Charlie's Blog

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    From Charlie's "friend"

    For the last few weeks, I have been "helping" Charlie to write his blog (well, it's not easy to type with hooves, although I'm sure if Charlie could, he would). Dawn and everyone at the stables has been telling me what Charlie has been up to (and I've made sure I've had lots of chats with Charlie himself), and I've done my best to turn it into the words I'd like to think that Charlie would use.

    This is the blog post I never thought I would have to write.

    As you know, a couple of months ago Charlie became ill quite suddenly with a condition called Equine Metabolic Syndrome. This caused him to develop laminitis. We knew Charlie's dressage days would probably be behind him, but we hoped that with the right care and treatment, he would in time recover sufficiently to enjoy a good quality of reasonably active life.

    He had been responding to the treatment well, and it looked like things were moving in the right direction. However, just after his last blog post, Charlie's laminitis suddenly and rapidly deteriorated, quite literally overnight. He was seen immediately by the farrier and the vet, but when his feet were x-rayed it was clear that the disease had progressed beyond any chance of recovery. It is an intensely painful condition, and we could not let him suffer.

    Sadly, Charlie was put to sleep.

    This was an absolutely heart-breaking decision to have to make, and Dawn - and everyone at Wenlo - is devastated.

    We are able to take some comfort from knowing that we gave him every chance we possibly could. A huge part of that is thanks to the many people who so generously contributed to the campaign which paid for Charlie to have the best of medicine and care, and also thanks to the people who worked hard to look after him during his illness.

    Charlie truly was a horse in a million, and we will all miss him more than mere words can say. However, if any of Charlie's friends - riders, parents, volunteers, supporters - has any words or thoughts they would like to share - a poem perhaps, a memory, or maybe a drawing or picture - please email them to Wenlo (see the Contacts page) and I will try to put some sort of tribute page together.

    Goodnight, and God Bless, Charlie - and thank you.

  2. Hello friends18 April 400

    I know it's been a couple of weeks since I last wrote my blog, and you're probably wondering what I've been up to. I can't really go very far at the moment, but the humans at the stables have told me all about the COVID-19 pandemic so I guess everyone knows what that feels like by now! I hope you're beginning to enjoy getting a little bit of normality back into your lives again, maybe seeing family and friends that you haven't been able to see for a while - and all the time remembering to take good care to follow the rules and stay as safe as you can.

    Now the "stay at home" orders have been lifted, a few more RDA riders are able to ride again and it is lovely to feel the stables starting to buzz. I just feel sad that I'm not able to do any work yet, as I do miss helping my friends. I feel quite wistful when I see Clancy or Jimmy going past my stable all tacked up and ready for a lesson, or hear Hilary coming back from a hack.

    So what have I been up to? Well, quite a bit, really, considering that I can't get out and about.

    I've had another visit from the vet, who took some blood tests to see how my EMS is responding to the treatment. I was quite anxious waiting for the results, I have to say! But it was good news - my blood sugar levels are coming down, and although still higher than what is considered a "normal" range, they are nowhere near as high as they were when I first became ill, and are heading in the right direction.

    18 April spa day

    Enjoying my spa day

    Then, on Sunday, I was allowed to leave my stable while it had its weekly clean-out. While my stable was being cleaned, I stood on a nice soft rubber mat while Sophie gave me a full-on spa treatment, shampooing my legs (which was good, as they have been getting quite itchy lately - all that standing around in deep straw!) and a really good groom. It was lovely to stand in the sunshine for a little while.Floor laying 1

    Uncle Iain installing my new stable mats

    When I was taken back into my stable I had another lovely surprise - a soft, bouncy floor to stand on! My stable has now been fitted with rubber mats like the one I was standing on for my spa treatment. I've still got a nice deep bed of straw on top of the rubber matting, but it means that even if I accidentally rearrange my bed (well, I do get a little bored sometimes!) the floor is still comfortable for me to stand on, and that will only help my aching feet to feel better.

    18 April floor v2   Cuddles v2
    Inspecting my new floor       My friend Mandy came to say "hi"

    They've told me that sometime in the next week or so I can expect some more visitors. The vet will be coming to x-ray my feet again, and then the farrier will be fitting me with some special new shoes. That will mean I get to leave my stable again for a little while - when you've been stuck inside for as long as I have, even a visit from the farrier seems exciting!

    40 winks

    That was so exhausting - I need a nap!

    Before I sign off, I'd just like to say, yet again, a huge THANK YOU from me and from all the humans at Wenlo RDA to everyone who has so kindly donated to my fundraising campaign to help with my treatment costs. It's really fantastic, as we still don't know how long it will be before I can start my RDA work again. But hooves crossed it won't be too long before I can see my friends again and not have to just hear the gossip from Jimmy and Clancy!

    See you soon,

    Charlie signature