I can't believe we are already in the latter half of May and the last time I managed to publish a blog was the beginning of February! This year has been manic leading to the conclusion that there needs to be more hours in the day, or more days in the week (or both) so it becomes possible to fit everything in and still sleep!
Since my last blog we have had a successful start to the event season with Oscar stepping up to his new title of 'event horse' jumping double clear round Swallcliffe 90 and confidently completing his first BE100 at Munstead the week afterwards. Unfortunately since then we haven't had the best luck with events being cancelled during April and my exams starting at the beginning of May. I had aimed to be at Tweseldown last weekend with Oscar but unfortunately two days before the start of my finals I had a fall with Coco at Withington and ended up with a broken collarbone! Three weeks later and I am well on the mend and about to start riding again, however not ready to be eventing just yet!! Oscar is currently being kept fit by Mum whilst Jenny has very kindly stepped in as co-jockey to keep him jumping and competing. They have had successful outings to both Felbridge and Parwood over the last couple of weeks with Oscar showing his true versatility and suitability as an amateurs horse. He is so genuine and happy to help you out if you don't quite get it right! He is advertised at the moment and I really can't believe he hasn't been snatched up as he is worth his weight in gold with the temperament and ability that he has - wish we could win the lottery and keep him as a family horse as he really is good for everyone!!
Coco started off his season in fine style at Aldon Intermediate, an over exuberant dressage followed by an unlucky 8 faults showjumping and an awesome clear cross country in cruise control! However, following that everything we entered was cancelled or we couldn't risk the ground when it did run as he is too special! So after a bit of show jumping (including jumping our first 1.35m Open together) we headed to Withington Advanced. I was so proud of him in the dressage, he stayed calm and relaxed and we did an accurate test, even managing our flying changes which I was delighted with. I was disappointed in the mark we got of 41 as it was not a reflection of how hard he tried. Onto the show jumping and he wasn't enjoying the hectic warm up so I decided not to keep jumping him and just go in, if he felt unsure or not himself then I was going to pull him up. I needn't have worried as he went in and tried his heart out. It was a technical course with some very clever lines, he had an unlucky pole early on and then we had a flier to the fence before the combination meaning we came in a little quick so he rolled the back rail of the middle element, but he was great. On to the cross country and it was a tough track but I knew we could do it. Out of the start box and over the first 9 really well, making nothing of the first two combinations. Fence 10 was a wide table on an attacking 4 stride curve to a wide corner at 10b followed by another positive curving 4 strides to another corner at 11, this was the only fence I was really worried about and knew if he jumped that we would be fine! Well you would have thought it was grid work in the school as he said 'this is easy mum' as he flew all three elements! He continued to make nothing of the course, just popping any big, wide fence like it was a novice track all with his ears pricked. Unfortunately two fences from home we had a nasty fall which he did not deserve. We jumped into the water well and there was a curving line to a double of skinnies coming out which were built on a very long two strides. He didn't lock onto the first one early enough and as a result was unbalanced as he jumped it, I committed to the two strides but he was too far off the 2nd part, instead of him just nipping past it, he is so genuine he tried his best to fit in a third stride and jump it but caught a knee and twisted. This caused me to lose my balance and although he got his front feet down, I had pulled my right rein and the camber of the ground caused him to come down. I was trapped underneath him briefly and he knew it so lay completely still to allow me to get out. Luckily (or maybe not!) it happened at mums feet and she was the first one to us so she pulled me out whilst the vets attended Coco. They kept him down till the screens went up but I have never been so relieved to see him up and ok. He was a little stiff for a few days afterwards but is now fine and feeling very jolly.
Unfortunately I hit the ground shoulder first and although my Point 2 did an amazing job of protecting me when he rolled over me, my collar bone absorbed the impact from my shoulder and therefore it broke! Once Coco had been checked over by the vet, mum took him home and I waited in the ambulance at the event for Rob (my boyfriend) to come and rescue me and take me to A&E. I was very grateful as it meant that mum could get Coco home and comfortable which was my main priority. So after a trip to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and several hours waiting I was sent home with a broken collar bone! Since then I have had the arcequine on nearly 24/7 and I have been lasering it too. It is feeling really good and after just one week I no longer had any pain. The first week it was sore and very difficult to concentrate on both my exams and the revision, so I am hoping it wont have affected my grades too much!
So three weeks later and 6 exams down I have finished my Geography degree at Royal Holloway and I am off for a follow up x-ray to see whether I am going to be allowed to get back on and riding! Although I will be back on this week and am entered up for BCA on Oscar, Nunney IN on Coco and also the Hickstead Derby meeting with Coco so I am keeping positive! The aim is to get to Barbury CIC2* and then Aston Advanced so I can prove how lucky I am to have such a fantastic horse and that we are capable!
Coco has been down at Equine Aqua Training keeping fit on the treadmill so he will be ready to crack on as soon as I am back on board!
I can't thank everyone enough for their kind words, advice and help over the past few weeks. There are too many to mention everyone but huge thanks to Mum (as ever) who has had to fit in twice as much to an already busy schedule, and Jenny who has been coming back from London to keep Oscar going. To Oscar's owner Peter Greenaway who has been so understanding whilst I have been injured. Also to Nathalie George and Laura Wijsmuller who have enabled me to sit my exams by driving me into uni and picking me up when I needed it, I can;t thank you enough! Finally to my long-suffering boyfriend who has had to put up with me being fairly horrible and sulking whilst I couldn't ride and even came home to see me this weekend to celebrate finishing my exams despite the fact his don't start until next week!
The horses are looking fantastic and this is where I am so lucky to have the support team behind me. With the spring grass having come through, Oscar is on less topnosh as it is no longer needed, whilst Coco has been on increased levels of Linseed to help his recovery.
Lily started off the year in fine style, and was back jumping better than ever, she was placed in a tough 1.05m at Addington and jumped double clear in the newcomers. She also qualified for the JAS final where she finished 5th having only been out twice prior to the final. Unfortunately she is now injured (again!) and what is most frustrating is we think she did it being silly in the field (again). So she is currently turned out without her shoes on with a little friend for company to give her a chance to recover and I will aim to get her back fit for the autumn with the aim to show jump her and have some fun through the winter - watch this space!
Now I have finished uni I have a lot more time on my hands so hoping to start doing lots of teaching over the summer. If anyone needs their horses exercising I will be back riding properly at the beginning of June and happy to help out schooling/jumping or even just keeping them exercised. If you know of anyone looking for a rider in Surrey then please put them in touch!!
Until next time!