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15 December Posted: 15 December 2016

I have survived this week, why survived? It was my birthday and I hate birthdays even more so since I turned 40 two years ago! All I want to do is quietly forget it. I am a bit of a bah humbug about Christmas too but had to make a bit of an attempt last week as I was asked to judge at the pony club Christmas show.

Pictured here with the fancy dress winner you will see they even made me wear antlers!

Counting down to next week and Ellie’s tip to the vets. Seems strange not riding and certainly the longest ever I haven’t other than due to injury. If it has to happen it is a good time of the year with dark evenings.

The foals continue to entertain and amuse me. They are growing quickly and coping fine with the living out and haven’t found a need to resort to rugs yet. Sarnie of course is in a thick Rambo as she is both special and delicate!

9 December Posted: 9 December 2016

I always promised Shoestring would follow the highs and lows of amateur eventing and certainly just now is one of the biggest lows. Sorry for not updating before now but the enthusiasm has rather left me and certainly I have been rather burying my head in the sand. I haven’t really felt like updating the blog but with some firm news now is the time.

Sadly Ellie has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder. A neurological disorder is a disorder affecting the brain, nerves or spinal cord and the prognosis is often poor. Over the last 3 or 4 weeks symptoms have developed from a slight lack of co ordination behind to her almost drunk and staggering. Quite interestingly she can vary between the drunk staggering and perfectly normal, the first time my vet came out he could find nothing wrong. However since we have been to my practice for neurological tests and they have confirmed it is neurological. At this point in time this is as much as we know, we don;t know where the problem is or what has caused it, she has had no accidents.

We have now been referred to one of the Country’s leading specialists (Dicky Hepburn) in Gloucestershire at B&W vets. However even the specialist said diagnosing the cause in a horse of Ellie’s age can be challenging. Looking on the positive occasionally there is something they can do to cure the problem (remove a cist may be an example) but realistically the outcome is often poor. Not only am I selfishly upset but she is one of the loveliest, most genuine horses I have had who I genuinely believe could have made a top class eventing pony.

Please can everyone keep fingers firmly crossed for the 20th December. This depressing news has also coincided with another big decision. However talented Posy is I have come to the conclusion we have never really clicked and it is time to move her on. I just lack the facilities and time to bring the best out of her and we have never really built up a ridden bond. Due my lack of facilities and the reluctance of people to travel to Cornwall she has gone to a friend to sell on. So no riding and nothing currently to look forward.

3 December Posted: 3 December 2016

Apologies on the lack of updates everything is a bit in the doldrums really however more on that next week. The website is playing up again and I am desperately looking at options to get it functional again. Sadly having built this from scratch with limited knowledge moving it to a new platform, upgrading and giving it the functionality I crave is proving way beyond my budget. Need to work out what the best option is as there will be a cost involved and need to make sure it is the right one! I want to have something in place before March and ideally January so service can resume as normal but not sure how realistic it is very frustrating.

Meanwhile with the dark evenings and lack of exercise I have now joined a local gym. This is a big sacrifice to me as I don’t enjoy the gym, can’t relate to a lot of the people that go and would rather do just about anything else. However I can’t run (due to hip), don’t fancy cycling in the dark so my options were distinctly limited. Managed 3 visits this week so hopefully can keep it up for the benefit of my fitness.

Website permitting hopefully a proper update next week. If we do have anyone reading this who knows website design to a professional level and can give me some advice I would love to hear from you.

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