When Rosemary bought Tilly as a green 5 year old she had no idea of the emotional rollercoaster ahead. Rosemary had decided that as she was in her sixties and suffered with arthritis, her usual Thoroughbreds were getting a bit too much. So, she opted for a pretty 14hh Connemara mare, to take life a little easier. Though it seems Tilly had talent and she wanted to show it!
Rosemary says “The first summer with Tilly, she had taken a kick and needed some time off. Then I had an accident and managed to get my chest trodden on, so I needed some time off the following year. Eventually all was looking good for 2016 with Tilly in daily work and competing in Working Hunter classes and Dressage. Tilly was a little overweight at this time, and it showed mostly in her neck and bum. Though I wasn’t too concerned as she was working and turned out on very little grass.”
However, the weight issue was causing internal damage that Rosemary couldn’t see, until disaster struck during the May bank holiday. “We were at a dressage competition, and her upward transitions just didn’t feel right. I took her home, kept her in and called the vet out a couple of days later. By this time poor Tilly was crippled with pain. We got x-rays done that day which showed pedal bone rotation in both front feet. The vet gave us a strict diet to follow with box rest on deep wood pellets. I was totally devastated.”
The problem with any restricted diet in horses, is making it last. As horses are trickle feeders, they don’t need to eat it all so quickly, but given the chance most will get through their ration far too quickly and be left standing bored and hungry. If the horse is also in pain, the stress to the horse is even worse.
Rosemary contacted Trickle Net for advice and bought 3 Trickle Net Mini’s to help manage hay rations and help with Tilly’s recovery. “With management I was able to ensure that Tilly was hardly ever without food, but she was eating at a more sensible healthy rate. As I work full time for the NHS, my sister helped with the day time care and we slowly started to see improvements. With regular x-rays, imprint shoes and steady hand walking, by late October we had the go ahead to increase exercise to normal levels.”
“The following Spring we joined the Wobbleberries and started to have BE training. In August we won an unaffiliated ODE and in September we came second in our first ever affiliated BE ODE! We are just loving our eventing now, and we’ve qualified for the 80T regionals. I was worried Tilly would remember the pain and not want to jump, but thankfully she loves it! I honestly believe without those fantastic Trickle Nets we would not be where we are now. More likely, I would no longer have this amazing lovely pony at all. Of course, we are still using the Trickle Nets to keep her trim too.”
Ellen Chapman from Trickle Net says “We are always delighted to hear the many success stories where Trickle Net products have made such a difference. This story is particularly inspiring because Rosemary and Tilly have both overcome massive health problems. We wish them all the best for a very exciting future.”
The team at Trickle Net are available for advice on forage feeding, weight management gut health and the prevention and management of laminitis. Just call or contact us through the website.
www.tricklenet.co.uk 01522 720972