Latest training and Nominating for the Equine Social Media Awards

Its been a busy time of year for me and less so for Wanda. I’m still recovering from my accident a month ago where we were hit by a car out hacking. I’m able to ride, but not every day and my lower leg has been very sore. Despite this I’m keeping my jumping and flatwork going as I am nervous about ‘getting out of the loop’ so to speak. Last week we had our first jump in a month and Wanda was firing on all cylinders as you can see by the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0J-1_HxRzs

I think Wanda’s jumping is really developing now and her canter is so much more powerful. I can really attribute this to the more intensive flatwork sessions I have been developing. Lots of trot poles and raised poles and much more lateral work. Wanda really thrives on this sort of work. This week I have a dressage lesson with Matt Cox planned and I’m really excited about this. I have recently started working with Matt and we are aiming to get Wanda out doing some elementary British Dressage tests soon. http://www.mcdressage.co.uk/

I also have a jumping lesson booked with my eventing trainer Val Gingell as I’m realising it wont be long til the season starts again and I want to hit the ground running!

In other news the nominations are open for the Equine Social Media Awards 2014. http://www.equestriansocialmediaawards.com/news-stories/public-nominations-for-the-2014-esmas-are-now-open-1463

Until December 20th, you can nominate your favorite equestrian businesses, personalities, charities and brands in the world of social media through this website, from the list of pre-registered entries.

I have been registered in categories 2, 5 and 14. So if you like what I do through my blog or twitter account @bandw_eventing do take the time to let ESMA know via the nomination form http://www.equestriansocialmediaawards.com/nominations

Those with the best nomination and personal statements about what they do will be put forward to the final public vote. So take a look at some of the great people and organisations using social media throughout the equestrian world.

 

 

A bit of pre baby reflection…

I was messaging a friend today about horses and her pregnancy and talking about my life pre babies and horses. I evented and show jumped on a string of horses until I was packed off to university at 21. I then had a massive break of 16 years before returning back to riding when my second son was 4mths old.

So today’s chat over Facebook made me think about my return to riding, three and a half years ago.

Before I had Henry, who is just 6, I really struggled with pregnancy. I lost 5 babies over a relatively short period of time and then had a difficult pregnancy with him. He was born a healthy baby but I really found it hard being a first time mum. It was difficult to adapt to having no career and after longing for a baby for so long I found the reality quite a shock. Add to this awful post natal depression and I was really in a bit of a mess.

My second son, Piers, followed quite soon after. A straight forward pregnancy and easy birth but again the depression returned. I piled on weight and felt pretty miserable. Although I had two lovely kids it was really hard for me to adapt to not working in a busy teaching job.  Four months after Piers was born my Mum suggested that we went looking for a horse to get me back into riding. My marriage was starting to fail and I think she was desperate to try anything just to get the old me back. We already had some kid’s ponies on the farm for my kids and their cousins. So we set about looking for a nice ‘mums hack’ and ended up buying a former field masters horse who had also team chased and evented a bit.

With the help of Val Gingell my trainer we set about trying to get me fit, core muscles back and confidence built. Clio was a beautifully bred horse. Out of Puissance, bred at Coolmore in Ireland and a quality horse. Sadly, although I really developed her flatwork she really was quite full on to compete. It was quite disappointing as some days I would have great dressage scores in the 20s and other days I would barely be in the 50’s – depending on where the cross country was situated. She was one of those very gifted horses who sadly didn’t have the right temperament to be a super amateur event horse.

Despite my setbacks with her I really did see an improvement in my mood. My self esteem retuned as I lost weight, a horse driven routine gave me a focus and my competitive drive returned. Sadly I decided to part with Clio as I felt I needed a horse that I could improve my riding on. Horses need to be placed where they can do the best job and she has now gone off to be a whips horse with a local hunt. She loves her job and is doing what she does best. I think she will be making some appearances in some Hunt races which she will adore.

Thinking back I can’t believe it’s only been three and a half years since I’ve been back in the saddle. It seems like much longer. My little chat with my friend today has made me feel quite proud. So many big life changes and challenges I’ve got through. Life has not always been easy but I haven’t given up yet and I have a lot to thank for my horses who have given me my positivity and tenacity back again. For that I truly am blessed. 

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