I’ve owned Sapphire for 10 years come September . This that she will become the horse I have owned the longest some time next year. It hasn’t always been an easy relationship. She was bought as a quiet hack that I could potentially do some basic dressage with. She turned to be anything but! She is very sweet, and although a bit bossy to other horses, doesn’t have a nasty bone in her body. However, I don’t know what happened to her before I got her, but she is extremely nervous and mistrustful. She is also extremely physically sensitive. She is frightened of push bikes and motorbikes, and used to either spin if she met one from in front, or canter off, slowly not a headlong bolt, if one came from behind. Believe me, spinning is really disorienting when you can’t see! Over the I’ve tried to sell her several times, and she’s been on loan twice, but she kept coming back. Usually with something wrong with her.
She is a pretty thing, well put together, and she moves beautifully. When she was younger she had a successful in-hand showing career, and qualified for Royal Cornwall Show. However, she began to develop mast cell cittoma , and the resulting lumps ended her showing career. 2 years ago she developed a lump that interferes with the girth, so I stopped riding her. Since then she has been acting as as Magnum’s companion. A very valuable job.
Since we’ve been living here our relationship has never been better, and Sapphire has dramatically grown in confidemcee. So I have been musing about how, and if, it might be able to get back on board.. The offending lump cannot be removed as this could damage the underlying muscle. However, Ii have spoken to several professionals who think it might be possible to pad and protect the lump and put a girth on her.
If this works then Hal and I will be able to ride together.
Let’s give it a go!
At the end of March I took Magnum’s Wintec saddle and Sapphire’s Hoobea saddle into the saddlery in Hatherleigh for them both to have a service. I made a categorical mistake! I used the words “There’s no need to rush”.
To be honest we don’t use Sapph’s saddle because of the lump just where the girth sits. Wearing a saddle is a no no. Also, at the the time Mag’s was lame. So a couple of weeks delay was neither here nor there..it’s been 6 weeks now, and I’m starting to feel a bit annoyed.
I chose Hoopers for 2 reasons. 1, they were recommended by several people, and 2, Jody Hooper was one half of Hoobea Sadddles who built Sapphire’s saddle. However I have mixed feelings about the choice.
When I still hadn’t heard anything by the end of April I gave her a ring. 2 days later she rang me back to tell me both saddles were in pieces, and that she was waiting for some stuffing for the Hoobea to be delivered, she had ordered it “the other day”. The inference here is that she hadn’t touched either saddle until I rang her. Not very impressive. However, she had stripped Magnum’s saddle right down, and had discovered that the tree was cracked! Bad news, but I’m so glad she was so thorough. I’ve had a feeling that something was amiss for some time now, but nobody seemed to be Interested. That’s why I have mixed feelings.
Hopefully I will get Sapph’s saddle back on Tuesday. Now I have to get a new (second hand) saddle for Mag’s , something I haven’t budgeted for.
Can’t help feeling that Fate is conspiring to keep me out of the saddle at the moment.
Om the day I had my cataract op we arrived home to a message from Pat May, the man who’s doing th ground work for our stables. He wanted to if he could come and dig out the footprint for the yard area.
Well of course he could!
He was a bit worried about how he was going to get his digger in. He was using a bigger one than the one he used to do the field access through the Valley of Death. So wanted to check it was possible to bring it across the adjoining fields. Well no wonder he needed to check. When it rumbled into our field it turned out to be an enormous bugger with caterpillar tracks and everything ! Hal was beside himself with Tonker Toy feuled glee! I t took one man, and one massive machine, one day to dig out and level a 20m x 6m area that forms the footprint for where the stable block and yard in front Will be. Pat wants to let this settle for a while before laying the concrete, so we still have a long way to go. It’s getting closer though😎