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The yearlings

Posted: 19 May 2017 - Comments (0)

Finally I got a nice pictures of the yearlings (or timewasters as they are commonly referred to). They are really growing up and starting to look like little horses. Kensa is just under a year old and Tommy just over a year now. You can see both their Mum's in their faces and characters.

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Horsequest Advantage

Posted: 18 May 2017 - Comments (0)
I am delighted to have been announced as part of the Horsequest Advantage A Team. Advantage is a members only equestrian club, allowing you access to fantastic benefits including money off major brands, discounts on tickets, great competitions and offers. Membership is £3,50 a month and can be cancelled at any time.

Really looking forward to working with the team and seeing this new brand develop, I will be letting you know about products I benefit from and sharing some good offers occasionally.

It continues what has been a really exciting time for Shoestring this year with even greater numbers of people logging on and following on social media. More sponsors getting in contact and seeing the advantages Shoestring can bring. As always though I will only be working with companies and brands that I believe in and would be happy to use whether or not they were part of the team.

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Change of plans

Posted: 14 May 2017 - Comments (0)
Not quite what I expected to be writing but a very last minute change of plans this weekend. We headed off for Millfield on Friday really looking forward to our first run of the season. I knew that with the dry weather there was a risk that conditions may not be to my liking but I was hoping the ground was acceptable. We went to walk the course as soon as we had settled Ellie into the stabling nearby. The team were working hard on the course and although it was firm with the continued work I felt at 90 level it was acceptable to run.

However I was swayed when I walked the show jumping, the ring was on what they use as a rounders pitch and the grass cut very short, they had spiked but the ground here was pretty firm and you would need studs to stop slipping adding concussion. The warm up (although seen before they had worked on it) was a bit rough and very hard. Sadly there was no significant rain forecast that night and I decided for Ellie having had time off and being her first run we would save her for another day. Really disappointing and must emphasis this is no reflection on the event who worked very hard or anybody that did run. In fact with a lot of rain Saturday night I understand the going on Sunday was pretty near perfect.

For once the blow was softened by finding something else to do nearby. So we headed off to Chard Equestrian for their BS show. This was Ellie's first competitive jumping show since last October and it was great to be out again. In the British Novice we just had a pole ion the jump off section and in the 95cm open she jumped a super double clear to win her first BS points. Was so pleased with this result don't get me wrong it is still a bit all or nothing i.e. long strides or bounce up and down then pop but we are moving in the right direction.

We did debate staying the night there and jumping again on the Sunday but ellie said that sounded like far too hard work so would pop her shoe off to save me the decision.

Thanks to Nick Perry for the super photos and supporting us at the new location.

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Eventing Time!

Posted: 11 May 2017 - Comments (0)
Finally after what seems like an age we are heading to our first event of the season. We travel tomorrow to compete on Saturday at Millfield. I have fingers firmly crossed that the organisers will have been able to produce ridable ground, after this long dry spell it won't be perfect but I will assess when we are there. I have been discussing this week whether it is feasible to produce some sort of going report to better inform riders decisions, certainly those that travel long distances. However there are so many variables it seems an impossible dream currently.

Ellie's has had a quieter prep than I would hope as with the ground so dry I can't do much in the field and the school I use has dried up and the surface is unusable. So we have had some nice relaxing hacks. Think Ellie is going to enjoy being out again. Watch out for a report on Sunday.

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Jumping Practice

Posted: 6 May 2017 - Comments (0)
This time next week we will have completed our first BE of the season and currently feeling a bit unprepared. The typical amateur problem of needing to get my eye in better jumping, yet with one horse currently I'm not jumping enough to make a real difference. Had hoped for some competitive jumping today at Troon show but sadly a combination of wet weather on fairly firm ground didn't make conditions ideal so we gave it a miss.

I did get a chance last night to school over a bit of a course at Pendarves which is a great local facility, however, still not sure that with competition pressure and a sloped grass ring next weekend it may be a whole different proposition!

Anyway there is no doubt about she is really coming, but a long way from the finished article as can be seen by the mistake early in the course, however she does learn from this as can be seen by the rest of the round.

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Shoestring Statistics - April

Posted: 4 May 2017 - Comments (0)
Amazing final website stats for April!

115,000 page views 11,000 unique visitors 9 blog posts and approx 75 course pictures added!

Also 8,100 Facebook likes Top posts reaching over 20,000 people Active Twitter and Instagram accounts!

No wonder I've been very fortunate to have another sponsor approach me this week. All very exciting.

Thanks to existing supporters Equicover Ltd, Woof Wear Ltd, Morwenna Foster, Super X Country and Suregrow UK very exciting times

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