The vet came the other day to check out Splash. When a vet visits a property, it seems to be usual procedure to get other horses checked out at the same time. So if an owner has their horse grazing, they might take advantage of the vet visit to get their horse a consultation. So that’s what happened. A number of owners descended on our property from 9.30am when the vet was supposed to arrive. But as we’re learning in rural NZ, 9.30am could be 10.30am, could be 11.30am. Turned out 9.30am was 11.00am.

The vet came down our long drive in a white van and proceeded to the round yard where some horses were waiting (nervously most likely). The vet jabbed them both against some sort of worm and then I had a quick word with him about Splash. We’d noticed some limping of the hind legs in the morning. Was it just a stiff muscle – because she seemed to be fine once warmed up. The vet was a man of few words. Basically, he took one look at Splash’s hind legs and announced she had hyperflection and locked stifle.

Everyone who had gathered around nodded sagely. I’m left asking: locked what?? Was it serious? The vet took off in the direction of Cloud and spent ages examining her, including looking into her mouth and checking out the teeth. This made me shudder a bit since this coming week, I’m having a wisdom tooth yanked out. Ouch.

The vet then comes back up to me and whispers that he would not buy Splash. She’d need an operation to rectify the locked whatever; there would be recuperation; and until he operated, he wouldn’t know if there was secondary arthritis. Those gathered nodded sagely again, except me. It sounded like pretty dreadful news. The upshot is that we turned down Splash – I didn’t want to take the risk, not with my very first horse. I was a bit sad as I’d grown fond of Splash, we had a bond, but she has now gone to someone down the road, who is trialling her for two weeks fully knowing what the vet said.

Meanwhile, turns out that Cloud is most likely lame. This is pretty devastating news for the owner as she was trialing the horse for her 10 year old daughter, who loves Cloud. There is now a lot of angst over whether to buy this horse or not. So it’s not such great news in the horsey world this week.

Mobile vet van - full of nasty looking syringes.

Splash's hind legs being examined.

Yeegads! what the heck are you doing looking into my mouth?!