Favourite Number 1

L Stig – 

Please be warned this page contains pictures and video that could be considered graphically disturbing to any animal lover, but trust me there is a happy ending 

What power!


I really think this picture paints a thousand words to tell the story of this horse.

Basic Information:

L Stig (GB)  born 26 April 2010

Thoroughbred, bred by S.L. Edwards & Sarah Hollinshead

By Striking Ambition (GB), out of Look Here’s May (GB)

By Revoque (IRE)


Racing information – L Stig Racing Post Entries

Bought by Lise-Marie Collins on 14/02/2017

Pitifully sad

When he arrived on the yard many people described him as having “Lost the will to live” or “A bad advert for the RSPCA.”  You could easily count every rib and his point of hip was so sharp and pronounced it could take an eye out. His skin on his neck and shoulders had such a bad condition to them we had him tested for ringworm and other skin conditions, however it was nothing more than previous poor care.  He arrived at night but you can see a video of him here the next day Poor Stig.  But through all that he was the most gentle soul and so began the hard work of bringing this horse back to full strength as opposed to a ‘waste product’ from the race industry.

He had lots of things we needed to overcome at the beginning, one of which was that he suffered from an untreatable condition called ‘Aural Plaque’ or just simply ‘Ear Plaque’.  This meant he was very very sensitive about his ears and was completely ear shy. Watch him here being tacked up….

This is something that to this very day we work with but something that’s slowly he’s getting better.  He doesn’t have his bridle put on in the ‘normal’ way, but he’s now very good and accepting of being tacked up.  And now in a far less conventional way….

We also just turned him away and fed him 3 large meals a day for the first few weeks; after having his back checked our amazing Animal Musculoskeletal Therapist (specializing in McTimoney and Equinology Chiropratic & Bodywork), Jin Langstone of Kismet Animal Therapy recommended at least 2 weeks of rest and then a program specifically designed to help build his back muscles.  He had zero muscles for a saddle and rider to sit on, poor boy!

From there we continued slowly but surely and piece by piece he started to come together and grow into this amazing Eventing Prospect.  We started jumping him in the summer of 2017, and although his first attempts were exactly as you would expect from an ex-hurdler (very long and low), he never got stressed or het up; staying cool, calm and collected through-out. In July we entered him into his very first ever Dressage Competition where he scored nearly 65% (with 2 x 8’s/10) and was placed second.  I was so very proud of him that day and everything we’d done to change his life.

Beautiful boy!
When we asked him to go over, he went OVER!

The Problem

Stig is such an amazing horse and although doesn’t have the big expressive steps for things like Dressage that a horse like Holme Park Halle has, he is a real trier, with graceful steps, a great big heart and just wants to please.

Unfortunately when we ask Stig to jump higher and ask him to be more technical with his jumping he appeared unable to understand exactly what jumping requires.

So what you see in the picture here is about a high as he can do and even that is NOT consistently.  I feared that he’s just not a natural, with a lot of time and patience he might become competent but this is not the job I’m looking for him to do if he’s not going to naturally excel.

With a very heavy heart I made the decision to sell him but as a last ditch effort I called on my Equine Chiro to check his back.  Immediately she saw that there was a problem; a very subtle lameness and recommended he was seen by a vet.  Straight away I booked him into the vets for a full lameness workup, when I went to collect him I met with the vet who had diagnosed Kissing Spine, plus early Navicular, plus early Degenerative Joint Disorder (DJD) in his hocks.

Now this isn’t the instant retirement (or worse) that it used to be, and all of the great work we’ve been doing on the flat is exactly what he needs right now.  So now we’re moving forward with a program of physio, massage, hydro-therapy and ridden work focused on stretching long and low.

The Solution, and More Problems

Since the diagnosis Stig’s been treated for everything as best as we can by the vets.
A week after returning from this treatment he managed to get himself a field injury consisting of a very small puncture wound; on further investigation this turned out to also be a bone chip (see the x-ray below).

Then he spent 2 lovely weeks at the amazing Re-hab facility of New Hatches just outside of High Wycombe (a video clip for those interested is below). Where Bronny and her team did some amazing work with their water-treadmill, (plus some in hand work too).

Then upon returning home we got one quiet week with a fabulous in-hand lesson with Diane Thurman-Baker. Teaching Stig and me to work long and low from the ground with lots and lots of lateral work.
And then another field injury consisting of none less than 9 separate minor wounds and 2 slightly more significant resulting in a week of box rest.
Back to work from that for no more than 5 days and then he lost a shoe last Thursday.
My fab farrier came straight out and fixed this so finally after 6-8 weeks of stress I managed an amazing hack on Saturday morning, before the sun got too hot and truly loved being back with my favourite boy Stig.

The Future

Stig happy grazing

Stig is never going to be an eventer, in fact he’s never going to jump again.  But that’s just not meant to be, however his flat work has really stepped up this year and now he’s ready to compete at Novice and very nearly Elementary.

Stig’s new future is in Dressage and we’ll just see how far he can go; medium??  Med-Advanced??  Lets see  

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