My new years resolution, to get better at remembering to blog!
2018 was an all round successful season with a slightly earlier finish than planned. NPS Figi carried on with her consistent self throughout her 6 year old year. Figi ended the season on a real high with a very successful show at Arena UK festival in September, jumping double clears and qualifying for the 6 year old Grand Prix and the Foxhunter Grand Prix. I couldn’t be more proud of her and producing her from a coming 4yo has been a pleasure.
Ed also had a great year with some placings in some great classes, and we even had some fun in the Jockey Challenge at Bath and West county show for a placing. At the end of the summer, I made the decision to sell Ed. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, he was part of the furniture and I had most of my best jumping memories on him. From the little horse I bought in Belgium to the loveliest horse I have ever had. I will miss him every day, but he is being treated like a king in his new home and I get regular updates and pictures!
2018 cut short
My 2018 was cut slightly short as at the beginning of November I had surgery. in March 2018 I was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumour (on the brain).
The tumour was pushing down on my optic nerve which was causing me some trouble, so after extensive scans over a period of time my specialists decided that it had to be removed. The surgery was performed through my soft pallet and my nose (which is absolutely amazing!) to limit the invasion. I was lucky and had the best surgeon and the operation was very successful. The worst part was the recovery. Not only was I told that I couldn’t ride for a while, but I wasn’t allowed to do anything. Being an active horsey person, it wasn’t easy. It was 3 months before I was allowed to start lightly exercising, but still no riding. January I started at the gym with my personal trainer, James Earp of UC Performance gym. It is surprising how much fitness you lose in such a short space of time, but James really helped me and I started getting fitter and stronger gradually. It is now February, and I have just started riding again. I’m usually the type of person who will do not do as they are told when it comes to recovery, when I fractured my foot I rode with a fracture boot on! When it comes to your brain its a little different. The surgery definitely took more of a toll on me than I thought it would, and it wasn’t an easy time. I’m so grateful for my incredibly supportive family and friends as they made everything as easy as possible. Although I was in a lot of pain for a while, the worst part for me was the mental part. Not being able to do anything, even go for a walk was so frustrating. It has definitely taught me not to take anything for granted, especially health. I am feeling a little bit wobbly, unfit and rusty but that will all come in time! I am so grateful for the support I had at this time, from family, friends and fellow riders. With only Figi left, Adam Ellery took over the ride so that she could still go out jumping. Adam and the team have done such a great job looking after Figi and it has been a pleasure to watch, but I’m glad its my turn again now as watching is definitely not my thing.
Now I am able to work again, I have relocated to West Berkshire. I have an exciting opportunity with an Italian Event rider, Stella Benatti. Stella is an event rider for the Italian Air Force and has a lovely string of horses. So Figi and I have joined her to work together. A team of a showjumper and eventer works really well and I;m excited for my future there. Who knows, I might even try my hand at some eventing one day! We have some spaces for competition or sales liveries with fantastic facilities for showjumping or eventing horses.
I have also joined Team Voltaire! I have always struggled finding a saddle to fit me properly as I am so long in the leg, so I had Voltaire Design come out and measure me up for saddle. The customer service was fantastic and they ensure that the saddle fits both you and your horse perfectly. Figi feels so much more free through her shoulders since having the Voltaire and it keeps me secure. Voltaire is a French company and the saddles are “Handmade in France with Love & Passion”. I love my Voltaire and it is by far the best saddle I have ever had!
2019 has a lot in store, lots of shows, lots of training and I am more determined than ever to come back fighting!