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Henry Update - May Blog

Hello Everyone, I hope you’ve all had a happy and successful month!

So last month I left you as Henry and I were getting ready to compete in the Mendip Plains Hunter Trial. I love the cross-country at Mendip Plains and last year Henry won his class out of over 150 starters, so I had high expectations for this competition. He warmed up pretty good- VERY excited! Into the starting box and off we went. He launched over the first one and then number 2 he ran out the side.  We only made it to fence 9 and had 6 refusals before I decided to retire him which I’ve never done cross country. In three and a half years he’s never had faults cross country. This was all very out of character for Henry so we were obviously very worried. By the time we got back his front legs were very filled so I walked him out for a while and iced his legs and they went back to normal quickly. The next day he was absolutely fine and walked and trotted soundly.

I pondered over this experience at Mendip Plains for a few days. Everyone was very shocked but said to understand that all horses have off days and that they aren’t machines. I eventually decided to ask Duncan (vet who has seen him for all previous leg issues) to look at him again. I was really expecting him to tell me to stop being silly and that he’s fine and to ‘crack on with life’ again. Duncan saw three other horses that afternoon with really good news for everyone. Turns out Henry was yet again, lame on flexion, but this time on both his front legs. I was absolutely devastated at this point, I’ve always had a pretty good gut instinct about Henry and I really thought it was bad news. 

We scheduled an MRI of his front feet and forelimbs for after my final uni exams. Unfortunately, this meant two weeks of waiting and speculation. However, I went to Badminton (Cross Country day) which, as always, was an amazing day with some fantastic horses! After a bit of shopping we headed over to the B&W Equine Vets tent. We had an amazing view of the lake with a Pimms so thank you for having us! Wish I’d been everyday;) 

Henry went to B&W Equine Hospital at Breadstone on Wednesday 17th May. He settled in very quickly and was very happy to visit a new place and meet loads of new people. He was taken such good care of at Breadstone and I want to thank everyone that looked after him. Henry even got to help out by being filmed for an MRI video! We picked up Henry the next day and took him home and waited for the results.

Henry has something called bone Odema and Sclerosis in both of his front legs but it is more evident in the leg which he fractured his splint bone. It is a common condition in young racehorses and can commonly be followed by a cannon bone fracture. His leg complications have come from stress to the leg. With further consultation with Duncan we decided to retire Henry. It is more than likely that Henry will return to full work but, at least for now rest is the best thing that we can give Henry. He’s been such a fantastic pony and he owes me nothing. He’s been really enjoying playing in the field getting more chubby than he already was! I’m devastated to see him missing his work- he gets very jealous when I’m tacking up my friends pony to go for a ride! But I know Henry’s not done yet- he’ll be back! 

So as of now we are looking for a new pony. Good thing my 21st Birthday is right round the corner ;) We are hoping to go over to Ireland in the next couple of weeks to look at some horses so I’m super excited for that.

So here’s to a better month. Best wishes to all of you!

Helen, Henry & ?......


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