Little ducker

Recently, as I said in my last post, I’ve finally mustered up the courage to jump Millie.

She LOVES jumping and in the pictures I’d take of our first session she looked so happy and eager to please.

But she’s a mare.

Opinionated and intelligent she decided by the second session that jumping properly like a good girl was so boring.

My first session I set up one jump, just to see how she jumps and take my aids. She was a super star.

So next time I set up two so we would jump one and circle around to the other. Due to the weather and some loading issues with Norman, my mums horse, the three days prior to this she hadn’t been worked.

She was wired. And another girl was riding her horse in the school too. So I was nervous. I always think people are judging us.

Millie ducked out at almost every time in canter. So I’d send her round to blow off some steam and try again. She’d duck out, I’d repeat and so on.

So thinking the girl who was in the school with me was getting annoyed with us dashing around at speed I was expecting to lose this battle.

But she sent her horse over the jump to see if Millie would follow and when she ducked out she stood her horse to the right where she ducked out. I thought Millie would see her as a barrier and clear it fine but this is Millie I’m talking about her.

Millie saw a small gap between the jump and the other horses head less than a foot wide and ducked and shoot through. And the other horse stood it’s ground as good as gold for me to try again. Not a single spook. She just moved her head. So the next time the girl explained because Millie ducks out to the right I should aim her towards the left wing. So I did, and it worked – with a little hesitation. So we tried again without the barrier and she jumped fine.

So I want to thank her and her horse, and if she reads this she’ll know who she is

Thanks again chick

Catch ya laters

Eloise💕

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Norman is ulcer free

I’ve recently mentioned that my mums Andalusian, Norman had stomach ulcers

A week ago he was re scanned and it all came back clear!

Norman hates loading and refuses to load, so the vets came to us. He has to be staves for over 12 hours before the scan. Last time when he loaded and we took him to the vets, his stomach was empty because the stress of being on the trailer made everything pass through quickly. This time, as he was scanned at home, he wasn’t stressed so even after 12 hours plus – he had bits of food in there!

But nothing we couldn’t wash away (yep, we WASHED the inside of his belly)

Here are some vids

Here a vid of the view on the way out through his nose

If you wanna know more about ulcers – check out my other blog post

Catch ya laters

Eloise💕

I’m back!

In my last post I explained that I was taking a break and some time for myself and I have.

And I feel much better for it, and in all honestly I’ve had a spiritual journey as well. Iv taken up new beliefs which bring peace in my mind and I see things in a totally new light. I ask the gods to give me the power to do things and not ask them to just do it for me. I feel calmer, more powerful and at home now.

There are many types of old pre Cristian religions all derived from didn’t places in history. I feel I fall in the Norse Pagan category but there is still so much to learn. But I might blog about that later.

For all my horsey followers here’s some news! I’ve been competing and placing in dressage in Millie. Yes, my naughty mare who spend her free time putting me on my ass. And here’s the best part

The other day I popped her over a jump.

Look how happy she looks! Her cute little face is just screaming “I LOVE THIS SO MUCH”

I’m looking to enter the last two low key unaffiliated show jumping shows we hold at the yard next month.

So here I am, back, brand new and excited for the future!

Catch ya laters,

Eloise 💕

It’s been a while hasn’t it? Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten you all, even though the 💕 emoji is moving slowly down my recently used folder cos I’ve not been posting. 

The truth is my head has been so damn jumbled I haven’t known how to get my words out. Or even what to write about. 

Some old memories have come back to haunt me and I’ve been feeling so numb. 

A drastic change has been made to my education because the exam board I’m with is closing due to cuts and my anxiety riddled brain cannot hack it. 

I’ve never been good at balancing lots of things at once. Even the simple things like healthy eating, studying and a social life – yet alone chucking song writing, horse riding and blogging thrown into the mix.

I’ve got an amazing support system and a good future a head of me if all goes to plan so I’ve just gotta focus on that. 

I’ve been reading lots of blog though so I’ve not totally disregarded blogging. Just put it on the back burner until I get myself sorted. 

Watch this space. 

Thanks guys,

Catch ya laters

Eloise💕

Back seat driving

Recently my riding ability has rocketed, with a mare full of tantrums I’m getting to the point where I can handle almost anything a horse throws at me. But I never realised how lazy I had gotten. And how much of the basics I’d forgotten.

After an abismal performance on my part at the dressage this weekend I asked my boss for a tidy up lesson. I had gotten sloppy, wiggly and tense. 

I ride zimmy, a full livery at work, at least four times a week. She is had work and extremely bendy, which I know is most riders dream, but she is like an eel and loves to use it the her advantage. Getting an outline on Zimmy recently has been near on impossible for me.

