Here we are, seven weeks to go and only four weeks until our first event of 2018 at Forgandenny BE! The fact that I haven’t actually jumped more than a stick yet is slightly worrying. However, as its been dry for a week my wonderful husband, Adrian has set up my jumps in the driest part of our field. It just so happens to be on the side of the hill but never mind it’s all good practice. Fingers crossed the rain and snow stays away a bit longer. Winter training is rapidly morphing into spring preparations.
I’m very lucky to have my horses at home, I can actually sit in bed and see them having their breakfast but unfortunately, we don’t have an arena, which means I normally turn Indi out at the end of October and pick her up again when the clocks change, ready to event in early June. But this year has obviously been a bit different. Since Christmas I’ve been hacking out in the dark once Adrian gets home to look after the kids. I am trying to do as much schooling on our hacks as possible but as we mainly have tracks through the woods it’s all been in straight lines, so I suppose my centre lines should be good!
Ever since having my two girls, I’ve really struggled with straightness. I know I’ve been sitting squint and even though I kept checking myself and straightening up, I still found I was tipping my shoulders to the left, which meant I was hanging on my left rein and dropping my hip. I also found I was always trotting on the same diagonal as the other was uncomfortable. Luckily my Chiropractor Mary Young has offered to support me for the 2018 season and she has been on hand to help straighten us out. She has been working with Indi for a few years to make sure she doesn’t have any niggles and to keep her performing at her best, and now she works on me regularly too, ensuring that I’m not hindering or causing Indi any problems. After a few sessions with Mary I’m sitting straighter and I feel I have strength in my core again. It feels amazing to finally be working with her and not fighting on the left rein. I now realise how important it is to keep both yourself and your horse in check.
Another little ray of light which is keeping me going are my weekly lessons at Appin Equestrian Centre. I was very lucky and won 12 months training sponsorship with Anne and Krystel. So, every week I load up the girls and we drive to meet Granny. Rosie loves to watch, I’m hoping she’ll be the next Charlotte Dujardin! I feel dressage won’t test my nerves as much as eventing if my girls choose to ride horses. Last summer I went to help Mum at one of our Pony Club Hunter Trials and commented on how small the jumps looked now, her response was “they won’t look small when Rosie’s jumping them!” Good point Granny! The lessons are proving invaluable and between them Anne and Krystel have transformed Indi from a pony into an incredible dressage horse!
I still haven’t managed to jump anything but I’m lucky to live near the Ian Stark Equestrian Centre so I’m sure I’ll get some show jumping done soon, it’s just finding the time to get there. I’ve just gone back to work after maternity leave, I’m currently working four days a week and it’s a hard slog with both kids, balancing Mitsubishi Motors Cup preparation, work and now lambing, but we can do it!