Welcome to blog! I started it in 2020 to chart my recovery from breaking my ankle (hence the name). I guess no-one saw a global pandemic coming. It's turned into a place where I can talk about the things happening in my life, my horse and my cats. Enjoy!
So 2020 was going to be my year. The year I got my life sorted after being served redundancy notice from my job in November 2019. The year I ticked off more things from my horsey bucket list. The year I got my mental health back under control and reduced stress in my life.
I had a plan. And it was a good one. Then the plan changed dramatically on 2 January. I came off my horse at speed and broke my ankle. Badly. Like all good equestrians, I got back on and rode back to the yard, sorted Buddy out and then drove myself to A&E. That’s where this journey really began...
I was sent home from A&E and told to crack on, only to receive a phone call later to say they’d missed a fracture (and a rather serious one at that). Whoops! So fracture clinic on 3 January, surgery on 5 January and home to recover.
I started this blog as a way to chart my recover back to the saddle. As I cleared clinics and competitions out of my diary and wondered what the next few months would bring, it's been a safe space for me to say how I'm feeling.
The new plan was to get a new job, to keep Buddy is kept ticking over and recover from my injury. Another good plan! I didn't expect a global pandemic, lockdown and all that happened in 2020.
This blog has changed over time but it's continued to be my safe space to share the things going on in my life, with Buddy and the cats. Enjoy!
Well we’ve arrived at Aston-Le-Walls ready for the Combined Challenge Championships. Buddy was nice and chilled on the journey and settled into his stable like a pro. It was a novelty being chauffeured to an event.
Took him for a wander round and did a bit of schooling in the arena. He was a little eyes on stalks to start off with. But he had his emotional support pony, Halo by his side.
We then went to walk the course for tomorrow. Nothing that looked too bad. But that’s just me. Buddy may have other ideas.
Finished off by cooking for Sam. Yes you heard me right, I cooked! And no-one died or was injured. Let’s hope it’s the same tomorrow…
So yesterday my body ached. Today it was my brain! I woke up feeling decidedly fuzzy. A friend summed it up perfectly – a camp hangover!
Still got the last of the laundry done and dry. Honestly, going away to camp is like going on holiday with a toddler. So much stuff!
It was a lovely day, so I had lunch in the garden. Hugo had made a nest in the border. Every time I tried to get a photo, he came to see me. Not quite the idea.
On the other hand, Dodo was in full pose mode. He’s so handsome. Though I wasn’t quite so keen on him when he brought a mouse in the house. Thankfully for me, it was dead. Not so good for the mouse I grant you.
Now that I’ve cleared up after camp. It’s time to start packing for Champs. At least I’m not competing till Sunday so we can get there at a leisurely pace tomorrow. Fingers crossed everyone!
I have to admit, I was a tad tired when I woke up this morning. And a tad achy. All signs of a very good camp.
Other signs are a huge pile of laundry. I did four loads of washing today. And still have more to go. The good news is that I got all of the washing dry out on the line.
The kittens were very pleased to see me and wanted cuddles while I was working. Back to the laptop today for me. Buddy got a well deserved day off. Poor planning on my part not to keep today clear. The irony isn’t lost on me as a professional planner.
Buddy got cuddles too. And I got coffee. Lots of coffee.
Well that’s the first camp of 2023 done! And what a cracking camp it was. I’m shattered, but a really good shattered. Buddy still had energy to run round his field.
Maybe he had a sleep on the way back. It’s not like he didn’t do lots today. This morning it was course jumping. We got to practice dog legs too.
Sadly one of the ladies in our group had a fall, so we left the arena early. I’d untacked Buddy when I got a call telling me to go back in the arena to ride the entire course. I’d missed out as I was last to go, after the lady who fell.
Very quick tack up and back we headed. Buddy was a little confused. It’s a good job we’re used to competing. Quick warm up and off we went round the course.
After lunch, we had our final flat work lesson. This time it was no stirrups – in walk, trot and canter! Then canter serpentines with simple changes. Finally we had a go at flying changes. It’s amazing how far we’ve come with our flat work. Shows that hard work pays off.
All in all a very successful camp. I came way with more knowledge, exercises to try and a photo!
Now we know I love a photo. But I bloody LOVE this photo. Wonderful thing is that I didn’t know she was taking it. The photos from our shoot are just stunning.
But that’s for another day. As is the camp washing! Is it bed time?!
Second day of camp done. And another awesome day. First up jumping. A very interesting exercise. Pip Nav was definitely needed for that. My little boy absolutely flew it. Such a great feeling.
We took advantage of the sunshine to have a post-lunch rest. There was a horse banging the door last night, so not sure many of us got a good night. Buddy was the exception! He excelled himself – his rug was covered in shavings.
This afternoon it was another flat lesson. We built on yesterday’s lesson and attempted counter canter. I saw attempted as it wasn’t our best. One to work on.
We finished our riding day with a photoshoot in the forest. Really looking forward to seeing the photos. I got a sneak peek of one and it looked like a magazine cover!
First day of camp done. Buddy slept well judging by the amount of shavings he had on him. In time honoured tradition, he came out all guns blazing for our first lesson – poles. Bless him, Buddy much prefers poles when they are jumps. So it was a really good exercise for him as definitely made him focus.
After lunch, we had our second lesson – flat. That was a much more sedate affair where we worked on keeping his shoulders straight and collection in the canter.
We walked the horses up the track to cool them off. Buddy did a poo. Of course, it was as far away as possible from the stable. Muggins here has to walk up the hill with the skip to get it.
Cause I haven’t done enough exercise today! See if you can spot the poo…
We’ve arrived at Forest Edge for the first camp of 2023. I’m a little giddy about it. Buddy was more understated.
Boys all settled ready for our first lessons tomorrow. We took them for a lovely hack round the forest to ease them in gently. I asked a walker if she’d take our photo. I didn’t realise she was on the phone. Made us giggle as she told whoever she was talking to that she was taking a photo for some ladies on horses. I guess for many people, it’s not an every day occurrence.
Now snuggled up in the Buddymobile, full of pizza and looking forward to tomorrow.
So I made a thing happen. One of my favourite podcasts, Buckoff Banter has a running joke about ‘stay on’. It came from an experience one of them had at a show on a rather fresh horse. And someone outside the ring helpfully shouted it at her.
So I wrote to them after I nearly fell off in a lesson until the words ‘stay on’ came out of my mouth. After reading out my email, it was suggested that we need it on a t-shirt. And I made it happen!!
I happened to speak to a friend of mine who designs equestrian clothing and she designed it. I am now the proud owner of the first one! And it’s live on her website. How cool is that?!