 Somewhere in practising my tests I’d forgetten to use my legs not just for going forward. And my lesson today made me realise that my laziness had made me a parasite. 

But at least I admit it, it is a hard to admit because horses are delicate and riding them harshly is cruel but it happens and no long term damage is caused if it’s sorted quickly. We all pick up bad habits and good horsemen/horsewomen will take comments as an opportunity to grow and develop as a rider. 

For me my problem is coordinating my legs and hands, I can’t push a horse into the hand whilst making little tweaks in the mouth and vise versa it has to be one or the other. My boss told me to tap left, right, left, right, left with my leg as I give and take left, right, left, right, left with the reins. It sounds so simple and god knows what I was trying to do before, but doing two things with different body parts on differnet sides of the body at different times is near on impossible. My hands on circles are also appalling I try to give and take with both reins and Zimmy just sticks her shoulder out and he neck becomes rigid. To stop this, my boss said to block her with the outside rein and give and take with the inside to push her straight along with constant tap tap taps of the leg to keep her bending nicely. AGAIN, ITS SO DAMN SIMPLE. This whole time I’d just been forcing her into a false hollow outline which she just fell out of just as quickly as I pulled her into it. 

As I say we all pick up habits and we all need them tidied up from time to time. I hadnt had a flatwork lesson for a long time before today so I knew I was going to be torn to shreds. 

But hey, everyday is a school day and I feel so much better for it! 

Catch you laters,

Eloise💕

Show time!: Cloud nine 

This weekend we had another show at the farm. 

Again I competed on my noble stead Zimmocha, but she wasn’t feeling it this weekend. She decided on the Saturday that it was too windy and she really didn’t like the flower pots around the arena and had other plans when it came to cantering KEH and sort of went KEGHA and we placed 3rd…….. Out of three. But I’m not angry or disappointed, she just wasn’t feeling it. On the Sunday however, I was just so tense from the test before that it showed in my riding. We placed 6th… But I’m just chuffed that the rosette is pink! 

But the real star girl this weekend was my gorgeous bay. Millie. Yes, Millie as in the hormonal, fence destroying, bronking moody mare. 

We won. 

I know, I’m on cloud nine. 

Without thinking I tacked her up as normal and headed over to the warm up arena and was stopped by my boss who told me I couldn’t ride in a pelum and martingale. (I had no idea, all I wanna do is jump) And I broke down, I was a mess. But I feel if I knew this before hand I wouldn’t have even entered. The shock in the sudden change of bit obviously took Millie by surprise as she didn’t yank my arms out!! She offered me a natural outline, which I wasn’t expecting so I didn’t hold he in it – so a lot of the comment mentioned her being quite hollow. But the judges overall comments started with “lots to like” which I am so incredibly happy with. 

Moving forward we start Millie’s hormone therapy today, which means we can build on these skills and our 61.52%. Not bad for our first ever show hey? 

Catch you laters 

Eloise💕

Millie

So I’ve mentioned Millie a lot in past posts but I’ve never really described her fully (I’ve only really made her out to be naughty) 

Millie is a huge part of my life. She’s my main goal and focus and although I’m often disheartened by her I know deep down it’ll take a lot for my to give up on her. She’s a playful, 15.2hh cob x shire. She’s what I call a “thermal bay” as she her coat changes from chestnut bay to dark bay depending on the weather. 

Before Millie I had only ever ridden riding school horses, I couldn’t sit to canter and I have no idea what contact was. 

So you’ll probably think I’m a total idiot when I say we got Millie three years ago when she was only six. You read that right, six years old. But my mum and I fell head over heal for her. We travelled four hours to view her and we know in the time it took her to pop her head over the stable door that we were going to have her. My mum and I exchanged glances and she told me to “keep a level head, just because she’s gorgeous doesn’t mean she’s right for us” 

Looking back, we didn’t keep a level head, she wasn’t right for us at all.

My mum had been out of the horsey world for a few years and I knew next to nothing about horses. So essentially we were two total novices about to bring on a youngster. We were totally bonkers. 

But Millie (her original stable name was Mimi which was THE first thing we changed) was a gorgeous, bare footed playful loveable lump who you just couldn’t not love. 

Then you’d sit on her, she didn’t know what anything meant. All leg aids meant go faster and she had zero bend in her. 

As we pushed her, she pushed us. She napped, ran backwards, bucks, bunny hops, flying bucks until our confidence was crushed. My mums especially with the motive “I’m too young to bounce” we had people out to school her, we had her checked for any pain, teeth, back, physios what seemed like every few days. 

