I can finally announce my exciting news, drum roll please!! I am absolutely delighted to say that I am now being sponsored by Gray Horsebox Manufactures Ltd and I have a new lorry called Luna. I cannot thank my grandparents, my parents and Barry Gray enough. It really is a dream come true and will make such a big difference to me and the boys; much more room for Bear and the boys will be travelling in luxury. The living is wheelchair accessible and there is a lift to help me get in and out which will give me back my independence and my dignity. I would highly recommend Gray Horseboxes. Barry and his team are super helpful and very accommodating. More to follow in future blogs about how this super lorry is going to make mine and my team’s life so much easier at competitions.
It was time to get the horses saddles checked this month and so we had Martin Wilkinson out to check Sky’s saddle which unfortunately doesn’t fit him anymore and not much we could do to it as it has been re flocked too much and is very hard at the back. So Sky needed a new saddle, we tried two and I fell in love with the second one a Kent and Masters saddle it was super comfy and gave me the extra support that I had been looking for. Sky also approved and believe it or not his walk has got even bigger!
I also had De from Devoucoux, my super supporters, to come and check Bear’s saddle. She was really happy with the fit and commented on how well Sky looked and how much Bears way of going had improved. I believe that with my deterioration it’s thanks to Devoucoux and the support that it gives me that I can continue to ride Bear.
Both horses have been going really well in training and I am really pleased with them both. It’s taking me time to get used to Sky’s new saddle and the new buttons that are now available for me as he’s working so much more over his back from the word go, is more supple and active. Once I have mastered it there will be no stopping us! Bear has grown up and is feeling and looking amazing, I am starting to get his bigger stride more consistently and the contact is looking good. I just need to continue to work on my accuracy an area that lets us down in tests. Where the horses are based the arena is bigger than 20 X 60 and my tests are in a 20 X 40 so I have to ride the movements smaller and then when I got into the competition arena I do this and that’s very costly. So we are going to try and get the arena boards out more so that I can practice my test in the right size arena.
I am managing to carry out my gym programme normally about six times a week and my body seems to be allowing me and not saying no so that’s great! I am also looking at getting back in the gym and maybe even starting up some swimming to see if I can improve my stamina. But I will just have to see if my body allows me too.
I had my first treatment of Botox in London to see if it can help with the tremor that I have in my head. Unfortunately the next day I woke up with very swollen and yucky eyes. After a phone call to 111 followed by a visit to minor injuries I was diagnosed with a severe eye infection and was given antibiotic eye drops and antibiotics. Sadly and frustratingly my eyes look much better but my vision is still not normal so back to my GP and a referral to Eye Casualty. The infection still has not gone and could take 6 weeks, so more eye drops and ointments. Hopefully it will start to clear up soon and my vision will return to normal. I have also been suffering from horrific migraines lately which have put me in bed so hopefully this is all related.
It was fantastic to be back in the competition arena this month with both boys.
I took Sky to Wellington to get the last few points we needed to qualify for the Gold Semi Finals but also as I thought it would be good practice and a chance for him to get used to the venue before we compete there again in June. After Myerscough I think both me and the horses had lost some confidence. Thankfully I have got it back with Sky and was really pleased with our effort; two just under 70% scores and we have now qualified, mission accomplished. My body was not playing ball and I experienced some symptoms which I am really hoping don’t show themselves whilst I’m riding again!! Almost passing out meant I unfortunately went wrong in my second test. But the work that I had in the warm up with Sky for the second test was amazing and what I need to get in the arena, we just overcooked the warm up slightly today.
One of my faults is that I have always been too hard on myself and was disappointed with my performance at Wellington even though under the circumstances I couldn’t have done anything else and I dealt with the situation well. From squad training I had set myself some goals (psychology) and am very pleased to say I met my process goals which I have been working very hard on in training and so was able to try them out in competition; which then helped me to reach my outcome goal. Perhaps not such a bad day in the office after all!!
Then it was Bears turn and we took him to Widmer to get some more points towards qualification for the Gold Semi Finals. Alice had stepped in as Rob couldn’t make it. Bear travelled like a pro and was a complete dude and I was over the moon as we won and got just under 68%. Considering there were mistakes I am delighted and so excited for our future. I just need to continue to improve my confidence and then Bear will be more relaxed and we just need more ring experience. Bear needs a few more points for qualification, so we are aiming to take him out next month to get these.
It was fantastic travelling in our new lorry Luna and amazing the difference it made to us. She was so easy to drive for dad, the boys travelled the best they have and when we got there instead of crawling up the stairs and bum shuffling down them I could use the lift and this saved my white jods and also gave me my dignity back. Quiny also loves travelling in her new lorry.
The boys were running low on PharmaQuin so my super sponsors BETTA Life sent me some more and also some Haribos for the rider. I am so happy knowing that the boys are on this fantastic supplement and that their joints are being looked after. The boys are so much more supple and freer in their movement and no one can believe that Sky is 19!
Looking forward to the weather improving.