PAPOOSE - ISH x Welsh Cob, 16.2hh, born 2005

Paps - our amazing Therapy Horse!

Papoose ('Paps') is now 13 yrs of age, 16.2hh,  Welsh Cob x Irish Sports Horse, with a strong will and gentle nature.  He is well schooled and excellent in-hand and at liberty work, but needs to be ridden, not taking passengers kindly - in fact - he will often do what he likes with weaker riders!   He grazes with Rosie who has taught him a great deal in the language of horse behaviour, and has weekly dressage lessons to teach him better manners, but his Welsh stubborn nature pops out from time to time.   Generally he is Cathy's horse, but other well experienced and competent riders may ride him from time to time.  Please visit his own HORSE ADILITY VIDEO PAGE here!



Papoose was born and bred on a lovely small hill farm in mid-Wales. He was sold to us as his breeder had suffered a riding accident, and although he wanted to keep him, could not train him. Shortly after he came to us as a five year old, largely unbroken and unridden, he started to show a few signs of 'difficulty' in handling and riding. He was shaking his head, did not take kindly to saddles all the time, had most of us on the ground occasionally, and finally 'told' us that things were not right whilst doing dressage lessons.


At this point we started to pay attention, and called in some specialists. He was diagnosed with C1 and c2 muscles out of alignment on his poll, his right hand shoulder had at some time suffered an injury, potentially causing him nerve damage, he was quite locked up in both his shoulders, and his hind quarters were a little stiff. The vet also found that he had pain in his tushes and filed the one which had erupted, the other still beneath his gums. We also put him on a diet of hay, instead of haylage, and what a change in a horse after that!  This had taken us 18 months to arrive at these conclusions!  Poor Paps.

As a result of being thrown from him in October 2011, and being unable to ride him because of injury and fear, we started to explore other ways of working with him.

And so we discovered the principles of horse agility. This worked like magic, taking his mind, and our mind off the real problem, and working with many other challenges at the same time.   Initially he still did not like us taking him round on a right lead, but shortly after constant gentle moves he is absolutely fine, easy to handle in-hand, lovely to ride, shows no signs of grumpiness and is quite a different horse.

I would recommend that if you have a problem horse, or a horse with problems, give him some horse agility exercises to get his mind to work, give him some stretches to exercise his muscles, and give him some treatments to help his muscles. We all benefit from such care, so he can too!!

Paps is my star,  my teacher and my inspiration - hopefully we/he can help others too, especially those with social and other health problems.

Paps Barefoot Trims

Paps has been sound and comfortable since day 1 barefoot.  As with all our horses we found that the first winter on lanes helped them considerably, and since the spring 2013 they have all gone straight into off-road work with no problems.  They are all kept on a low starch, low sugar diet, with increased levels of salts, magnesium and sodium bicarbonate in their feed... their coats  gleam and their bodies well rounded inspite of cold and wet weather!