Gradually Millie improved and my riding came on leaps and bounds. But it has still taken three years to sit to her powerhouse canter.

My goal is to jump, it’s what I want to do. It’s definitely what Millie wants. It’s what we will eventually do.

But she’s quick, very quick and equally as strong so getting her strides it’s still a problem. 

But in the spring something awful happens, she’s dangerous to ride. Four weeks ago she put me through the wooden fencing around the riding arena. Luckily I was only scraped and bruised. 

We are currently toying with regumate. Supplement don’t touch her. She’s marey all year around but worse and dangerous in the spring/ early summer. Cats have said it looks like she has mothered a foal which explains a lot -she thinks she should be out sh*gging not doing canter poles-. She also shows  a few signs of pain, in canter it feels like she’s trying to run from something despite all the bit changes you can imagine (the end of the saddle sits right near her ovaries and canter will put the most pressure on that area), leaning back when she naps makes her worse and brushing and towel drying her in that area makes her angry. 

Her vaccinations are due Monday so I will keep you updated on our next steps. 

But with Millie it’s not all doom and gloom, I love her and spending time with her. And we play, a lot. She chases me, “paws” at me when I sit in her field, and lunging her is more play than work as she runs in towards me and I run to her and just before to collide she playfully runs away. 

But she is much bigger than me and playing can end in pain (well for me anyway) ​

My face at the end is shock and concern because she HATES hurting me. 

If you have any tips for us please leave a comment, everything is welcome! 

Catch ya laters, 

Eloise💕

Upwards not forwards?

Stomach ulcers are something which are often forgotten about amoungst horse owners. They can be caused through stress, new grass or being starved for longer periods of time i.e. running out of hay when standing in. 

Ultimately, stomach ulcers are common because horses don’t have gal bladders like humans. When humans chew it triggers the gal bladder to release the stomach acids into the stomach for digestion. Stomach acids in an empty stomach can damage and ulcerate the stomach lining, hense why humans often get stomach ulcers by regularly chewing gum or stress. Anyway, horses don’t have this and stomach acids are constantly drip, drip, dripped into the stomach. Horses naturally graze – eat little amounts aaaaaaaalll day long (16 hours of the day in fact) so when the stomach is empty for too long stomach acids build up and cause damage.  

By domesticating horses we have: 

  • Reduced the time they spend eating. 
  • Regularly exercise them – splashing contents around the lining and reduce blood flow to the wall
  • Reduced the amount and variety of forage in the diet and restricted feed intake

And these can all cause and/or aggravate stomach ulcers. 

The clinical signs are variable and often subtle and may well be shared with a number of other conditions. The symptoms may include one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Poor performance (reluctance to move because it swashes acids around the stomach and aggravates the ulcers)
  • Reduced appetite (ironic, I know but it’s pain related) 
  • Altered temperament – difficult to ride, bucking, refusing at jumps (usually when your leg is on, you could literally be kicking the ulcers so the horse starts going upwards not forwards) 
  • Weight loss
  • Aggression or fear when you or horse clothing are around the stomach area (girth, belly straps, rollers ect)
  • Teeth grinding
  • Colic
  • Diarrhoea
  • Crib biting
  • Back pain
  • Peritonitis and death

There is a way to quickly home diagnose ulcers but the only way to know 100% if ulcers are present is by a vetenary scoping 

A video for the Stomach ulcer touch test 

Scoping isn’t a nice thing to watch/have your horse go through. Your horse is sedated and a probe with a camera on the end is inserted up their nostril. My mums horse, Norman, was recently diagnosed with stomach ulcers. Luckily, his were caught fairly early but they are visable on scoping images. 

Making our way to the stomach

The red mark is a stage 2 ulcer, the collection of white are stage 1 or the beginnings of ulcers

Like most conditions catching it early minalises the amount of work you have to put in after. My mum now gives medicine in the patients food and syringes of paste to give him half an hour before food to settle his acids. He’s now has three hay nets at night and half a scoop of HiFi 15 minutes before working (which he isn’t at all upset about). But after care is a lot more intense for severe cases.

Horses diagnosed with stomach ulcers will often been on a medicated food supplement for life. 

I hope this helps! 

Catch ya laters,

Eloise💕

Atypical myopathy: the lowdown 

Apart from ragwort there is something potentially deadly growing in your turn out feed. 

Atypical myopathy or “Sycamore poisoning” is a fatal disease of horses caused by eating Sycamore seeds (helicopters) or saplings. The disease results in muscle damage and particularly affects the muscles that enable the horses ability to stand and breathe. The heart muscle may also be affected. 

Due to the wet winter in my area and the carnage of Storm Doris the saplings and seeds are everywhere and the toxins they carry are higher than before. But not all saplings carry the toxins. Not all seeds carry the toxins, but why would you risk it? 

