I have a confession to make. I have a new man in my life, and I am a little bit in love. He isn’t my usual type. He is shorter than I would usually go for, with red hair, pixie ears and exotic good looks.
His name is Bazzy, and he is an 8yo purebred arabian gelding.
Bazzy’s back story is an incredibly sad one, but fortunately for him, he found his forever human in Hollie, who has given the poor boy the opportunity to come back from the brink of death, and go on to live the happy and healthy life he deserves.
Bazzy has had an illustrious show career, starting as a youngster. His exquisite looks saw him notch up wins in hand and under saddle at all the big arabian shows, including an Australian championship.
Unfortunately for Bazzy, like so many horses, he became a means to an end, and the sheer greed and desire for that almighty piece of ribbon around his neck, saw him crippled, almost to the point of no return.
When he stepped off the truck at his new home almost 2 yeas ago, he was a shadow of his former self. He had suffered a fall on a treadmill, hadn’t been found for 30 minutes, and had extensive injuries and scar tissue to his body. He was also suffering from impaction colic, a chronic kidney infection and laminitis, and his mouth was full of ulcers, from his teeth being neglected, and he had a massive abscess on his wither, from an ill fitting rug, which hadn’t been removed in months. All of this and only 6 years old!
The fact he survived the long trip to his new home was nothing short of a miracle, but it would be the first step on his road to recovery, with someone who was willing to give him the quality of life he so very much deserves.
I started working with Bazzy and Hollie a bit over a year ago. The first time i saw him, i was struck by what a beautiful creature he was, followed closely by how broken he was.
Bazzy has the most gorgeous and endearing nature, and he steals the hearts of everyone who meets him. To see a horse, who had given so much to those who were meant to look after him, so broken was heartbreaking. He had terrible tension and anxiety in his body and mind, and a funny snatchy action in his hind end, caused by extensive scar tissue and his inability to make his legs do what he knew they needed to do.
Bazzy always tries so hard to do the right thing, and seeing him struggling so much made me very determined to help him. He is by far the most broken and challenging horse I have worked with, but by far the most rewarding.
Hollie has done an outstanding job with his rehabilitation, making sure he has the utmost best care taken of him, and has nursed him back to good health. We are very careful to listen to the horse, and respect his limitations, and let him set the pace with what he can cope with, but still challenging him enough to strengthen and rebuild his body.
Work commitments for Hollie have meant that Bazzy has come to stay with me for a while, and apart from being a little afraid of the world, he is enjoying the routine and varied types of work he is getting each day.
I love doing inhand work with my horses, and Bazzy has taken to it like a duck to water. The first day, he marched onto the arena, stood up and posed like a show horse. I thanked him very much for the pretty pose, then explained to him that we were going to be lowering his neck and stretching the topline and introducing a bit of shoulder in to help supple his body. After he realised what he had to do, he completely released and stretched his nose down to the ground, and the relief in his face and body was obvious.
We also have been doing a lot of polework in the walk, both in hand and under saddle. Poor Bazzy is a little freaked out by my black and white poles, and I have to explain to him each day that they will not eat him, but the work is really helping him to increase the range of motion of his joints, improve his confidence and teach him to cover more ground. We can now do 4 in a row, in perfect rhythm, and will be starting trot poles this week.
The preparation work we have been doing, with the inhand work and poles, has paid huge dividends under saddle for Bazzy. Since the beginning, he has been very tight in the back, panics about the contact, and has been very stuck in the right hind leg. He has had a lot of trouble bending and turning that way, where he has to engage it and carry more, and also in the left lead canter, where he has to push off the ground from it. He is now able to lengthen his topline and follow the curved lines with his body, with very little tension and the ground cover of the paces is improving out of sight.
Bazzy still has a long way to go in his rehabilitation, but the improvements he has made thus far are nothing short of astounding. He is an absolute credit to Hollie’s care and determination to give him the life he deserves, and his giving nature and refusal to give up, makes everyone around him want to try that little bit harder for him.
I look forward to continuing his story in the coming weeks. 🙂