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6th May

Posted: 6 May 2016 - Comments (0)
Had a day off today and made the trip to Badminton. The 4:45 start is now catching up on me! It really is the best place to have a look at new products and get the widest range of equestrian goods to see and try. I came away with some new stirrups which I will tell you more about when I have tried them, picked up a lovely Kate Negus bridle for Posy and mum kindly treated me to a new hacking jacket.

I did manage to catch a bit of dressage including Emily King’s lovely test. Also good to meet up with some Shoestring supporters and thank them for their help with course pictures.

Tomorrow Ellie makes her competition debut with some dressage at the local riding club competition! More updates shortly I am sure!!

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2nd May

Posted: 2 May 2016 - Comments (0)
It is 10 days since I introduced you to Ellie. She has been given time to settle and as she isn’t very fit she has been doing some gentle hacking and occasional short schooling session. I have also put myself on a strict diet to help ensure I am not squashing her too much! Touch wood she has been a really good girl. Today we felt it was time for a low key outing so toddled off to a friends to school her. We weren’t perhaps expecting a 2 hour journey as the notorious tourist bank holiday traffic was grid locked. Whilst the driver was getting grumpier Ellie could be seen on the camera snoozing!

Even in the short time she has been with me her flat work has come on no end. Her jumping is very green, she has a tendency to tilt her head and run at the fences so we are quietly popping everything from trot at the moment.

The video gives you an idea of how smart she will be.
She will be kept quietly ticking over and hopefully aim at a dressage show next weekend to get her out and about. I think she will be a lot of fun.

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Cornish Show Jumping Club BS

Posted: 1 May 2016 - Comments (0)
Yesterday did not start well. It was our first BS grass show of the year at the spectacular Gwelevelan just beside the North Cliffs of Cornwall with stunning sea views. (See left)

I tapped her stud holes and have recently lost my favourite orange tee tap so as an interim had bought a cheap metal one. Well I did expect it to last more than 2 uses before it sheared off in her foot! Luckily there was enough still protruding to allow me to find a pair of pliers and extract it back out! The whole process took about 30 minutes leaving me running late, however I needn’t have worried as there was a huge entry in the early unaffiliated classes so I actually had a couple of hours to kick my heels when we arrived. Posy at least appreciated the time to have a munch and check out the opposition!

The meter class was a single phase format. Luckily after a few hours at the event Posy was very chilled despite the wide open space. The ground and ring was super and it was a nice course. As our last competitive outing was cross country I was careful to sit her back and get her really listening. I had the night before popped her over a very simple grid of bounce to spread with v poles just to get her back in the show jumping grove.

She jumped a nice controlled round, we did have a lucky tap at the final fence but we got away with it!
It was a strong open section and we were placed 3rd but couldn’t ask for more, her frame is so much better although I let her get a bit long over final few.

So brave pants were on and we also entered the Newcomers, walking it I felt it looked quite jumpable. This was probably her best round of the day she didn’t breath on a pole really helped me out in the double of uprights when we were a bit quick and she shortened up for me. Had a good spook at the final fence a water tray but kept those feet well clear of the poles.
It was a competitive class with 8 or 9 good combinations jumping off. Whilst the first round did not frighten me too much by the time the course builder had popped it all up 2 holes the jump off looked enormous! I think it probably is the biggest track we have jumped to date. She jumped a super round with one mistake, the water tray was the second fence and I saw a forward slightly angled stride and she just looking in the tray and dropped her hind legs. She jumped the rest superbly and gave me a great feel, even better we still came 5th
So two frilly’s, lovely weather and Posy went beautifully I couldn’t ask for more. (Picture thanks to Lisa Wood Photography)

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Worming Update

Posted: 28 Apr 2016 - Comments (0)
As Supplement Solutions ‘Strategic Worming Ambassador” for 2016 we have just completed Posy's first worm counts. Firstly we did :-

  • A faecal egg count to test for the presence of roundworms, relatively easy to conduct, simply place the poo in the pot and send it off in the pre-paid envelope.
  • Once the kit arrives at Westgate Labs the sample is centrifuged to spin out more worm eggs from the faeces. Two slides are then run under the microscope and an average count made of the two.
Posy’s results are as follows:

Posy - <50epg no eggs seen This is classed as a low count and means that treatment is not necessary for roundworm. A count of 200epg (medium count) or more needs to be treated. Testing is recommended every 6-8 weeks throughout the grazing season and Posy’s next test will be at the beginning of June.

So usually I would of as standard wormed her at this point so less chemicals in the system however the EquiSal Tapeworm Test had quite a different result it is :-

  • A saliva test to detect the tapeworm antibodies in a horse’s saliva.
  • Simple to conduct with a cotton bud wand that you swab in the horse’s mouth. The only thing that you need to remember is that your horse shouldn’t have eaten or exercised for at least 30 minutes before testing. This ensures that the sample is not too dilute and an accurate reading can be achieved.
  • Once the kit arrives at Austin Davis Biologics Ltd the sample is measured using three laboratory tests (called ELISAs) and then an algorithm is applied to attain a saliva score.
The results can come back as follows: Posy’s results are:

Posy 19/4/16 Moderate/High Yes 18.40 This is classed as a moderate/high tapeworm diagnosis and requires treatment. A diagnosis of borderline or above requires treatment. Testing for tapeworm is recommend every 6 months, ideally in Spring and then again in the Autumn.

