When Bodie arrived unfortunately she wasn't in the best of condition, a previous loan that hadn't worked out had left Nina with a horse in quite poor condition. Lack of teeth, hence the name 'Don't look a gift horse in the mouth', it meant that pushing high calorie feeds into her wasn't very easy at the best of times, as she didn't have great capacity to chew!
I still find these photos really hard to look at. The first photo of her rib cage, you could count her ribs one at a time, her spine was protruding out of her back like an apex, her whole body was emaciated, her skin was pulled tight around her bones and she was given a body score of just 1. I don't even recognise the Bodie that I know and love in the second photo. In the one where she is looking at the camera, she just looks dead behind the eyes, there is no life and to be honest, I'm not sure how much life she had left. The rug she is wearing in that photo was a brand new 250g, 6.3' John Whitaker rug to keep her snuggly... this rug barely fits her now. In the photo you can see how it's moulded to the shape of her spine.
I was very fortunate that I went to a lovely yard run by Pam Kay and I met some really amazing people that gave me advice probably on a daily basis, particularly Cherry. I had a plan and I stuck to it. I was getting into a routine of early morning mucking out, turning out, making up feeds and soaking them for her to be able to consume. It was then suggested by Cherry that I actually get on and ride. I had become so used to feeding and just admiring her that I didn't want to get on! I actually made myself quite poorly just before getting on as I was so worried! They had to keep reminding me 'this is why you got a horse Kate'. I guess the whole making my self poorly thing has continued ever since! It's like a habit now.
After about a week after I had first got on, I invited both my parents (mum had regularly been coming to visit, but Dad had never been). I felt like how my brothers probably feel when they buy a new car and show it off. So I proudly showed them around the yard, "here is the muck heap, here are my shavings, here is her feed, that is the school over there, here is my stable and here [whipping off Bodie's rug at the same time] is my horse"....
All my dad could say was "Where is the rest of it?".
There was a bit of banter then between my dad and my eldest brother about being sold a duff racehorse, plenty of glue jokes thrown in there too. They couldn't see what I could feel though. I had nothing to lose here, she was only a loan, so I threw everything and the kitchen sink at her and started getting her fit.