If you see saplings on your fields remove them immediately either by hand picking them or by mowing, making sure the cuttings are collected. Seeds will continue to germinate until late in May, so if you clear your paddocks bow be prepared to hand pick or mow again in a few weeks. 


Check for the presence of sycamores around your fields.  It has been estimated that seeds typically spread up to 3 times the height of the parent tree but in extreme weather conditions may potentially travel further. If you do have Sycamores within 100m of your paddocks then:

  • Regularly check for when seeds are falling (spring and autumn) 
  • Fence off areas where sycamore seeds are likely to fall until you can clear them completely.
  • Only turn horses out for a few hours each day and keep younger and older horses furthest away from the sycamores.
  • Provide extra forage (hay or haylage) especially where pasture is poor or grazing is tight.
  • Ensure the horses have access to fresh drinking water and aren’t drinking from streams or ponds under trees.

If treated quickly typical myopathy won’t leave any long term affects (apart from making you really paranoid about field maintenance). So here are the signs to look out for if you have sycamore in your area: 

  • Depression
  • Stiffness
  • Reluctance to move 
  • Muscle tremors
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Reluctance to work
  • Red or brown urine 
  • Colic like symptoms but no colic 
  • Low head carriage
  • Fast or irregular heart beat
  • Sudden collapse

In the most recent case I’ve seen, the horse was seen submerging his head in his water as though he was trying to cool his brain down. Then next thing he was flat out on the ground and wouldn’t get up even when his field companion was almost breaking his ribs “pawing” him in distress. 

Usually once you get to the colic like symptoms there isn’t much that can be down to save your horse so be vidulent with the urine and behaviour. Call the vet immediately if you notice any changes as it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Any question please post below.

Sorry this post has been so blunt but this means a lot to me as it took my bosses horse only three weeks back and he was quite dear to me. 

R.I.P ENZO ❤️️

Catch you laters,

Eloise💕

aaaaaaaaand breathe 

It’s been a while since I posted and it’s been a while since I’ve not felt stressed or agitated. 

A lot has happened, good and bad, that has left me drained. 

Two and a half weeks a go I had a jumping clinic with Richard Barton on my mare, Millie. All was going well, but this time of the year she can just change in an instant. She threw in a flying buck but I was so tense already I come straight over her head but lucky landing clean on my feet. I don’t know how but it felt incredible, I should have really made a “V” in the air with my arms like a gymnast. I got back on and we  continued with the canter poles. In the mood, Millie can be near on unstoppable. And I’m only 5ft2″ which isn’t enough to stop spring Millie. Long story short, she put me THROUGH the fence. And I don’t mean a jumping fence, I mean the double panneled perimeter fence around the arena. Looking back I am so lucky the fence was knotted so that it gave way instead of my bones. I’m lucky to just have cuts and bruises but I am so heart broken. 

In the summer, autumn and winter Millie and I make the most amazing team. We’ve had her since she was six, SO from just after she was backed so we knew we were so have a few teething problems but not like this. She’s dangerous, but only in the spring. We’ve made so much progress but now we have to start again, meaning we will be out for half of the competing season. I can’t give up on her. 

As we speak she is five hours away with Richard at “boot camp”. There he can suss her out and work out how to deal with her while his wife, Janet, can check her back and see if she is in any pain. Because everything about this screams “OVARIES” 

But enough of her for now before I get emotional, I will be sure to keep you all updated.

Now for the fun stuff. Just because Millie is out of the picture for shows doesn’t mean I have to be! My mum offered me her handsome but dopey Andalusian, Norman, to try out some dressage this weekend. It was my first time ever in the show ring so we just rode an intro test. We came out with a second place rossette, but just an ok percentage in the low fifties. 

Around four days prior to the show weekend I was told my favourite full livery, Zimmocha, was free for the show date and my boss really threw me in at the deep end entered me into a preliminary test. I was terrified. I had to canter with people watching in the same arena Millie tried to demolish. All I wanted to do was conquer my demons and it paid off. In the form of a blue ribbon and over 60% on my score sheet. Here’s me looking incredibly chuffed just after leaving the ring. -in a free walk on a long rein where appropriate of course – 


Although I am so proud of myself, Norman and Zimmy I am still so gutted I wasn’t doing this with my best friend Millie. Although, outlines and dressage aren’t her thing I’ve always loved the idea of the discipline to keep her brain engaged every once in a while. But I must admit the weekend has made me into quite the dressage diva. 

Sorry this has been a long one, but you did have a lot to catch up on. 

Catch you laters, 

Eloise💕