Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lutine Du Manaou: The Story Begins

Lutine Du Manaou was born on 23rd April 1999 at a small Anglo Arab sports horse stud in south west France. She is by an approved French national stud stallion, called Veloce de Favi, and her mother is also an approved French sportshorse called Titania d'Echez. Lutine was destined for 'big things' in terms of her competitive career, and she started this off by becoming French national champion Anglo Arab foal in September 1999 at Pompadour.

Things seemed to be going well for Lutine. She was looked after carefully according to all the traditional 'best practise' for sports horses and, at the age of 3, she was started under saddle very gently and did a summer of trail riding and competing in some appropriate young horse classes at some of the big shows (showing, known as 'Modeles et Allures' in French, and loose jumping only) in south west France. However, in September 2002, she went lame. No one could find out why she had gone lame but, at the age of 3, she was showing signs of a horse ailment called 'Navicular Syndrome'. For the next 3 years, she was given every kind of treatment the local vets and farriers knew of and nothing seemed to work. In addition, she was getting thinner and thinner, weaker and weaker until, in December 2005, she went to the local equine hospital for the 'last assessment'. The vet, an equine specialist, took more X rays, examined her and officially decided that she was still lame, they had done everything they could for her and knew of nothing else they could do. His advice was to 'ride her in straight lines until she starts to limp, then have her put down (euthanised)'. So, her owners decided that enough was enough and, after Christmas, she was to be put down.

I ended up taking on Lutine because of a series of unlikely events. Lutine's co-owner, a lady, was very upset about the situation. To her, having the little stud was a dream and Lutine had been a dream horse. She couldn't bear to see Lutine so poorly and, mixed in with her concern for the horse, was the loss of the thing that represented the epitome of her personal dream. The lady ended up speaking about her plight with another person who's father had been on a natural hoofcare clinic I had hosted and it was she who contacted me about helping Lutine. I said I would 'just go to see her' and, of course, that meant that I came home with a new horse.


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