//October Update | Mari Akhurst National Grade 1 Para Dressage Champion

October Update | Mari Akhurst National Grade 1 Para Dressage Champion

I Started off the month with a radio interview with Wycombe Sound; just a catch up from the last time we spoke. I really enjoy doing these interviews and updating people on how my journey to Tokyo 2020 is going.

I also appeared in my sponsor’s magazine Quingo Scooters with a fantastic photo of me on Quinny with Mr Sky. Greatly named ‘Quinny rides to the rescue’; which is 100% accurate, I would be lost without my scooter and cannot thank Quingo enough for their continued support.

World Mental Health Day was this month; a very important day; it’s ok to speak out and ask for support. We all have tough days and days that we feel down but please don’t feel alone. I am so lucky to have such a supportive team around me. I was bullied a lot when I was younger and the support was there when I needed it thankfully. Riding is the thing that keeps me going and Sky has helped me through some extremely tough times.

The biggest news this month; after four great years at Windmill Farm due to personal reasons we have moved yards. I cannot thank everyone enough at Windmill for all of their support and help whilst we were there. We have been welcomed by Katie and her team and everyone has already fallen in love with the boys especially Mr Bear!

The boys have settled into their new home and are both very happy. Bear is loving his king size bedroom and Sky’s his room with a view! They have the opportunity to go hacking around the fields and have been very brave meeting lots of animals such as deer and pheasants! Sky had dug his mud patch in his field and its very content! The boys are going to be thoroughly spoilt and so is the rider with the log burner and solarium!! No getting cold this winter!!

This month I have started back at the gym and in the next few weeks will start swimming again. I now have the support I need to be able to go thanks to a local charity. It was great to be back on the hand cycle. I have also had another go at hand cycling this month and enjoyed cycling around the track at Stoke Mandeville. I have already greatly improved since last time and it’s a great opportunity to help to build and maintain my upper body strength.

Not long after moving yards it was off to squad training we went. This time we decided to take Mr Bear to be able to show everyone how much he has come on. Massive thank you to dad for driving and being super groom and my amazing friend Nicole for coming and riding Bear for me. It was strange leaving Sky at home but much easier knowing he was being spoilt rotten by the team at home.

Bear was a superstar and didn’t put a foot wrong; I am very proud of him; he has definitely grown up. Lots of people fell in love with him and were trying to take him home! He does give the best cuddles. The biomechanics session we had was super useful and the small adjustments to my saddle have made a massive difference to his way of going. It’s amazing what attention to detail can show and these small changes will increase my percentages. Thankfully the pilot isn’t too wonky either, so all of my hard work is paying off.

All the sessions that I had over the last few days were really interesting and I am pleased to say I have progressed in all areas. I have also learnt lots that I cannot wait to put into action. The vet and farrier were very happy with Bear as well which is great news. Those stable exercises are doing their job just need to add in a few tummy tucks.

It was great to hear from Angela how kind hearted and willing she thought Bear was and that he was always listening to me and really does try; great qualities to have. I am really pleased as Bear is a big boy and we have come on leaps and bounds and the exciting thing is there is even more to come. We both need to get used to Bears big movement after the saddle alteration as it’s even bigger than before; lots of hard work ahead. Before long I am sure with all of mine and my team’s hard work everything will fall into place. 

A big thank you to Ilse and her dad for taking me to the cross discipline day at Moulton; a busy day but lots was learnt. Paras on tour doesn’t always go to plan but thankfully we were rescued when my wheel fell off my wheelchair!

It was nice to see a write up and photo in the British Dressage Magazine from the British Dressage Nationals! Grade 1 Gold National Champion for the second year running! My smile says it all and even Sky is smiling!

Both horses have stepped it up again yet another level in their training. I am really looking forward to getting them both out to a competition next month.

Mari Akhurst

Team BETTALife® National Grade 1 Para Dressage Champion

By | 2018-11-06T11:53:57+00:00 November 6th, 2018|Sponsored Riders|0 Comments

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