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Ellie - Sicknote

Posted: 7 Sep 2020 - Comments (0)

We have had some bad news on the Ellie front. Since the end of July I have had an intermittent problem where she has been either totally fine or lame behind. Initially we couldn't distinguish where it was but in time it became clear it was more left sided. On the good days she was totally fine and on the bad days she could barely walk. Typically both times the vet came it was good days and she was fine so we kept on working her when she was well hence why we could prepare for the dressage to music but eventually she wasn't well on the day.

Such intermittent lameness is often foot or abscess related but both the farrier and the vet were confident this wasn't the case and we were a little stumped. It was literally fine one day 2 days later not and then next day fine again so frustrating. Some of you may know in the past she has had a neurological problem that needs a jab every 2 years and we wondered whether it was a new manifestation of this, she had only had the jab in Spring last year and it was very different but the coming and going could fit. My vet and B&W who treated her for the neurological agreed it may be worth looking into further and the most economical way of doing this was to treat the problem and see whether it had an effect. So last Wednesday we made the 8 hour return journey to Gloucestershire to Dicky Hepburn.

Luckily we had a good trip up and Ellie was very pleased to be out. I had a chat with Dicky before he injected her and discussed the symptoms she was showing and showed him a video of her I had taken at her worst. Clearly it was interesting case and soon Ellie was being lunged for Dicky and a colleague orthopedic specialist Ollie Crowe. Dicky felt for a pony of her age the change in the symptoms were unlikely to be neurological and she wasn't reacting to any of the normal tests. She was lunging perfectly soundly yet he could see a video of her crippled not that long ago.

We agreed to firstly do some X rays and thankfully that is when the problem was found. Although it wasn't the best news there is nothing worse than not knowing what is happening and why. They found a bone cyst in her pedal bone, the dark dot in the middle shows where it is, the cyst erodes the bone making it slightly unstable hence some days fine and others days painful. (Please note this is my understanding but I may not be using correct terms or be totally correct!) It does not do well for being left alone and will need surgical intervention. At the moment the suggestion is that the most effective would be to insert a screw into the bone, they sounded quite positive about this although it is not a guaranteed solution. Some other professionals I have spoken to have been less positive. On the good news front if this doesn't work out there is nothing to stop her breeding, the foot would be fine for this activity and there is nothing in her veterinary history that is hereditary, she has an excellent temperament, breeding, confirmation and is a proven competition pony.

So for now we are getting everything together for the insurance. As we were going down the route of neurological investigation there was no insurance claim in place as this is excluded on her policy, so we now need to start one for the new condition. We need to get the claim to them and see if they will agree the operation, she would need to stay at B&W for a few days and have an MRI scan initially to pinpoint the exact location of the screw to give her the best chance.

Worrying times, Ellie is already bored and feeling fine since not working so doesn't understand why Fliss is having all the fun. Fingers crossed we get the go ahead from the insurance and can get on with the procedure to see if we can fix her. She would also need 6 weeks box rest although up to an hours walking a day which could be fun in winter. I will keep you updated with progress and plans Ellie meanwhile will gratefully accept any edible offerings as she thinks she is currently being starved!!

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Posted: 6 Sep 2020 - Comments (0)

Sorry for the time taken to the post. Been struggling for motivation generally and think it has knocked on here too. Lacking enthusiasm and a bit washed out. With COVID deleting plans it is hard to get enthusiasm together and get in gear for much. We have had some bad news re Ellie and she is currently out of action, I will update with a blog and explaining the whys and hows later in the week.

We have had a few weekends showjumping, last weekend we were 6th in a competitive Newcomers at Pendarves and this week we jumped at Tall Trees arena. Not huge entries but competitive classes and delighted to win the 1.05 with a quick enough double clear.

In the Newcomers poles were flying and jumped a safe doule clear only for the last 2 competitors to beat my time and finish 3rd. Really pleased with both rounds and a little bit more attack in her way of going.

More updates this week to come including the Ellie news.

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Dressage to Music Qualifier

Posted: 19 Aug 2020 - Comments (0)

Things never quite go to plan do they. Having planned for weeks to be competitive in this class with Ellie she threw a sick note wand wasn't able to go sadly. Fliss was entered in a team test so stepped into Ellie's music class. Fliss had never ridden the test and of course the music wasn't designed for her but as the entry was in we were at least able to swap.

I have to say Fliss gave it a great go but I could feel her slightly boiling, we did an unscheduled flying change and in our last simple change Fliss could hold it in no longer and let out a rather large buck! Luckily we still finished safely and at the right point in the music.

The amazing thing was we won the class (no we weren't the only ones in it) with a score of 68% which I was very pleased with qualifying for the final at Addington in October. Haven't decided if we will go yet depends if we can tie in with some jumping or training and I can borrow a saddle to take with me as mine is not due until the end of that month.

Fliss did a lovely test in the team test marred by the jockey forgetting the test and I was quite disappointed with the score of 65% but haven't had the sheet yet to work out where we lost the marks. Overall a good day and great fun.

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Jumping is more Fliss's game!

Posted: 12 Aug 2020 - Comments (0)

Dressage may not have been Fliss's idea of fun, or maybe she was creating her own fun but clearly jumping is more up her street. We took her down to Mel Hennah's this week for some schooling and she jumped some of the best ever. Sadly the camera produced some v fuzzy clips but this was the last clip that was ok.

She was really enjoying the jumping and I was focusing on riding forward round the corner not backwards as I can get in the habit of doing. We finished up round a course of 1.25 and it felt quite easy which was reassuring! I haven't told Fliss yet that sadly it is a dressage competition this weekend!

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Dressage Woes

Posted: 10 Aug 2020 - Comments (0)

I am not sure if the title is quite correct as I enjoyed the dressage outing at Poldice even if both girls brought up the rear of their classes!

Fliss was contesting Novice 37 and warmed up quite nicely however threw her toys out the pram when we went into do our test as the judges box had been fitted with some very spooky Perspex. We had some pretty athletic spins during our couple of minutes of warm up and the test was spoilt by her continued uneasiness at the horse eating Perspex. Crooked centre lines, poor halts and explosive transitions were all influenced by her spookiness.

We actually scored a rather generous 65%

Ellie had her first competitive music outing. Unfortunately the camera didn't pick up the music that well but you will get an idea of the floor plan. We just to be a bit less frenetic and calm things down, the judge loved the music we just lost marks for the compulsory movements.

Ellie scored 69% and was 4th in a mixed class doing Novice and Elementary. I was really pleased though for our first competitive attempt at this level.

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Show Jumping

Posted: 2 Aug 2020 - Comments (0)

Nice to get out to our second show, just with Fliss this time and pleased to report a greatly improved performance on her last outing, much better and more focused and a good double clear. We were quickish against the clock but in an open class not competitive enough to get in the money with a 5th place.

Just need to get to attack slightly more on the turns and get her off her shoulder and round my leg rather than motorbiking but overall v pleased.

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