Pete leaves his rider high and dry

WELL, this week’s been all about vettings and riding school inspections.

I’ve been busy with both and travelled quite a bit this week.

Riding schools licensed by the local authorities have to be inspected by a vet who is on the panel of riding school inspectors. The school has to have an animal inspection and generally I’m accompanied by one of the local authority officers.

The inspection is thorough and covers a wide variety of issues, not just the health and welfare of the horses and ponies used in the school.

I have to inspect each horse/pony, checking eyes, heart and general condition, then watch them walk and trot, as well as see them all tacked up, exam the tack for any defects and check the riding hats.

The premises have to be checked for lighting, drainage, general tidiness, fire hazards and fire-fighting provisions, notices, the riding arenas, fields and fences to make sure that all are suitable for horses and riders to prevent injury to either. The inspections can be quite lengthy with some of the schools, one visit having in excess of 40 horses, so it can take all day.

At least the sun has shone this week and so I’ve had quite an enjoyable time.

We also went to a show on Sunday with Piccolo Pete where he managed to surpass himself, bucking the rider off, bronking over two fields to the show jumping, then back to do two laps of the wagon park.

Luckily horse and rider were both fine and he managed to get two seconds – surprisingly giving an excellent performance of looking like a horse who’d never had a saddle on before!

Anyway the saddle fitter came on Monday evening so he now has a lovely new saddle and no excuse for any fun and games. We’ll wait and see!

Sam Prescott,

Director and Senior Vet