Your Horse’s #Hack1000Miles has helped one rider to rehabilitate her horse following kissing spines surgery.

One year into owning Thoroughbred ex-racehorse Morse, Amanda Hamley finally had a diagnosis for his tricky behaviour: kissing spines.

“He had been very reluctant to go forward, but he was never naughty,” says Amanda, 47. “He was very kind, he just wouldn’t go forward.

“He was investigated for lots of different things, but in the end I said ‘let’s just have a look at his back’. So we X-rayed him,” continues Amanda, who was then told by vets the gelding had kissing spines.

“It was only mild, but it was obviously enough,” she recalls.

A course of action

“I turned Morse away for the winter so he could have some downtime, and then in February he had four ligament snips,” explains Amanda. “Then he had a short period of box rest, and then a period of really short in-hand walks.

“Once we really started the rehab I just had to do something every single day and build it up slowly.”

Around 10% of Amanda’s 1,000 miles were walked in-hand with Morse during his rehab.

“I’ve not got a school, but have plenty of hills as we’re on Exmoor, so that’s what we had to do,” she says.

“The good thing about that was because he hadn’t seen a lot in his life, what with being in racing, I got to introduce him to sheep and cows and all that kind of stuff, so it all worked out rather well.”

Amanda is now back riding Morse and plans to compete him in endurance in the future.

“He’s just getting more and more confident; it’s taken him a little while to get over the pain memory, but he’s much better,” she adds.

‘I didn’t realise I was going to finish it so quickly’

Amanda rode most of the miles on Lady © Ian Wigley

Amanda did the bulk of the 1,000 miles with her other horse, Lady.

“I’ve owned Lady for six years. We do endurance, but only managed to do two rides last year because everything kept getting cancelled,” explains Amanda, who is a trustee for the charity Healing Hooves Devon.

“We got onto the Wessex endurance team at Cirencester; we represented them in the 30km. I was very pleased with my Lady for that.”

The trio finished the challenge in eight months.

“I didn’t know how much I rode until I started writing it down. I didn’t realise I was going to finish it so quickly,” says Amanda.

“I think it’s because I don’t have a school, so all I can really do is ride out. It also helps having two horses.”

Main image copyright: LRG Photography

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