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Monday, 3 July 2017

June Round Up

June was another busy month (I seem to now be saying this more & more!)

It kicked off in a pretty AMAZING way!! My sister, who has been on the transplant list for over a year, received a phone call at 5.20am Sunday 4th June to say that there was a kidney ready for her. I got several missed calls from her, my Mum & my Dad, and at 6.30am they finally managed to wake me up to tell me the great news... I immediately called my sister and as soon as she answered, I was a completely blubbering mess that couldn't even manage a 'Hello'...

The way these things work is that before the organ leaves its location it is completely tested for blood & tissue matches against the person it will be transplanted to. Once these results are clear, which takes a few hours (& it felt like DAYS!), the organ is sent to the location for immediate transplant.

Olivia went into surgery around 3pm that afternoon, at which point I set off on the journey down to Leeds (about 2 hours).

I can't speak on behalf of Olivia, but I found the day is full of overwhelming emotions, some which you don't expect to feel at all, or at least hadn't given much thought as to how they would make you feel.

My initial reaction was excited, happy and relieved, but then as the time passes, I also began to feel a sense of loss too... Someone, somewhere has lost a loved one to allow for this unbelievable procedure to take place. You experience a small grief for that, but it's not grief as I knew it - I didn't know the person, nor understand who they were, so it's a very confusing state of grief.

Olivia's operation went well, but the hours ticked by VERY slowly for us waiting outside. It was the broadcast of the Ariana Grande One Love concert which we all watched very sombrely & seemed to not have the experience I expected, presumably because of my own emotions that were running through.

I was able to stay with my sister until she woke up, to which she flickered her eyes open and while raising her arm with a gruff, low voice said "I have a new kidney!!!"

A euphoric moment in life for all of us....

Back to my equestrian life in June! Nothing quite as amazing, but we start the month off visiting a couple of events.

The first Saturday of June saw us to head to our local Northumberland event, Belsay Horse Trials. It's always been my favourite event, with a large and bustling showjumping arena, and a hilly cross country jumping natural hedge lines. It's definitely one event that makes me miss eventing!

The sun was shining, and we enjoyed a lazy lunch laid on the bank watching combinations come down the hill and through the water complex, before Harry & I FINALLY having a go at dog agility. OK, so we definitely aren't going to be the next champs, especially going through the bendy poles! But we had fun, and Harry loved being rewarded constantly with a tennis ball - his most favourite things in the whole world!

The next weekend, we were heading to Bramham - June has to be our favourite month; our favourite local event AND our favourite equestrian event overall!!

I've been going to Bramham Horse Trials for many years to enjoy a day of dressage on the Friday, and the cross country action on the Saturday. This year the weather was perfect - gloriously sunny to sip Pimms watching the horses dance, but a cooler and damper day for cross country!

While walking the cross country course, I was lucky enough to capture one of my favourite combinations to watch bounce through the Hollow (told you, a month of favourites!) - Ludwig Svennerstal & his grey horse, Louis!

I was then very excited to receive a DM from Ludwig, asking if he could use my video on his own social media. I obviously was thrilled, but even more so to now proudly say he is the most famous person in my phone contacts (maybe except Yogi!) to enable me to What's App him the video.

I took the cheeky opportunity to see if he would be interested in a quick Q&A about his motivations and what's been an influence to him as an international & Olympic event rider. He agreed and you can read Ludwig Svennerstal's Q&A to see if you can find motivation from what he had to say.

My own Louie & I have also been busy in June, enjoying a good couple of competitions...

You'll remember in May, we had a disaster of a test, when it just was not our day... Well, I'm pleased to report, we've turned a corner, and enjoyed a day out at the riding club combined training coming home with lots of rosettes, big smiles and having enjoyed a day out with some great people in the sunshine!

A week later, and we headed a bit further afield, to Richmond Equestrian centre in North Yorkshire for the British Riding Club area qualifiers. I entered Louie for experience alone - I knew it would be much busier than he was used to, with more going on in the ring and a longer journey there to contend with. I expected nothing, but hoped to stay in the arena!

Well, he obviously enjoys the thrill of a bigger atmosphere because he worked his little socks off - he didn't put a foot wrong in the warm up or the test (I did!!), he was well behaved on the box, tied up at the box, and apart from being in the dog house with Andrew for going wrong in the test, it was a FAB day out.

See how we got on in our Riding Club area qualifiers post!

The week after Louie had off - I was in Copenhagen with work Monday to Friday, but I think he deserved a break after a busy month!

Hopefully, we'll keep momentum heading through July - the plan was to go on holiday, but with my sister's operation, I thought it best to scrap that idea (it means I can play ponies more too!!)

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