are running out of options”.
After talking with Kate on the phone we recommended some changes to Carat’s diet, immediately taking all the Lucerne out of his feed. He calmed down considerably within two days which meant Alice could ride him and join in, not pushing too far and keeping his friend handy to help him stay settled. He was also now fine in his yard even without his mates and coped well for the rest of the time at the Camp.
Five weeks later Mum Kate sent us an update:
"Thank you for your advice.
Carat is a different horse. Calm, steady and stands still. No back pain and no longer shits through an eye of a needle! He can think (now this is a big deal!!) just watching him think about things brings such joy.
I rode him in a lesson yesterday (first time in ages as my daughter normally rides him) and he’s was just lovely and safe.
It’s interesting as he’s quite green in certain areas but very capable in others. Now we can practice things because he’s with us mentally.
He’s been completely off the grass for 5 weeks now with no grain and no lucerne products. We changed to unlimited hay, timothy chaff, grain free, Premium MVA, SOS, ToxAll, salt (we never gave him salt before - he only had salt blocks).
No short, green grass. No lucerne products!"
Kate & Alice Hinton, Hawke's bay