/, Latest News, Sponsored Riders/April 2018 | Mari Akhurst Latest News – National Para Grade 1 Dressage Champion

April 2018 | Mari Akhurst Latest News – National Para Grade 1 Dressage Champion

March blog

Wow I cannot believe we are already into April and the sun even had his hat on today, let’s hope that the good weather continues and that summer may finally be on the way!!

I am definitely pleased to see the end of the winter; but happy to say that the boys are both looking fantastic but are in desperate need of a bath!

Thankfully the snow didn’t last for too long and cleared in time for us to head off to squad training. We had a good drive up there followed by a fantastic two days of training. I had a fantastic lesson on the first day with Angela Weiss and she could see how much more active and supple Sky was. Hard work has paid off!! Rob couldn’t make it so no one warmed Sky up but he was a complete dude and strutted his stuff. Wow can he walk. We worked on circle size as due to having no spatial awareness this is pretty hard for me and also the dreaded serpentine!! It’s nice that now we have the basics and Sky is going really nicely we can spend time perfecting the test movements. Thanks to Angela I now have a new strategy to help me ride my shapes. I then had my performance review which went well and I am really looking forward to the season ahead. I then had a Physiotherapy session which is hard as the doctors have been wary of be doing exercise and having Physio. But we changed my exercise programme as I was struggling with a few of the exercises and added in some new ones so that I don’t get bored. We then had a very interesting talk on goal setting which is so important and is something that I have always done but now I have more ideas of what I can change to make the process easier and to help me in the long run. Me and my dad then went to the pub, we must have been a sight a mobility scooter and two umbrellas walking down the street, as it was raining so heavily. But we had a lovely meal.

 

Day 2 started early with a Psychology session in which we discussed more about the goal setting. It was great to hear that I was doing everything right and was again told how positive I was; which is great as in the past I have struggled with my mind set but not anymore. I then had a nutrition session and James was pleased to see all the changes I have made and especially happy to see me with a water bottle. The changes have made a real difference to my training and competitions and has given me more energy. He has also suggested some things to help me recover from competitions quicker which I can’t wait to put into action. Day 2 was finished with another lesson with Angela. Rob came and he had a lesson with Angela too and she gave us some really useful pointers. It was an excellent opportunity and Angela really got Rob pushing Sky and condensing the walk, things that I can’t manage. When I got on Sky he felt amazing so much more moveable and believe it or not his walk got bigger and he had even more expression in front!! We worked on the serpentine and circles as we did on day 1 but we also had a look at the stretchy walk movement and now have a plan for riding it.

I had a fantastic two days at squad training and have learnt so much, thank you so much to everyone who supports me and makes this possible. Thank you to Rob for coming up for the day and massive thank you to dad for being super groom and so much more!! And finally Sky for being an angel all day and even though we really pushed him and were asking new things he never said no but instead tried his heart out.

 

I couldn’t wait to put what we had worked on at squad training into action with Bear. I had the most amazing lesson with Rob and Bear went the best he has ever gone. We practised exercises from squad training that we did with Sky; condensing the walk and really getting him to come through from behind, getting the contact and then pushing him forward keeping the contact. My body had a major meltdown but we managed just! Bear was a superstar. I really feel that all our hard work has paid off and cannot wait to get back in the competition arena. Unfortunately our competition on the 18th was cancelled due to the snow.

 

I haven’t been very well this month and ended up having to see my GP and had two lots of antibiotics. I haven’t actually felt unwell I have just been extra fatigued and have suffered from some nasty new symptoms. But I am fighting on and still managing to ride even if it’s for a shorter time than normal.

 

This month we celebrated World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day; so me and the boys went green. I was born with Cerebral Palsy the condition does not define me but makes me who I am and I am very proud of the person I have become. It sadly has progressed and causes me a lot of problems in daily life but with the help of my whole support team I overcome them and focus on my strengths not my weaknesses.

 

Finally I can announce some of my exciting news, I am delighted to say that I am going to be supported by Sports Aid and have received a #Backingthebest award for a second year. I am also honoured to say that I am being supported by the Anders Foundation and have received a CAF grant for the second year running. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do or have achieved all I have done to date without all of these grants and I cannot express my thanks enough.

 

#TEAMBETTALife®

By | 2018-04-24T13:45:51+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Events & Shows, Latest News, Sponsored Riders|0 Comments

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