Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter 1

Aiken training is well underway with all the horses getting off to a great start. They have all had a good gallop on the sand, which is way better than the mud in Md. Boyd jumped Cole, Liberty, Bucky and Charmer on Saturday with all of them going well. Due to Liberty's rather expressive nature, and habit of triallling his own made up movements (most of them involving rapid changes of direction) in the warm up, Boyd will ride him at Pine Top 1. My jaw is feeling fantastic but I'm trying to be intelligent about how much pressure I put on it. I will ride Cole and Charmer. Rhiannon has the honour of riding Beth's Bucky. Everything going well I'll be back in full swing for Pine Top 2. 

Bucky enjoying the sun and sand. 

The down time, while unplanned, has been very productive. One area of my performance which I have been wanting to address for some time now is my physical strength. Being a smaller person and having sustained a few decent injuries, I'm finding there are areas of my body that let me down here and there. I've now been able to get into the gym and target those weaknesses which feels pretty good. As long as I'm conscious of keeping my head pretty still, none of the exercises impact my jaw. I'm now on the home straight with the wires being removed on the 11th of February. The screws come out a few weeks later, but they can stay for a while as long as I can eat and talk again! I've already planned my first meal. It'll be fish and potatoes! I'm dying for a steak but I'm picking my battles, I have a feeling that my mind with be willing but my mouth won't be.....! 

One of the sales horses 'Bella' schooling with Rhiannon. 

Don't forget to 'like' my Facebook fan page for daily updates. Until next time, stay warm or cool, depending on which country you're in! 


Monday, January 20, 2014

This year I'm starting my year with the Chinese New Year!

A little facial remodeling.... The wires are attached the screws 3 or 4 places around my mouth. 

2014 didn't really get off the the start I was hoping. Instead of intensive training in Florida I I was in surgery to repair a broken jaw I suffered on New Year's Eve! No, there is no wild story to explain it, I was riding a students horse in a lesson... Said horse bucked whereupon the side of my head connected with his neck resulting in a broken jaw and a concussion. I did however manage to stay on! Not wanting to waste time waiting for the local ambulance to turn up (fine service, just takes a while) Kaleigh drove me to the nearest emergency room where Rhiannon waited with me for the next 6 hours. Stabilised and discharged with heavy pain killers I was advised to use my own surgeon to repair the damage. So fix it he did by wiring it shut, giving me a straw and telling me to cancel all my dinner reservations for the next 6-8 weeks! Bugger! As you could probably imagine I was Not. Happy. Jan. (Australian reference, google it). No talking, no eating, no riding. That rules out my 3 favourite activities! The upside for everyone else, particularly Rhiannon, is that there are more horses to ride and less of my singing in the barn. I hope no one catches on that it's good when the boss is injured... There's an upside for me too. When I'm visiting Australia for Christmas one of my goals is to eat as much as I possibly can in a 10 day period. Which is then added to the thanksgiving feast from a couple of weeks earlier. So invariably I'm on a diet as of Boxing Day! Normally it's a chore and quite annoying, this year it's a cinch! I may have discovered the most effective diet yet... I do feel as tho I got off lightly tho, yet another reminder that one never knows what's around the corner, particularly when you ride horses for a living. 

As with any injury the challenge is to try to let it not impede the show schedule. My goal is to still maintain almost my entire winter season, only missing a couple of shows. The first few are with babies, so Rhiannon will get to ride them. Phillip has been jumping some of the upper level horses, so they should be ready to go when I am.

Thanks to my brother, my mum was able to make it over for the surgery recovery to make sure I took the right medications in the right order. 

The first load of horses is settling into Aiken, the rest will join them on Friday. 

My owners and supports have been incredibly understanding, for that I thank you. I'll be back on in no time and bringing home the ribbons. 

Quality time with my two best friends and my computer. 

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