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Saturday 25 August 2012

Mud Fever Reminder

Poor Henry has some Mud Fever on one of his front legs.  Due to the wet weather this year he's had it twice but the second time it has not gone away with simple cleaning and we have had to call the Vet out. 

I just wanted to keep a reminder of exactly what the Vet did and did not do so we can do exactly the same if necessary in the future.  Shelley has posted a longer article on her blog.

Things to do:

  • Dilute Hibiscrub 1:100 with water in a small resealable plastic pot (from Tesco.)  Do not keep the diluted Hibiscrub more than a few days.

  • Soak some square swabs (10cm x 10cm cotton gauze swabs or similar non-woven versions) in the diluted Hibiscrub.

  • Thoroughly clean the area using the swabs picking off all of the scabs.  Use as many swabs as necessary.
  • Dry with disposable paper towel.  The blue professional kitchen stuff is a good choice.  This can then be thrown away to avoid any transfer of the infection.

  • Do not rub too hard but get the area dry.
  • Once dry apply a cream.  A thin coating rubbed in over the area.

  • The cream may be prescribed by the Vet or in minor cases other creams like udder or wound cream may be appropriate.  The Vet will suggest which.  Some creams may require wearing gloves.
  • The repeated treatment is to just apply the cream once per day.
  • Only clean the scabs off if there are lots of them.  Removing the scabs too often may aggravate it.
  • In more severe cases the Vet may also prescribe antibiotics and Bute (Phenylbutazone, anti-inflammatory and analgesic.)

A couple of days of Bute and 5 days of antibiotics and Henry should be better.

Sunday 19 August 2012

Archery At Last

After a couple of windy weekends and other things getting in the way I have at last got out and done some archery.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I have not done this for about 6 years so I was unsure if I could even remember how to assemble my bow let alone hit the target with an arrow!

Luckily I had kept some notes to remind myself and I followed those .

On Saturday I shot 36 arrows at 30m with an 80cm target.  I hit every time.  A low score but I was never very good.  254 using 10 zone scoring.

I thought the bow was making a funny noise.  When I had finished I noticed that one of the limbs was split.  A sliver of the resin coating along one side had come off.  I decided I needed new limbs so off to the shops I went leaving Shelley waiting for Steve the farrier.

One of the Perris Archery shops is not far from me and they were very helpful sorting out what I needed.

It was too hot Saturday afternoon for Steve to come and shoe the horses or for me to try out the new bow setup.  I had at least tried them out in the shop.  Putting them in my case at home was entertaining...

The equipment at the left hand end of the case is a cat.

I got up early on Sunday morning so I could take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures.  Well that was the idea.

I did shoot 18 arrows before the balloon went over very close to our house and landed in the fields over the road!

Watching the two balloons land wasn't the end of the interruptions though.  I did 6 more arrows before needing to go and help pull their vehicle and trailer out of a field. 

That job done.  3 more arrows and the farrier turned up.  Can't distract the horses while they are being shod and I always like a good gossip with Steve while he's making the shoes.

The horses happy and back in the field I get to shoot the last 9 arrows.  By now the temperature is way too hot and uncomfortable for me so I am happy to use that as an excuse for my poor 219 score at the slightly longer 40m on the same 80cm target.

Busy Sunday and it still wasn't even mid-day!

Sunday 5 August 2012

Bow Sling Knots

Inspired by the Olympics being here in the UK I've been thinking about doing a bit of archery again. 

It's been over 6 years since I last strung my bow so I've been doing some reading to bring myself up to speed.  I was also watching the Olympic Archery on the BBC iPlayer and the TV.

Olympic Equestrian
The only events we wanted to see live was one of the equestrian events. We were lucky enough to be able to get tickets for the finals of the 3 Day Eventing at Greenwich Park. 
My wife has some pictures and more info. on her blog:


Every archer I saw on the Olympics had exactly the same setup.  If there was any deviation I did not notice it.  Even the arm guards were almost identical and everyone used a finger sling that looked like it was made out of a shoelace.  While I was looking to find out how they tied the shoelace finger sling I came across a few braided wrist slings which I liked the look of.

The wrist slings were not expensive, even the nicest ones that would have to be shipped from the USA were only about $20 but I just fancied trying to make one.

The above picture shows what I ended up with after a couple of attempts.


Although I've tied a few knots in the past and somewhere I have a small book on how to tie them, it was much quicker to do a search on the Internet.  I found loads of web sites and videos and quickly discovered that the string to use is called Paracord and the type is described as 7 strand or 550.

I bought two colours I thought would match the bow.  There are lots of bright colours available as well but I decided on subtle for the time being.  I found lots of choice on Amazon and finally bought from: via their Amazon store:
Very prompt delivery.

I watched a few videos but to tie the knots I ended up finding everything I needed at:

I used a single rope braid for the main length and a Cobra lanyard knot for the thickened wrist section.  Both are in the decorative section of the web site:

The single rope braid is exactly as described on the site but I slightly changed the Cobra knot after some trial and error.

Changes to the Cobra

On the example I followed it had a loop for the lanyard part.  That was unnecessary because I was using it round the braid.  To start I just ignored the extended loop ending up with just the first knot round the braid.

The other change I made was the way I finished the knot to hide the ends.

On the example I followed both ends were looped back under the rest of the knot on the top. This is done by keeping the last few loops loose, tucking the ends in and then pulling tight.

I found that with both ends on the top of the braid, one side would pull the Cobra knot out of shape when I tried to tighten them.  All I changed was to loop the offending end under rather than over the braid which allowed me to tighten it without distorting the rest of the knot.

A little tip if you try making this yourself.  Don't make the Cobra knots too tight.  I needed to slip it along the braid to get it in the centre.  The first time I tried this the Cobra knot was so tight I could not even edge it along the braid.  The next time I tied the knots I checked that I could just move it.  Deliberately tight but it would move.

Attach To The Bow

This type of wrist sling attaches using the long rod.  The more decorative slings typically used a leather tab and the more modern used a plastic plate with holes in.

Looking through my bits and bobs in the shed I settled for cutting a rectangular shape from a bit of plastic packaging.  Tough and flexible, should outlast me.

The holes are just punched with the largest size on my hand punch with two holes next to each other to form an oval just large enough for the braid to pass through.  It needs to be tight so the in and out has enough friction to hold the braid at the desired length.

Looks much nicer than the type of sling I used before.


Follow up.  I enjoyed making this and tried it out a few times but I ended up preferring to use a finger sling the same as all the Olympic archers used at the previous tournament.