Pictured: Shannon Lightfoot and Lily at MEC in 2017
From the desk of Rider, Shannon Lightfoot:
Lilly is my now 13 year old 1/2 Arab & 1/2 Paint X Mare. I saw her for sale online in Thunder Bay and started messaging the owner. After corresponding back and forth we figured out I had the perfect horse for her and Lilly sounded to be like a perfect horse for me. We made the trade sight unseen besides photos and videos and we have both been super happy with our decision to trade. The day I brought her home she injured herself. She sliced her leg on a straight wire fence that separated two paddocks. Fortunately it was superficial and didn’t cause any immediate damage. She just needed a couple months for the wound to heal and that’s just what she got.
We started showing up to Endurance rides towards the end of the 2016 summer. We rode 15 miles at the Canadian Endurance Championships (CEC) held in Spruce Woods, Mb in August. She was showing to be a good horse out on the trails and decided to do a LD of 25 miles at the Manitoba Endurance Championships (MEC) in Birds Hill Park which she completed no problem.
In 2017 we rode LD 25’s consistently all summer. The first ride of that year was in Pembina Valley and we rode back to back 25’s. We completed both days placing 4th with Best Condition on the Saturday and 4th with High Vet Score on the Sunday. What a way to start off the season. Lilly continued to do 25’s throughout the rest of the season and logged 330 LD (Limited Distance) miles.
At the beginning of 2018 I started conditioning with her again for the upcoming season but she was riding ‘off’ on her left lead. We rode 25 miles at the first ride for MTRC in Birds Hill Park where she started ‘off’ and finished ‘off’ but didn’t get any worse. I gave her sometime off and we tried the first ride for DRM at Mars Hills where the same Vet said she looked good at vetting in. We rode 15 miles and sure enough she was ‘off’ again. So I had to figure out what was going on. I had Vet Janice Posnikoff come out and look at her and right away she determined it was her SI and suggested 3 sessions of Magnawave for 20 minutes in the one area. For extra precaution I had my regular Vet Gillian Dobson come out for a chiropractor adjustment. When Gillian came she started off by asking me why I thought she needed adjusting. I told her about the other vet’s findings and she said, with her understanding, SI issues are secondary and we needed to find the primary problem. We tried flexion tests and she concluded Lilly was showing worse afterwards. I opted to do X-rays on the hocks to see if that’s where the problem may be. We were right on the first try. She had arthritis setting in from her run in with the fence and we could see points in her joints that could be causing some pain. So with hock injections and magnawave Lilly was looking good. I chose to let her rest for awhile and start slowly because I didn’t want to over do it. I also had a 5 yr old Purebred Arab Gelding, Spartan, I had just gotten back from training to work with as well, so I put my time into him.
On Sept 22 Lilly and I rode 25 miles at the MEC where we placed 2nd. She then went to Stockholm, Sk where we rode back to back 25’s on Oct 6,7 and she placed 5th on Saturday and 7th on Sunday. I was so happy to have my girl back. Her attitude had changed though she was like a fire breathing dragon. She wanted to pass all the other horses and just go and it took me a lot to hold her back. I had just assumed it was from not riding her all summer and she just had pent up energy and ‘race brain’.
I started conditioning her for the 2019 season at the beginning of March and she was still acting like a fire breathing dragon. It took her a few rides to calm down and be my steady Eddie like I knew before. We had 4 conditioning rides that were steady and calm and on the 4th ride a loose rein the whole time. Then we gave her hock injections again. That’s when I found out that because she was feeling better from the injections that I might be stuck with a fire breathing dragon. We rode 5 days after the injections were given and she definitely had more spunk again. I’m looking forward to putting a few more rides on her and see where this takes us. My goal for this year is to do my first Endurance ride of 50 miles on May 4th. Hopefully the weather cooperates so we can really start to condition more. Depending how she fairs on her first 50 we will continue to do 50’s throughout the summer.
May the 4th be with US.
Shannon Lightfoot M44205
Aye Chihuahua (Lilly) H54301