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Spinal Research


The Saddle-up Stable  -  Ruby


Ruby is a BIG 17.1 hands high mare (she threw a little more to the Percheron than the Thoroughbred!)  Purchased locally by Saddle-up's editor as a 3 year old, just backed, she quickly grew rather bigger than expected!  She has a nice temperament but - like most mares - has a bit of 'attitude' and doesn't like being pushed around!

She started a bit of light hunting as a four year old but wasn't pushed - big horses tend to mature slowly, both mentally and physically.  She was 'taken over' by Robert (editor's husband) three years ago and has proved a keen and reliable hunter and a safe jumper.  As you can see from the photos, she has a rather short neck and a slightly straight shoulder, but her action is good and she is ridden (and hunted) in a snaffle.

She's currently enjoying her summer break (which is why she's a bit portly) and receives a tiny 'token' feed of sweet mix once a day as a 'carrier' for her Farrier's Formula.  She was put onto this supplement 18 months ago as she was pulling shoes off at an alarming rate - the quality of her hooves and the life of her shoes have improved considerably.  She is currently unshod and has just been trimmed and had her Tetanus booster.  She shares a field with Murphy, the only horse in the group she does NOT intimidate. 

Ruby had a sarcoid removed from between her front legs as a four year old and has had no medical problems since (though the same cannot be said for her hapless owner, who has had a couple of visits to hospital and an operation on a smashed hand as a result of a kick.  She can be a real PIG to load sometimes!

Ruby LIVES for food:  she just won't wait for feeding.  Gates and stable walls have collapsed in front of her!  And people end up flat on their backs if they get between her and her food supply!

We have tried to persuade her to be a little more respectful, but it's a lost cause!




Ruby's 2001-2002 season was even shorter than normal.  On her first day out, she finished the day slightly lame, with a little heat and swelling in a fetlock joint.  A few weeks rest didn't see her right, so she came home.  After several months at grass she is still slightly unlevel, for reasons we do NOT understand.  We have the backman coming to her next week, and if he can't get to the bottom of it, some veterinary investigations will be needed.


We're now into August, Ruby is still lame and it's a bit of a mystery.  X-rays have revealed possible indications of Pedalostitis - but it's far from conclusive.  Her right hoof is starting to contract and the pectoral muscles on the right side are starting to waste so, after consultation with the vet, we have decided to put her on Bute, shoe her with bar shoes and start working her quietly.


Ruby remains very slightly unsound - we've decided she stands a very good chance of producing a nice heavyweight hunter!

2004  -  a bit like this, in fact!


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