I have owned Badgers Quiet Knight (Baby) since he was 4 months old and couldn’t wait for the time I would be able to ride him. In the spring of 2009 when he was rising four he was backed quietly and successfully at home. Due to my going away he was then sent to another yard to be ridden away with the plan of doing some light schooling and hacking over the summer. Unfortunately in his fourth week he had an accident that entailed him bolting through two five bar gates and two post and rail fences! The result was damage to the medial branch of his suspensory ligament on his right hind and (in some ways worse) a fear of saddling up.
My horse who had always taken everything in his stride had become a quivering wreck. Some ten months of rest and treatment later he was ready to start again. My confidence has plummeted and given his accident I felt it was important to send him to someone who had a track record of dealing with this type of problem. Martyn & Cath were recommended to me by word of mouth and the fact that you have experienced riders, a saddle fitter and a physiotherapist all in one place seemed ideal.
Throughout his three months at Woodside I was kept informed of his progress and encouraged to be there when he was being worked whenever it was possible for me to be. They never hid any of the issues he had from me and were happy to take steps back in his training whenever that was required. When it came to me riding they had a whole new problem to deal with – ME! Their patience with the horse is wonderful but their patience, encouragement and ‘pushing’ of the owners is legendry!
During his training my saddle started to cause problems which Martyn immediately dealt with by fitting one of his own WOW saddles and then lending it to me whilst I awaited my own to have the tree changed.
Loading into my trailer was also included in his training as it was not one of Baby’s favourite pastimes, within a day he was loading perfectly and continues to still.
Once we were both home they continued to support us, regularly phoning to see how things were going. Cath came out and treated Baby when he damaged his shoulder in the field and then both Martyn & Cath helped me when the time came to get back on, allowing me to take Baby to Woodside to use the school until our confidence was back on track.
After a fall at home I started to have problems again with Baby not wishing to go forward, yet again Cath came to the rescue coming out and encouraging me to be more assertive with Baby, back on track again!