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Spinal Research


The Saddle-up Stable  -  Murphy

Murphy looks bigger than he is with a rider on him, because he has such a terrific front end.  He's only 16.3 and has been with us for 7 years. (He is now 17.)  He was bred in Cornwall and purchased by Nigel Wakley as a four year old.  He spent four years as a hunt horse with the Ledbury where - because he was up-to-weight and a real gentleman, he was ridden by hunt staff and visiting Masters.  When Robert started hunting him, the horse was most disappointed to find himself back in the field and at the Meet, always tries to sneak closer to hounds.


Murphy - heavyweight hunter

When Robert added Ruby to his 'string', Murphy's workload eased off, in keeping with his advancing years and the fact that he has quite a few 'miles on the clock'.  He has a sidebone on his near fore, which does not appear to cause him problems, but was a bit stiff 18 months ago and was put onto Cortaflex.  This appears to have had a remarkable effect - he's even started throwing in a few bucks in the first hour!

He does have a few management problems.  He has a high wither, but drops away a little behind the wither and we had quite a lot of trouble getting a saddle to fit him.  He had also suffered some saddle sores before we got him, which left him with some thin skin on his back.  In his first season, he developed some little lumps in these areas which were the result of a little dirt getting in under the skin and setting up an infection.  We use a clean numnah every time he is ridden and pay a lot of attention to the cleanliness of the saddle patch, both before and after riding.

He has no real behaviour problems other than playing 'won't be caught' from time to time.  He's a very sensible 'hack' but finds hacking rather dull.  He livens-up when hunting, and can be quite strong, but is ridden in a snaffle.

He forced us to buy a lorry for him several years ago.  After travelling happy in a large (510) Ifor Williams trailer for 4 seasons, he suddenly decided (for no reason that we could fathom) that he was never going to travel in one again.  Although he would walk on calmly, he then started panicking even before the ramp was put up.  We tried patience for several weeks and then gave up and got out the cheque book!

  Murphy - heavyweight hunter

Although we still have no idea when hunting will be able to start (we are still officially an 'infected area') we have just started Murphy's walking exercise as he needs rather longer to get fit than some of the others.

Murphy had a quiet winter.  He stayed at home (with Callie for company) when the rest went over to Bishops Castle, stabled and hacked out daily (weather permitting.)  When Ruby went lame, we stepped up his exercise and sent him over to join the others - just in case he was needed - but fortunately Bruno stayed sound and Murphy came home at the end of the season.  He is being kept in light work, hacking out a couple of times a week.



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