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Saturday, 6 June 2020

May Round Up (& a few thank you's!)



When I wrote my April round up blog, I'd really felt as though getting back onboard by the end of May was a reality. It wasn't, & here I am, seven weeks down the line with a wound still on my thigh. On one hand, it's felt like forever, and on the other, it seems only a short time ago, and in the greater picture of what happened, I've still been fairly lucky.

So, in a nutshell, there's not been too much going on over the last May for us, but here's a few updates from us, including a new addition to the team!!

First up, a few thank you's to all those that have been helping with Louie.

A MASSIVE shout out to Andrew, as without him, I don't know how I'd have got through this time without him. At first, he was going twice a day, on his own, doing all the mucking out and yard jobs. Now that I'm a bit more mobile, I go on a morning and muck out while Andrew turns Louie out, and on an evening, he drops me off so I can lunge Louie. 

But lunging 5 times a week to stop the weight creeping onto Louie is pretty dull, even when you really vary the sessions with poles, flat & raised, transitions, circle sizes, and using different aids. 

So as soon as the BHS adjusted the restrictions a little so that someone else could ride Louie, they did. My super friend at the yard is now riding Louie twice a week at home in the arena, doing some flatwork. She's a lovely rider - kind, patience and quiet. She's also very correct in the way that she rides, and I knew she wouldn't let Louie take the piss. 

I thought I'd find it really hard watching someone else ride Louie while I couldn't - it's the first time anyone ever has so I also didn't know how good of a job I'd done in making Louie generally rideable. I really enjoyed watching Louie being ridden and getting a good eye on how he goes under saddle, and while it's making me long to be back in the saddle working on the bits and pieces that I'd hoped to, it's not driving me crazy.

A big thank you to Eleanor for riding Louie while I'm out of action! 

Also since the restrictions have bee relaxed someway, coaching is available, but clearly, I'm not able to take advantage of this, however it has meant that I can take Louie to Philippa to jump him once a week. Again, thanks to Andrew as I still can't drive so he's top chauffeur, as always, to take Louie for me. 

There are STRICT Covid-19 rules in place when he is there to ensure that the risk of spreading the virus is low. I was able to go to the first session two weeks ago, and it was again lovely to see Louie be ridden over some poles to start and then over a few small uprights. 

He's been back twice since then and is definitely enthusiastic when he starts off, before settling into jumping around. It's great to see him enjoying himself and working off those extra calories to keep his weight under control, plus I think it's going to really benefit our sessions with Philippa when I'm back as she'll have felt the same things that I was working on over the last few months.

Philippa has made the effort to always fit me into an evening, and accommodate around Andrew to make it as easy as possible for Louie to go. Plus, it's amazing to have a rider of her experience on Louie for a few weeks. For that, thank you! 

So thanks to Philippa and Eleanor, lunging is reduced to twice per week, maybe three times on some weeks if there's a bit of a gap between ridden sessions.

In those lunging sessions, I'm mixing it up between using my kavalkade for when I would like for Louie to be a bit longer and lower, and I've introduced side reins on a roller to work him with more of an upright contact, but still fairly low at the point at which they attach to the roller. 

He's never had side reins on before, so showed a little resistance in the first session. But the more he got going, the better he got, and there's a visible difference in the way he works between both. The really great news is that he is naturally quite active in the hind, so I don't need to worry about having something running behind the back end. And when he is working you can really see the whole of his top line working - from the poll all the way along his back and down his hind. 

Time out of the saddle has its uses - I've watched LOADS of videos about grooming. One annoyance I always have is that my plaits never look very good - they're OK but could be better! So I've watched a lot about planting with thread, and gave a forelock and mane plait a try. I was quite pleased with my first attempt, but I just need more practice to fold and secure with thread, and definitely to be quicker! Think I'll need to start planting the week before a competition with my current speed!!


On 25th May, we welcomed a new addition to the team... labrador pup Moose! He was 8-weeks old and although registered as yellow, is closer to a red colour, and he's just gorgeous. A really lovely character, very cool and very people orientated. There's something very cute when he's just trotting alongside you and looking up at you...

Andrew is chief trainer, so look out for our updates over the coming weeks. You can also follow his little adventures over on Instagram too. @tallameliemoose!


I really hope to be back in the saddle by the end of June, but it's very hard to say. I'm seeing good progress each week at the tissue clinic, and gradually it is healing up and out, and reducing in size. I've now been fitted with a pump for negative pressure wound therapy, which took a little getting use to have a tube coming from the wound and attached to a little machine that I carry around on me. It seems to be doing its job, and one week after it was fitted, the nurse was very pleased with how it looked. The cavity hole is still about 3.2cm deep, so there's a way to go, but hopefully now, if it is on its way, progress will be quick. The cavity actually looks like Louie's leg injury did a couple of years ago!! 

Fingers crossed I can bring you an update from in the saddle next month! 🤞

Over on the blog, I had a very productive few weeks at the start of the month and was very pleased to welcome Amna Ahli to guest blog for me. Amna recently launch EquiNation, an app designed to connect riders and owners with equestrian professionals worldwide. 

EquiNation Equestrian App


While spending so much time doing my favourite thing (not!), resting, I realised that there are SO MAY amazing retailers and services out there that are giving back to charities, some to support the NHS during Covid-19, but others as a standard initiative. So if you're like me and enjoy a bit of online retail therapy in absence of the tradestands all the events that have been cancelled, check out how you can give back during Covid-19.

Riders Minds Equestrian Mental Health

It was mental health awareness week 18-25 May, which saw the launch of a truly fantastic online resource for riders and equestrian professionals or all abilities & levels - Riders Minds - founded by event rider, Matthew Heath. Mental health is such an important topic to be aware of, not only during the Covid-19 lockdown, but in general, so it's worth taking a look to see what it's all about. 



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