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Ellie Muscat - Dressage

I’m Ellie. I’m 11 years old and I ride Wills, a 27 year old Connemara/unicorn. 


I have competed at Berry Interschools and dressage days and done eventing at Denman and Wagga Wagga Horse Trials. I’m a member of Berry Pony Club too.


We have done lots of riding on the beach, lessons and playing games with Wills. He’s a very cheeky pony that doesn’t know he’s 27. He loves to jump and is famous for getting a lot of air! In fact he’s a very well known pony and I’m so lucky to be learning on him.

I was selected to compete for NSW Combined Training for the Australian Interschools and so we are practicing dressage test and jumping. I am aiming to jump a 60cm course soon.

I am very proud to be a sponsored rider for Illawarra Equine Centre. 

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March 2023 - When Wills got sick, by Ellie Muscat


One day after school, my mum said Wills (my horse) wasn’t being himself and not eating. So we had to go down to his paddock and check on him. I was quite worried because even through Willsy is 27, he is always very happy and loves his food. 


When we got to the paddock Wills looked incredibly sad. We took his temperature, and it was higher than normal. We called Mitch at Illawarra Equine Centre to come straight away.


Mitch checked Will's vital signs including his temperature, breathing rate and heart rate. They were all slightly elevated but Mitch didn’t think it was colic, which my Mum had been worried about as he does have some internal melanomas.


Mitch decided to do a blood test. Wills was very good when they put the needle in him. Then he was given Flunixin to help with pain and lower his temperature.  Mitch was very kind and gentle with Willsy and calm with us too. I’m so grateful to have such wonderful vets. He also did an ultrasound on his tummy to see if anything was going on.


We checked on him later that night and his temperature had dropped a little but he still wasn’t eating, even Nutrigrain which is his favourite!


We were back checking him again at 5am the next day and his temp was up again. We continued to give him the Flunixin to help keep it down.


Wills feeling poorly. We were all worried about him.


Mitch taking some of Will's blood for testing

On day 3 Willsy hadn’t improved at all. We were so concerned and worried for Willsy. Mitch came back, took more bloods and decided to start giving him Penicillin, just in case it was an infection. 


At one point he came and lay at my Mum’s feet in the paddock, and we were so worried that Willsy would not recover. All of Willy’s family were calling to check on him and his owner Ruby (who has had Wills for over 10 years), came down from the Hawkesbury with her Mum to visit Wills and give him lots of love. We were so grateful that they came.


Mitch decided it would be a good idea to give Wills a stomach tap so we could test the fluid to see if anything was going on in his stomach that they needed to know about. Rebecca and Claire came out to do this and were also so kind and careful with Wills.


Once we got the results it looked like Peritonitis - which is an injection of the tissue in the stomach lining.


The Illawarra Equine Center vets came twice a day for the next 10 days to give him the antibiotics and check on him. Everyone wished Willsy would get better including me.


Luckily, Wills did start to get better within a few days of having antibiotics. When it was the weekend Willsy was looking much happier and enjoying his feeds again.


We gave him the next couple of weeks off and I am very happy to say Wills is back to his old self.


I’m so proud that Willsy got through all of his sickness and so thankful to the Illawarra Equine Centre team.


Claire & Becca visiting Wills in his stable. 

Me with Wills as Becca checks his temperature. 

He is starting to feel better at last. 

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Wills is now fully recovered and back to his old wonderful self.

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November & December 2022


In November at Woonona Pony Club there was a pink ribbon day. It was so fun! I think Willsy my horse, enjoyed jumping and the sporting games. My favourite part was probably the ring events where I got to show all the new things I had learnt from the past year. The best thing was when Willsy and I got overall AGE CHAMPION in our age group!!


At Kiama Pony Club I did the Zone 22 Jamboree Christmas gymkhana and Willsy and I enjoyed the six bar and the show jumping, especially when we cleared the joker jump. Willsy and I did so well and we got RESERVE CHAMPION in our age group!


We also went to the Berry Riding Club Pink Gymkhana and Willsy was very excited in the show jumping! It was a fun day and Mum & I got to do pairs together.


Last weekend there was a Combined Training competition at Berry Riding Club and I did 50cm and in the dressage Willsy and I got our best score ever (73%) and we were coming first equal then in the show jumping Willsy and I went clear and were the closest to optimum time so we won the Juniors 50cm Combined Training yay!


I'm soooo proud of Willsy. We have improved so much. Willsy had a check up with Mitch recently to monitor his melanomas and Mitch said Willsy is amazing for his age and just to keep an eye on them.  I’m so grateful for Wills and for IIllawarra Equine Centre for helping to look after him. 😀


National Interschool Championships - September 2022


Last week was amazing  because I went to National Interschool championships which I'm pretty proud of. I rode my pony Willsy in 45cm combined training  representing NSW and we did the best dressage test that we’ve ever done and even though we didn't get great marks we achieved an incredible goal since we last did a dressage test . In our show jumping we did quite well except we knocked one rail. Team NSW came first overall, so amazing. This has been one of the best weeks I’ve had. 


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