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Update From Common Farm

Good morning all you lovely people out there in this crazy world, I thought I would just do a small blog and give you an update on what is going on in our crazy world.

The horses seem to be in very good form now at home, however the proof will be in the running of them, which will begin next week.

As you know we did some allergy testing on a few of Patricia’s horses and they came back with a myriad of sensitivities. I must be honest; I was rather sceptical but obviously I went along with the changes that needed to be done. It was a bit challenging to say the least...

Here was just one of the conundrums, Mr F was allergic to the following, obviously some of these he wasn’t exposed to but the lab does an across the board test:

Bermuda Grass Rye (cereal) Sorrel Betulacea Privet Oak Willow Beech Cockroaches (?) Culicoides Rye AlfaA Carrot SoyaBean

So Soya was in every part of the feed he was having, from the mash to the balancer to the nut, he was also getting an alfaa chaff…To work out how to feed him was very tricky as pretty much every high energy feed on the market contains soya. However with the help of Will from Topspec and Clare from Dengie, we came up with a plan, he is now on oats, Performance Fibre from Dengie, Sugar Beet and Performance Lite balancer from Topspec. He was looking so poor that I added some conditioning nuts that Toomers sell by a company called Pegasus (apparently that is Spillers) which are very cheap but have no Soya in.

Fast forwards two weeks on new diet and he was still looking rubbish, so Shane said he must stay in and not go out grazing (he was still living out at the time). We also did a gastroscope. That showed nothing except a few small lesions (less than grade 1 in ulcer terms) possibly from eating his bedding whilst being starved for the scope. We decided to change the bedding too, from chopped straw, coated in eucalyptus to cardboard and shavings.

Forwards another 3 weeks and he is looking amazing, he is behaving like a just broken 2 year old, bucking, spooking and generally being a tit and yesterday he went away for his first bit of work and came home and ate up. I could not be happier with him, in fact I can’t ever remember him behaving so badly, I certainly wouldn’t put just anyone on him now, he is my worst ride of the day! 6 weeks ago I could barely get him to raise a trot.

I would love to know what change has brought about the most improvement, I’m sure we will never know but it led me to thinking about how many horses that have been compromised by long term illness, then become sensitive. When I think of the amount of wind ops we had done in the other yard, would the need to do them have arisen from the inflammation due to allergens or from the virus weakening their nerves? No point in looking back now, what’s done is done and looking forwards is so exciting.

Anyway the rest of those in work are now on three times a day, a huge scoop of Alfa a oil, Aalfa Beet, Oats, Performance balancer and the odd one gets some conditioning cubes, they all look great and Dave, who fell apart after Stratford, is now in top form again. Looking at him and Mr F, it was almost like they had been being poisoned, Dave is allergic to Rye grass and soya, and he was grazing on a Rye grass paddock, eating Rye Grass haylage and being fed feed with Soya in (you couldn’t make it up), so they actually were being poisoned.

Will these changes bring about the improvement on the racecourse? I bloody hope as they are nearly bankrupting me, they eat better than I do!

We have Alan entered for next week, he is more than likely to go to Uttoxeter on the Friday but we will have to wait and see about the ground, that is a big factor in where to place him. I have been very disappointed with him this summer and although I can find excuses for his last run, I would expect a massive improvement from him, we have upped his work again, schooled him plenty and debated for hours how to ride him and what trip…

Dave will have a few more bits of work then we will try him at a galloping track, we know now that he must come in the parade ring as late as possible and go down last to the start, I will also send our trace down there to keep hold of him for whoever rides him. I know as with everything with Dave, the more he does the more he will settle, however I think at Stratford we had gotten carried away with how settled and well he had been working at home and he lost his tiny mind. He was also not right or fit enough as he does everything so easily at home.

Gallic is going better than I ever thought he would again, the time we have waited with him has paid off, Patricia is so good to her horses and I hope one of them can pay her back now.

That might be Eddie, she worked beautifully yesterday and barely exerted herself, I think she is very classy and have asked Patricia to think of a name as we are only a few weeks off of a run with her.

Eddie was absolutely vile before we took her off the Soya, she dropped Our Trace a few times by slamming the breaks on and ducking out at a canter, she was narky in the box and carried far too much topline, was too heavy and sluggish. Within a week of coming off the soya, she was a dream ride and forward 5 weeks she has lost the fat heaviness and is going from strength to strength.

Jems starts ridden work again tomorrow after her Hobday and she has put on a few pounds (haven’t we all??) during her time off. However, she will get back into full work quickly and we can crack on.

Flying Risk has been having a month just walking to help a few issues she came with, we aim to start riding her again next week and are really excited about her this season, I have 20% of her left to sell if anyone is looking for a share, she has won a bumper and been second and third in two maiden hurdles on heavy ground in Ireland.

Jack continues to improve everyday and he is looking like a beast, I am so excited for him this season and I’m even more exciting to be sharing his journey with all the lovely ladies in the #TheseGirlsCan partnership. I aim to run him in two weeks all being well.

Claude is growing like a weed and his knees are too open to do anything with for a while, that’s the good thing about me owning him, I can take my time with him and make sure he becomes the horse I think he will be.

The gallop is progressing slowly, and the thinking is we will only get the circular canter in and a few furlongs of the straight before we lose the ground to do the work. The rest will be done in the spring.

I may go to the sales at Donny to find something else to get on with and run, I am hoping that once we start running well again, owners who are paying massive training fees in huge yards may start to take notice of our small but quality yard, with fantastic staff and outstanding facilities once they are finished.


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