Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Rosie going around the paddock 
Going down to the start
A big day for Rosie (Epistle)

This was the day that we thought would never happen. Out of all the horses we have had this has been our biggest challenge - When she arrived in January and the owner/breeder handed us a bottle of ACP tablets we knew it wasn't going to be easy! The owner had tried to break her in for two years and couldn't get anywhere, she was about to get the bullet when he decided that as we had got on so well with Doctor Kingsley (her cousin) who was also known to be quirky, that we could have her for a bit and see whether we could get to the bottom of her problems. To say she was difficult would be an understatement, and everything had to be planned around her just to get her out of the yard let alone up the gallops. She would plant in the yard, then when she got out of the yard she would plunge and buck, sometimes un-shipping her jockey, she had absolutely no self preservation and often looked as though she was going to fall backwards into the river or stake herself on a tree guard. She wouldn't go anywhere near a fence one day, and then on another day she would love to jump. On one of her bad days she was refusing to go anywhere near a small hurdle, Doug was on Dream (my hunter) and having tried the 'softly softly' approach and getting no where, he pulled up a plastic post from the wings of the fence and cantered alongside her poking her up the bottom with the post, as though he was jousting. It was right by Alex Hales's yard and all the staff came out to watch - they thought it was hilarious!
She had been injured as a youngster so we had an idea that it could be pain related and she had the full MOT, something else we also tried was 'radionics' where we took a few hairs from her mane and sent them to someone to analyse - This was at the stage where we were about to give up and were willing to try anything - The lady who had the sample of hair knew absolutely nothing about the horse and yet the results that came back were really astonishing and described her exactly  This is what came back -

She has a headache at the top of her head which causes irrational thinking, her love/caring passage is blocked (she was never shown any) She is emotionally over stimulated, her mental level is congested, lack of rational thought. She is physically good apart from tight off side shoulder and previously mentioned pain in head (atlas) She suffers from anxiety, frustration, impatience, jealousy
Very nervous, anxious, she does not like to be enclosed by other horses. 
There is a switch in her head that just flicks and then the irrational thoughts are over overpowering.
She oozes talent, has a massive jumping ability but her nerves/fear get the better of her.
She has been badly misunderstood
She can be ‘away with the fairies’
She needs a lot of reassurance to get rid of her irrational thinking
Strangely she also wants to be centre of attention
Likes routine, doesn't want change until she feels more confident in herself
She wants to be good and wants to join in
She hates it when the other horses go out without her. (We had put her in the barn as she had injured herself and hadn't been out for 10 days)

When we got this analysis it suddenly all slotted into place and we could forgive her (to a point!) for her bad behaviour. We then got the chiropractor to concentrate on her neck and atlas area at the top of her head and she found out that it was completely out. We also started to have more of a structured routine with her as before we thought she wanted to do different things all the time but in fact she gained comfort from doing the same thing. Gradually she improved and Pete, her main jockey was incredibly patient with her and although she was behaving better at home we really didn't think she would be able to cope with the hurly burly of racing.
 It was with trepidation that we took her to Chaddesly and were immensely relieved when they split the maiden, making it a nice quiet race with just nine runners. She looked stunning in the paddock and was reasonably well behaved. Down at the start she had a couple of 'moments' when we thought she was going to lose it, or plant, but thankfully, and with very good horsemanship from Pete, she started and they did a perfect lap and three quarters keeping up with the main group, jumping like a stag, until three from home when he pulled her up with her looking as though she had thoroughly enjoyed it. It was really rather emotional as it was a day we thought would never happen. It has been a massive effort from the whole team as she has been dreadful and thanks must go to everyone involved. The owner, was overjoyed and thoroughly impressed with her progress. We now have to hope that we can follow on from that performance as we know that she has a massive amount of ability and if she wants to do it could be seriously high class.