Based on Posy’s results from the two worm count kits Hannah, our SQP, prescribed Equitape. Equitape is a praziquantel wormer that will treat tapeworm. There was no need for Posy to have a combination wormer as she had a clear roundworm count.

The samples was easy to take and swab easy to do with clear instructions.

For more info on Supplement Solutions Strategic wormers, range of worm tests and wormers see here.

Meanwhile for Ellie: It is good practice to worm a new horse before they graze with your existing horses and a combination wormer such as Equimax or Eqvalan Duo ensures that horses are treated for both roundworm and tapeworm before being introduced to the field. Hannah prescribed Equimax for Ellie. Ellie will then fit in with the programme and have a faecal egg count conducted in early June with Posy

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Bicton Horse Trials

Posted: 25 Apr 2016 - Comments (0)

Really had a lovely time at Bicton which is a favourite event as lovely parkland, great course and so friendly. Add to that the bonus that it is local (Ish) and we don’t need to go the day before!

anted to consolidate our positive outing at Larkhill and the cross country was definitely a step up again. Whilst none of the fences worried me the undulations and downhill runs really were likely to show up Posy’s weak areas.

e were lucky to have that great combination of super ground and lovely weather. Dressage was the new 106 test which had the dreaded 15 meter circles. I don’t what it is but I have a complete mental block with regard to the size of these and never quite get them right. Luckily this time I either managed or the judge wasn’t too fussy! I thought Posy did a test nearly as good as she can do for this stage in her education and we scored a 31.3.

Show jumping was on Bicton’s lovely arena and I was feeling the pressure to convert our good show jumping form into a clear round. She was a little strong warming up and did take charge a couple of times in the ring. She also went a little green over the first 2 fences. Saying all that I am probably being fussy as she didn’t breath on a pole and jumped a very competent clear round.

So a quick change and onto cross country, tried to move really positively out from the start and jumped the first 3 fences well.

The first combination came at 4 when there was a house on a turn to another narrow house. She locked on both elements and there was no hesitation. Then started a long downhill stretch where as expected she was a little heavy and I struggled to sit her as I wanted. There was a nice spread on the way down but as we reached the bottom a narrow yellow roll top built on a mound needed respect particularly as shortly after there was a sharp right hand turn to the first water. She wasn’t easy to sit back but whilst it wasn’t pretty I did get her back enough for the roll top and she jumped it well.

The turn was sharp to the fence before the water but we made it, she hesitated and slowed entering the water which lost a few seconds but the main thing is she never stopped moving forward. We were away up the hill which was a pleasant relief before we dropped back through the woods to a hay cart.


The next fence was what probably worried me most an up to height narrow hanging log on 5 strides to a drop with a log on the edge and another 5 strides to another narrow hanging log, this was all on a fairly decent downhill slope. Luckily the turn to the first part got her sitting and she jumped it well, however it wasn’t helpful for her to jump up, out and over the small log drop meaning I had to slip the reins and just kick on at the final element. She stayed true to the fence and jumped it well, continuing then to take off down the hill!

Luckily a few straightforward fences on the flat allowed us to get things back together! A double of roll tops with almost a sunken road in the middle was flown through and then we pushed on up the hill to the angled houses. Had a lovely stride here, it was quite a decent angle for 100! Then a lovely jump over the corner and we turned back to the final water. I rode strongly over the first part and into the water meaning we took rather a flyer out!









We also took rather a flyer at the last!







We finished with 4 time penalties and finished on a score 35.3 her best in her 3 BE100 runs to finish a very credible 9th place. Kindly thanks to sponsorship from West of England Stabling we got a double clear rosette as well as our 9th place. Couldn’t be more pleased.

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An introduction

Posted: 23 Apr 2016 - Comments (0)
I have a little introduction to make as finally another Shoestring Equine joins the team.

This is Ellie she has come from my friends at Avonmill Equestrian in Scotland who originally sourced my lovely girl Pip (Venette). Ellie is TB x Connie, 6 years old, very green and low mileage not having done a huge amount of work since being backed.

It probably demonstrates my faith in Avonmill that I bought her unseen and she arrived on Wednesday.

I am hoping to produce her for an eventing or show jumping career, it is likely that she will be sold on as I probably should mention she is just 14.2!

Too be honest I can’t find what I want horse wise at a price I can afford so I thought it was about time for a bit of fun. I can event Ellie or even show jump her but if a junior loves her then I will have played my part in producing her for a career.

So this was my first ride on her on Thursday

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