This is Breeze, she’s a 20 yr old Appaloosa x Thoroughbred that we are planning to restart after a long lay-off.
She has spent several years not doing very much at all, except grazing in a field and getting rather opinionated about life.
Having said that, Breeze can still step up when it matters and was very tolerant of invasive veterinary procedures when diagnosed with 75% COPD.
She also very quickly learnt to take her inhaler shots without fuss, which made the following months much easier.
It took us a year of careful management, but Breeze is now off all medication and has been signed off with a 100% recovery.
Here’s a bit more of her early background....
Breeding And First Handling
Breeze was bred by a ‘hobby’ breeder.
She lived with her dam until around two and a half years old and during that time she received plenty of fussing and confidence around people.
It was the sort of confidence that was double edged if not channelled correctly I can still remember Breeze being quite full of herself and happily putting her original 18 stone handler into the hedge.
After a very short period of traditional English type schooling, Breeze was introduced to natural horsemanship style groundwork. She responded well and thrived on the different approach.
When old enough to be backed, Breeze was introduced to western riding before returning to a focus on natural horsemanship without any particular discipline specialisation.
Strong Progression Then Layoff
Breeze was intelligent and quick to learn, progressing to a high level before a change in circumstances enforced a long lay off as a field buddy to her friends and visitors.
Before her break, Breeze had been known for being exceptionally light, agile and responsive. This was the case both on the ground and ridden.
She was also happy performing at liberty and bridle-less, although her strong sense of play and humour could leave you looking pretty stupid sometimes.
Breeze felt that emotional fitness was an essential skill even before it became fashionable, and also felt well qualified to teach the development plan.
Being an intelligent Appy, she was right on both counts.
Herd Life And Ranking
Breeze typically assumed the lead mare role, usually with a passive leadership style and nurturing any immature herd members that came to stay from time to time.
Ailments And Injuries
She is a strong and resilient horse positively overcoming a range of ailments and injuries that seem to have dogged a lot of her life.
These include blown tendon, acute skin problems, shattered splint bone, seasonal alopecia, and the already mentioned COPD.
Here And Now - Heavy With Challenging Attitude
During her lay-off, Breeze has understandably lost a lot of lightness and flexibility, becoming much heavier to handle.
She has also developed some challenging attitude that will need to be sensitively managed away as it's not her fault.
The aim will be to turn all this around with the right activities guided by appropriate leadership.
There is no reason that her age or previous afflictions should restrict her restart or progress.
Our next post will bring things up to date with our initial assessment of where Breeze is now before we get on with working out her program.