Thursday, April 01, 2010


Today I am going to introduce Issabow, also known as Rat. My Steed.

Issabow came into our lives April 1997 as a "trade in" included in one of dads tractor deals. She was 1 month old and both her and her mother, Tess, were in ordinary to extremely bad condition. The farmer freely admitted he knew nothing of horses, they had access to pea straw and water.

They were definitely hay burners in those days. Intensive feeding to get them back onto their feet and looking good was needed. The day we picked them up we noticed a "belly button" on Rat. In fact it was so bad we thought, at first glance- and that's all we got as they were not tame- we had a colt and not a filly.

The vet was consulted. Rat had an umbilical hernia. We were told to observe it and feel it daily, if it got hard let them know.

So we went about our daily routine. Issabow was halter broken and learnt the 7 games in the Parelli program, she was steady, quiet and easy to handle. She was also a snot nose little so and so when she wanted to be. Above all else, she was most definitely, spoilt rotten. We thought outside of the square and thought about pre-ride training. So she would wear a saddle blanket and "girth"; usually just a piece of string holding it on. To take it one step further we decided she needed a rider, or two.

One morning at feed time we did the routine check. Lo and Behold the hernia was as solid as a rock. We were transferred from our local vet clinic to a specialist horse veterinary clinic two and a half hours away. After serious surgery which resulted in a portion of bowel being removed Rat commenced her stay in horsey hospital. She was given a very slim chance of survival and stayed there for quite some time.

As she was a well handled and socialised foal she became well known to the vets and vet nurses. They said she was a pleasure to work with and I am glad that we had started playing with her at such a young age.

When we, finally, got to bring our baby home she was prescribed stable confinement and a very strict, and small, ration. Twice daily temperature checks and poo counts, along with reporting back to the vet nurses. We were very lucky to have her survive, although I have heard that real luck is spelt W-O-R-K and have to admit that a lot of work went into her health and well being.

Mum completed level 1 PNH with Rat in 2001. Tess was to be my levels horse but due to bad colic we lost her 3/3/01. I graduated onto Rat. I have to admit that I still only consider Rat "green broke" as I don't ride her as much or as often as I should. When we moved from South Australia all our horses made the move with us, I'm not sure what they thought of their overnight boat trip, but they survived it!!!

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